Endorsing Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s statement where he had warned of “tough action” against the stonepelters in the Kashmir valley, MoS Home Kiren Rijiju said it should not be misinterpreted. Gen. Rawat’s remarks were dubbed as “tragic” by the opposition National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir, which demanded the need to engage politically with the “alienated” youth of valley.
Throwing weight behind the Army chief, Rijiju said, “Whatever the Army Chief has said, he has said that in national interest. There is no need to misinterpret it. There is nothing wrong in the Army Chief’s statement…”
“There should be action against the stone pelters and whoever works against national interest as national interest is supreme,” the junior Home minister added while speaking to the press in New Delhi.
Gen Rawat had yesterday talked of the complications faced by the security forces while conducting anti-terror operations in the valley.
Claiming that hostile conduct of locals was causing higher casualties in the Kashmir Valley, he had said that those attacking security forces during anti-militancy operations will be treated as “anti-nationals” and will face “tough action”.
“We would now request the local population that people who have picked up arms, and they are the local boys, if they want to continue with the acts of terrorism, displaying flags of ISIS and Pakistan, then we will treat them as anti-national elements and go helter-skelter for them,” Rawat had said.
“They may survive today but we will get them tomorrow. Our relentless operations will continue,” the Army chief had said.
His statement came a day after four army personnel, including a Major, were killed in two separate encounters in the Kashmir Valley.
Soon after, Gen. Rawat’s remarks were termed “tragic” by the principal opposition party in the state.
“Mobs rushing to encounter sites should concern us and alarm us into constructive political action – NOT issuing threats of no mercy,” JK National Conference state spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said in a series of tweets.
Suggesting that the government need to “engage politically with the alienated youth of Kashmir”, the NC leader said that “threats and warnings will only compound their hostility”.
(With inputs from the PTI)