Mudslinging has erupted among the political parties, two days after Army Chief Bipin Rawat issued a stern warning to stone pelters in Kashmir against the backdrop of three soldiers being heavily stone-pelted at Parray Mohalla of Bandipore in northern part of the region when they were about to launch an operation against militants.
Alerted by the stone-pelters, the militants got an opportunity to fire hand grenades and empty a few magazines from AK-rifles into the advancing troopers, leaving three jawans dead and some others, including a Commanding Officer of CRPF, injured. One militant managed to flee the area.
WATCH VIDEO | Government Slams Opposition For Politicising Army Chief’s Remark Over Taking Tough Action In J&K
Here is a look at how political parties have responded to Rawat’s statement on tough action against locals hampering counter militancy operations.
Describing Rawat’s comments as “tragic”, National Conference spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu said the government should instead approach and engage with the youth of the militancy-hit Kashmir Valley. “Mobs rushing to encounter sites should concern us and alarm us into constructive political action – NOT issuing threats of ‘no mercy’. The Govt needs to engage politically with the alienated youth of Kashmir – threats and warnings will only compound their hostility,” he said in a series of tweets.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju
Asserting that “the country’s interest is supreme”, Union Minister of State Kiren Rijiju defended the Army Chief saying, “There should be action against the stone pelters and whoever works against national interest as national interest is supreme.” He added that whatever “Gen Rawat 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.”
Union Minister Jitendra Singh
Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh said that Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s statement on “tough action” in Valley was misinterpreted. Urging political parties not to politicise his statement, he said, “We appeal to political sections and Congress to not to indulge in any kind of politicking at cost of security forces’ morale.”
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar
Amid row over the Army chief’s remarks, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday urged the opposition to “keep pace” with democracy and “not politicise” the armed forces. “Opposition should not politicise everything. They have raised doubts on surgical strike which was never done before in history (of India). Now they are reacting and politicising an issue which they should not be doing. So I request them to keep pace with democracy and not politicise the military,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
Criticising Bipin Rawat’s statement, Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the remarks by the Army chief showed his ignorance about ground realities in Kashmir. “It shows his (Gen Rawat’s) lack of knowledge… Kashmiri youth have not taken to arms for fun nor are they made to hit streets in protest but they have been forced… as the space of Kashmiris has been squeezed,” the Mirwaiz said in a statement.
Meanwhile, JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik said Gen Rawat’s statement was a case of “political immaturity”.
With inputs from PTI