Nelson’s eye

In this context, Jaitley responded to criticism that the BJP was doing business with PDP, which has also declared Guru as a martyr. He said that cooperation with a mainstream political party of Kashmir was necessary to fight separatists in the border state.

“Congress has believed it and we believe it too. If we have to fight separatism, national parties will have to work with the mainstream parties with the mainstream parties of Kashmir despite our ideological differences. This is a compromise for national interests,” Jaitley said.

Thus, Arun Jaitley in Parliament yesterday to explain why on the one hand the government has deployed its entire might against the students of JNU for ostensibly questioning the hanging of Afzal Guru, while simultaneously spending considerable time and effort to cobble a relationship with the PDP in Kashmir.

It sort of begs the question: Do you, by that logic, suggest that you as a government do not have to work with students? With the bharat ke bachche?

While on that, there is this report, which connects several dots and is worth reading in full. The crux:

Speaking today in the Rajya Sabha, I&B and finance minister Arun Jaitley admitted the presence of “outsiders” in JNU that day, but failed to explain why the Delhi Police has not been able to find these outsiders, 16 days later. The Delhi Police calls them “foreign elements”.

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz, a Srinagar-based journalist well-known for stories based on intelligence sources, has written in State Times that the Ministry of Home Affairs has verbally asked the Delhi Police to not arrest Kashmiri students, but put them under surveillance and make detailed profiles of them.

Fayyaz writes, “Sources in New Delhi told State Times that officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs communicated verbally to senior officials of Delhi Police that none of the Kashmiris, particularly the students, even if found involved in organising or attending the recent anti-India demonstrations, should not be immediately booked in any FIR or arrested. Reasons behind withholding the action have not been specified. However, sources added, it was being done only to protect churning out of BJP’s possible coalition with Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.”

And then, this:

Nevertheless, the PDP has exercised restraint in not using the JNU row to issue any fresh statements on Afzal Guru. The BJP has kept its part by not arresting Kashmiri students.

Two days after Ram Madhav met Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar, top separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani issued a statement in which he slammed the PDP’s silence on the issue. As the Kashmir Valley saw protests saying “Thank You, JNU,” it became difficult for the PDP to continue the silence.

Breaking her silence, Mehbooba Mufti told journalists on 22 February, “I hope and I will request the Government of India that nothing should happen that would have a negative impact on Jammu and Kashmir, where the situation is already bad.” She also revealed she had asked Home Minister Rajnath Singh to make sure Kashmiri students are not harassed, and that she had asked PDP leaders Haseeb Drabu and Amitabh Mattoo, both alumni of JNU, to be in touch with Kashmiri students at JNU.