Kerala: A Left-front MLA and former higher education minister of Kerala, K T Jaleel referred to Jammu Kashmir as “Indian adheena Jammu and Kashmir” (India occupied Jammu and Kashmir) and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir as “Azad Kashmir.”

Bharatiya Janata Party ((BJP) leaders in Kerala flayed Jaleel; some even referred to his connections with the banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Press Trust of India reported.

Jaleel made the ‘Azad Kashmir’ reference in a travelogue on social media, in which he also disapproved the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu Kashmir

Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the party would look into the remarks. Jaleel is a CPM-backed independent MLA from Thavanur in Malappuram district.

Jaleel’s remark was that the portion of Kashmir that got attached to Pakistan was known as ‘Azad Kashmir’. The Pakistan government did not have much administrative control in the region, he had written on social media.

The former minister also stated that Kashmir’s face was not pleasant. Resentment of the people towards Narendra Modi government’s decision to cut Kashmir into three could be read on the faces of the people. Kashmir became a place where people forgot to smile. No political activities were taking place as politicos were on house arrest. Government should try to change this situation, Jaleel said in a post, written as part of a Kashmir visit.

BJP state spokesperson Sandeep G Varrier asked whether Jaleel did not consider the region as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which is the official stand of India. He also accused Jaleel of trying to justify Pakistan. The region was completely under the control of the Pakistan administration, Varrier said.

(With input from PTI)