As the bloodshed continues in Kashmir, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has set the ball rolling once again through a stern warning “youngsters who join militant organizations should either return or the Army would neutralize them.” With ongoing infiltration bids from across the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir, General Rawat said the Army’s focus was to ensure that Kashmiri youths do not join militancy.
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Better Surrender Than Be Neutralized
On a two-day visit to Pathankot to address the conclave of disabled soldiers, Rawat said their focus was on the terrorists in the Valley. Replying to the media, he said “Kashmiri youth who had joined militant ranks should ‘come out of insurgency and surrender’, otherwise only ‘element left is to neutralize them’.
Rawat said youths were the Army’s priority. The Indian Express highlighted him as saying “those who have joined militancy, we are trying to approach (their) families and tell them that we still give you an opportunity if you can come out of insurgency and surrender and forget gun. But then if people do not behave and continue with violence, the only element left is to neutralize them.”
Youths Are Being Misled and Used
He furthermore said that terrorists were local and not trained. “They are being made to join militant ranks through radicalization and misinformation.” The Army Chief also said that they killed within a few days and months because of no training. He stressed peace, jobs and development in the Valley, only if they understand that they are being used. “It is better to shun violence and come above ground to the mainstream.”
India’s Policy on Kashmir
Rawat also said that India’s policy on Kashmir keeps changing. “We keep doing something different. It has to be reviewed so that we keep ahead of the adversary.”
In regards to Pakistan, the Army Chief said India always gave a befitting reply. “Whenever they are doing something, it is a reaction. They don’t take initiative and they know that we are strong and we can take strong action.”
Since Burhan Wani’s encounter in 2016, Kashmir has been on the boil. Protests, encounters and youths joining militancy continues.
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