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. Asking 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.” Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday gave out a warning that those who are creating “hurdles” during security operations in the valley would face “tough action”. The remarks have evoked strong reactions from both mainstream political parties as well as separatist parties. While National Conference slammed Army General for his remarks, the ruling PDP voiced statement in Rawat’s support.
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NC spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu said the need of the hour was to engage the youth politically, adding that threatening them would push them farther away. Senior PDP leader and Education Minister Nayeem Akhtar, on the other hand, said that it is good to advise people on safety. “It is good to advise people on safety. Even combatants, whether they are militants or security forces, take shelter — militants take shelter in some house and security forces in bunkers. What wisdom is there in running towards an encounter site?” Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also criticised Rawat’s statements saying there is a need to ask why the Army is being used to crush a mass political movement.
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The stern message from Rawat came a day after three soldiers faced heavy stone-pelting at Parray Mohalla of Bandipore in north Kashmir when they were about to launch an operation against the 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 terrorist managed to flee the area.