After Chief of Defence Staff  General Bipin Rawat made a serious remark on isolating children in Jammu and Kashmir to prevent “radicalisation,” All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi, on Thursday questioned, “who will de-radicalise the killers of Akhlaq and Pehlu Khan.”

Owaisi went on to say, ‘This is not the first ridiculous statement he has made. Policy is decided by civilian administration, not by any General. By speaking on policy/politics, he is undermining civilian supremacy.’

Since Prime Minister Modi came into power in 2014, India has seen a rising number of mob-lynchings in the name of cow protection and has banned consumption of beef in multiple states. The majority of these attacks targetted Muslim men who were lynched under the suspicion of slaughtering cows for consuming beef. Victims like Pehlu Khan, Mohammed Akhlaq who were lynched in such cases are yet to receive justice.

Last year, Tabrez Ansari was lynched in Jharkhand as he was tied to a pole and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ Ansari was lynched under the suspicion of stealing a bike and was tortured by the mob as the video footage recorded by his killers showed. Ansari’s murderers were let out by the police on bail.

Owaisi has questioned the radicalisation of that group of youngsters who have lynched men under false suspicions of consuming beef and who have not been punished under the law.

Responding to a question on the radicalisation of youth at the Raisina Dialogue, Rawat said, “It is happening from schools, universities, from religious places and sites. There are a group of people who are spreading this,” he said, adding that those who are identified as radicalising others should be isolated “gradually”. Then, he said, “a counter-radicalisation programme” should be started. “First target those who are completely radicalised, then start also looking at the future,” he said.

“Maybe deradicalise “Badla” Yogi and “Pakistan jao” Meerut SP? Maybe deradicalise those imposing hardship on us through NPR-NRC?” Owaisi reacted to Rawat’s remarks.

This is not the first time General Bipin Rawat has made a political statement. As the Army chief, had criticised the protests against the amended citizenship law, last year when he said, “As we are witnessing in a large number of universities and colleges, students, the way they are leading masses and crowds to carry out arson and violence in cities and towns. This is not leadership.”

Attracting criticism for his political statement, Owaisi then sought to remind him that “leadership is knowing the limits of one’s office.”