In a categorical message to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir, who are taking up arms or resorting to stone pelting, Army chief General Bipin Rawat has said that they cannot fight the Indian Army, and that “Azadi” could never be achieved by them.
In an interview to The Indian Express, the Army chief cautioned Kashmiri youth from getting carried away. “We will always fight those who seek Azadi, those who want to secede. It’s not going to happen, never,” the Army chief was quoted as saying.
The Army chief further said that the cycle of killing would continue in Kashmir as fresh recruitments are being done by terrorist groups. Calling such attempts futile, General Rawat said it did not matter as to how many terrorists were killed.
He said that the Army or Indian administration does not like any sort of killing, but would fight with full force if compelled to do so. Comparing the role of Indian Army to that of security forces in countries like Syria and neighbouring Pakistan, General Rawat said that the forces in India haven’t been brutal.
“Look at Syria and Pakistan. They use tanks and air power in similar situations. Our troops have been trying their level best to avoid any civilian casualty despite huge provocation...I know that the youth are angry. But attacking security forces, throwing stones at us isn’t the way”. he told The Indian Express.
He also questioned protests by locals during any operation by forces against terrorists. General Rawat said that if people do not want the terrorists to be killed, they should urge them to give up arms and surrender, adding that people were in fact inciting forces by resorting to actions like stone pelting.