Tuesday, March 9, 2021

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Army-Run Goodwill Schools Vital To Eradicate Radicalization In Kashmir – CDS Rawat

De-Radicalisation Camps in Jammu and Kashmir have often been compared with Chinese re-education camps in Xinjiang. However, India’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, has told News18 that the Goodwill schools that Indian Army runs in Jammu and Kashmir are essentially ‘preventive radicalisation camps’

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Explaining his comment at a panel discussion earlier at the Raisina Dialogue 2020, General Rawat said de-radicalisation camps are operating in the country as it was necessary to isolate people who are completely radicalised. CDS Rawat once again highlighted the need for ‘preventive radicalisation’.

Giving the example of the 46 Goodwill schools, he said not a single child who passed out of them had picked up stones or guns. “We have got Army Goodwill schools in the Kashmir Valley. What are these? Why do we run these schools? Is it my task to run schools? Why am I running them? I am preventing some of these children from going adrift and getting radicalised. So you might call it de-radicalisation but I would say it is preventive radicalisation. 

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The CDS had said that children young as 10 and 12 years were being radicalised in the Kashmir Valley and should be identified, segregated and taken to some camps. “These people can still be disengaged from radicalisation in a gradual process. But there are people who have been thoroughly radicalised. These people need to be taken out separately, possibly taken to some de-radicalisation camps.

Earlier, Pakistan strongly denounced General Bipin Rawat statements over de-radicalization camps in Jammu and Kashmir. “These remarks are reflective of the extremist mindset and bankrupt thinking that have evidently also permeated the state institutions of India,” FO spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said.

“With over 900,000 Indian forces committing outrageous violations of human rights; draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA) enabling them complete impunity; and over 13,000 young Kashmiri boys abducted from their homes and away from their families, Gen Rawat’s talk of ‘de-radicalisation camps’ for Kashmiri children is simply despicable. It cannot be condemned enough.”

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The FO spokesperson had further stated that Pakistan expected that the world community would take cognizance of the BJP government’s “desperate attempts” to divert attention from the unacceptable situation in J&K, growing domestic protest against discriminatory laws and practices, and its unabashed animus towards India’s minorities.

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