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Gen. Bipin Rawat. Photo: Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India's top military commander Gen. Bipin Rawat suggested that Kashmiris could be sent to "deradicalization camps" at an international affairs conference in New Delhi on Thursday, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters, per the New York Times: Human "rights activists consider [the statement] an alarming echo of what China has done to many of its Muslim citizens," who are being held in mass detention camps in the Xinjiang area.

"Girls and boys as young as 10 and 12 are now being radicalized. These people can still be isolated from radicalization in a gradual way, but there are people who have completely been radicalized."
"These people need to be taken out separately, possibly taken into some deradicalization camps. We’ve got deradicalization camps going on in our country.”
— Gen. Bipin Rawat

The big picture: It remains unclear what Rawat specifically meant to convey, and whether a plan is underway to establish camps in the area of the disputed Kashmir region that India controls. Indian military officials declined to provide clarity around Rawat's remarks.

  • Even if India does not move forward with the general's suggestions, his comments show how the Kashmiris are viewed at the highest level of the Indian military, the Times writes.

Yes, but: This was reportedly the first mention of such camps some activists have heard. They said there are already voluntary deradicalization programs run by the military, per the Times.

Context: The Kashmir-India conflict spans decades, but was reignited when India revoked Kashmir's special semi-autonomous status last August. Kashmir is India's only Muslim-majority state.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

8 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.