Thiruvananthapuram: Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Saturday demanded that the Union government come clear on the de-radicalisation camps operating in India
and alleged that they were "illegal and unconstitutional".
The central government should make it clear where these camps are operating, Tarigami, who is here in connection with the three-day CPI(M) central committee meet, told reporters.
He also said that "radicalisation should not be associated just with one religion and the fact is it is taking place in other religions also".
The Marxist leader was responding to the January 16 disclosure by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat that de-radicalisation camps were operating in the country as "it was necessary to isolate people who are completely radicalised".
The General had said girls and boys as young as 10 and 12 years are being radicalised in the Valley, which he described as a matter of concern.
"What the General said goes beyond his brief and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government must clear its stand on the issue", Tarigami, a former MLA from Kulgam said, adding that it was shocking to hear such comments.
Operating such camps is "illegal and unconstitutional" and the Centre must answer where the 400 camps are operating, he said.
"There are already a lot of jails, camps and police stations in Kashmir. Why do you need more concentration camps? If at all there is radicalisation in Kashmir, it is because of disillusionment," Tarigami said.
He said the de-radicalisation camps were completely "un-Indian" and the assumption that they are needed for a "certain age group in one area of the country was clearly a fantasy".
"Whatever unilateral decisions were taken by the Centre on August 5 (2019) is bound to increase disillusionment. Instead of taking confidence building measures, they are talking about taking boys as young as 10 and 12 years to these camps, which is unfortunate," he said.
Tarigami, who was the first politician to meet the press after the abrogation of Article 370, said the prevailing crisis in Kashmir needs a political response and not de-radicalisation camps.