Days after Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, said that children in Kashmir were being radicalised, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that 'kids in J&K are nationalists'.
However, Singh said that children of the newly-formed Union Territory were being motivated in the wrong direction.
"The kids of Jammu Kashmir are nationalists. They shouldn't be seen in any other way," Singh, who is visiting the NCC Republic Day Camp in Delhi, said when asked about his opinion on children in the state who are being motivated to join the National Cadet Corps.
Earlier, Rawat had said that girls and boys, as young as 10 and 12, were being radicalised in Kashmir, adding that it was a matter of concern.
General Rawat had even suggested that such radicalised children "need to be taken out separately, possibly taken to some de-radicalisation camps".
The Defence Minister said that "youngsters are youngsters only. Sometimes, the way they should be motivated, people do not motivate them. In fact, they are motivated in the wrong direction."
He said that kids should not be blamed for being motivated in the wrong direction.
"The ones who are wrongly motivating them should be blamed. The ones who are motivating them in wrong direction are the culprits," the defence minister said.
(With PTI Inputs)