Indian Army chief calls for united efforts to curb stone-pelting in Kashmir
Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat today said that coordinated efforts by security forces were needed to deal with the problem of stone-pelting in the Kashmir valley.
General Rawat said this after paying tributes to the three soldiers killed in militant attack in Shopian district on Thursday.
A week after warning of tough action against those impeding counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir, Gen Rawat asked security agencies to synergise efforts to effectively deal with the problem of stone-pelting during operations, an army official said.
Gen Rawat was taking a security review meetings at headquarters of counterinsurgency units—Kilo Force and Victor Force—here, an army official said. He also underlined the need to maintain high vigil. The Army Chief had on February 15, while paying tributes to soldiers killed during two encounters a day earlier in Kashmir, warned of tough action against those civilians who were impeding the counter-insurgency operations in the Valley by resorting to stone-pelting.
His statement evoked sharp reactions from both mainstream parties, including National Conference and Congress, and separatists who insisted the Kashmir problem cannot be addressed militarily.
Despite the Army Chief’s warning, there has been no let up in stone-pelting against security forces during their counter-insurgency operations and three such incidents have taken place since February 15.
Gen Rawat, who arrived here yesterday, was briefed on the prevailing security situation and recent operations conducted by the security forces.
He also reviewed the collaborative measures of security forces towards ensuring peace and calm in the region. The Army chief interacted with local commanders and troops urging them to continue discharging their duty with utmost professionalism.
Gen Rawat, accompanied by Northern Command Chief Lt General D Anbu and Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen J S Sandhu, also paid tributes to the three soldiers killed in a militant attack in Shopian district of Kashmir yesterday. He laid wreaths on the coffins carrying the mortal remains of the soldiers, one of whom was from Marhama area of Anantnag district.
“As the entire nation salutes the martyrs...the army gave a befitting farewell to its brave-hearts today in a solemn ceremony here,” the official said.
Gen Rawat also expressed his grief and offered condolences to the families of Lance Naik Ghulam Mohi Ud Din, Sepoy Vikas Singh Gurjar and Sapper Sreejith MJ.
(With PTI inputs)