The PDP MLA identified as Aijaz Ahmad Mir said that all the Kashmiri militants killed in encounters with security forces and the police are "martyrs".
While talking in Assembly, Aijaz said that those who die in Kashmir day in and out are Kashmiris and are brothers, so it is responsibility of everyone in this house to ensure that the youth of Kashmir, be that militant or protester should be saved from being killed.
Asked about the recent incident when militants hurled a grenade on his residence, the PDP MLA said, "we believe in India and they believe in something else that is why I was attacked. It is our collective failure", he said, adding that they are children, who have gone down the wrong track, and should be counselled and brought back.
Mir was also quoted by Hindustan Times as saying, "Call them militants or terrorists, but they are Kashmiris, they are our brothers". If you have noticed we haven't put up a paywall unlike many news organisations, - as we want to keep our journalism open.
His comments, however, drew a sharp reaction from BJP which is in alliance with PDP in the state. If a sitting legislator has said it, it certainly calls for an enquiry, he added. "Terrorists who are from Kashmir are martyrs, they are our brothers", said Pir. "Terrorists and separatists are enemies of Kashmir, Kashmiris, development, and peace". "Young boys get glorified by taking arms in their hand and uploading the picture on social media sites".
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Members of National Conference (NC), Congress and CPI (M) expressed anger over the death of a 20-year-old man allegedly in firing by security forces following the killing of a militant in Khudwani area of Kulgam district on Tuesday.
"They are our children and we should not be happy over their deaths".
"There can be ideological clashes between them and us".
However, his statement didn't go down will with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who is in alliance with the PDP in Jammu & Kashmir.