Srinagar: Condemning the deaths of over 60 Kashmiri civilians in firing by security forces, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said here Monday that stone pelting protests cannot be met with bullets.
Addressing a media conference in the Jammu and Kashmir summer capital, Karat said a CPI-M delegation was in Srinagar to sympathise with the families who have lost their dear ones in the over two months of unrest in the valley.
"We want to tell them (bereaved families) that there are forces in India which condemn such actions," he said.
Accusing the central and state governments of treating the new Kashmir unrest as "the law and order issue and administrative issue", the CPI-M leader said the Kashmir problem needed a political solution.
"We are appalled and shocked at such a large death toll of young people. There is no justification whatsoever for such a large death (toll) of young people. The protests (in Kashmir) have been in the form of stone pelting and to meet this with police firing is something which should not be condoned in a democratic country like India," Karat said.
He also condemned the alleged arrest of teenagers in the valley saying, "I am not able to understand how this is happening."
"I just saw newspapers and read about cases of children less than 18 years put to jail… You cannot jail a teenager. These young people must not be kept in jail," he said.
The death toll in the unrest that began here June 11 has risen to 63 with the passing away of a 22-year-old youth Monday.