Misleading social media campaigns were being used to instigate the youth of Kashmir, and disrupt peace in the Valley, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said here on Saturday. “A misinformation, or disinformation campaign is being run in Kashmir and the youth there is being instigated via social media into taking the wrong path,” Gen Rawat said at the Indian Military Academy Passing Out Parade.
The Army’s mission was to “restore” peace in Kashmir, and the youth there must “put down their arms” and help the Army attain its mission, he said, adding that the Army “is not deployed in Kashmir to perform killings”.
Gen Rawat also pitched for women in the force in the context of operations in Kashmir. This was because women protesters sometimes made things “difficult” for the Army, he said. “Many a times when we go for operations, we have to deal with the locals. Sometimes [during the operations] our jawans have to confront women, which makes them uncomfortable… To succeed in such operations we need women as jawans,” Gen Rawat said.
The Army Chief had recently said that the process of recruiting women in combat roles had begun, and that the matter was being taken up with the government.
“I want that women should first be recruited in the military police… The next step will be taken after its success,” he said on Saturday.
Gen Rawat told the 423 Gentlemen Cadets (GCs) who became newly commissioned officers that they should be ready to “be leading from the front”. “Many of you will be heading active operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast”, which could be “sacrificial”, he said.
The largest number of GCs — 74 — were from Uttar Pradesh, followed by 49 from Haryana and 40 from Uttarakhand.