Former police officer Julio Ribeiro has said people's will is the "crux of the matter" in issues like Jammu and Kashmir, and he would not have taken decisions like the ones taken by the Union government from a "moralistic" perspective.
Ribeiro, widely credited for tackling terrorism as the head of Punjab Police with a strong hand in 1980s, said from the policeman's perspective, he will give full marks to the government's "clever" moves in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Centre on August 5 abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and also divided the border state into two Union Territories.
The government carried out these moves from New Delhi after a virtual lock-down of the state, by putting politicians and activists under house arrest, imposing curfews and suspending communication, much of which still continues.
"As a policeman, if you want to totally ensure there is no trouble, it was very cleverly done. From the police point of view, I will give full marks. But (from) the moralistic (point of view), I would not do. The people are supposed to be involved," Ribeiro told PTI over the weekend.
"Getting people on the side is the most important thing and that he (government) will have to do. Otherwise, you get this trouble. Getting people on your side is the crux of the matter," the former Mumbai police commissioner said.
Notably, a few media outlets, especially the foreign owned ones, have reported of violence in the Kashmir Valley which has left some people injured while there have also been more detentions of local people.
Ribeiro recounted that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had requested him to go to the northern state as the governor, and also deployed veteran politician Farooq Abdullah to persuade him when he declined the offer.
Vajpayee, the senior BJP leader, had come to know of his handling of militancy in Punjab by getting people on side, and wanted the same to be emulated in Kashmir as well.
"I said as the governor, I can't. As director general of police (DGP) or advisor to governor, I could, but as the governor I couldn't," Ribeiro reminisced.