IPS officer Basant Kumar Rath on Thursday said that Kashmiris, including, stone-pelters are “his people” and he cannot disown them.
“Kashmiri people are my people… can’t demonise them. People by nature are people. They have emotions and feelings, you [have to] treat them well,” the former J&K traffic police chief said.
Addressing a gathering at India Today Mind Rocks, Basant Rath also said that the Indian media fails to understand the core issue of Kashmir.
Giving an example of his family, the IPS officer said that he never liked his father in the terms of the authority he had in his family structure but that “does not mean I am not his son.”
“Just because somebody doesn’t agree with you [the government], you can’t demonise them.”
“Kashmir has a history — We have to respect the sentiments and the people there. There is a gap between the politicians speeches and bureaucrats’ work on ground.”
Speaking on religion, Basant Rath took a dig at politicians and said, “It [religion] is not important for the people but for the politicians.”
In November 2018, Basant Rath was transferred after he allegedly had an online spat with Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu. Rath likened Mattu to a cabbage after the latter suggested that jobs were more important than wetlands.
“Wetlands are precious and a vital part of our ecosystem. Only a cabbage will think otherwise,” Basant Rath had tweeted.