Upset with the killings of jawans in encounter with terrorists, Army chief Bipin Rawat on Wednesday lashed out at those obstructing Army’s combing operations. “Those who obstruct our operations during encounters and are not supportive will be treated as overground workers of terrorists,”said Rawat after paying tribute to security personnel who lost their lives in encounters with terrorists in Kashmir on Tuesday.
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Four Army personnel, including a Major, and four militants were killed in two separate encounters in the Hajin and Kralgund Handwara areas of North Kashmir on Tuesday, according to government and security officials.
General Rawat said security forces in J&K are facing higher casualties due to manner in which the local population is preventing them in conducting the operations and “at times even supporting the terrorists to escape”. “We would now request the local population that people who have picked up arms, and they are the local boys, if they want to continue with the acts of terrorism displaying flags of ISIS and Pakistan, then we will treat them as anti-national elements and go helter-skelter for them. They may survive today but we will get them tomorrow. Our relentless operations will continue,” said the Army Chief.
General Rawat said those supporting terror activities are being given an opportunity but if they continue with their acts then security forces will come down hard on them. “We are giving them an opportunity, should they want to continue to then, we will continue with relentless operations may be with harsher measures and that is the way to continue,” he told reporters after laying wreath to the martyrs of
Handwara and Bandipora operations.
The Army Chief further said if “they do not relent and create hurdle in our operations, then we will take tough action.”
The Army paid homage to four soldiers, including an officer, who laid down their lives during two counter-insurgency operations. Joined by officials of other security forces operating in the Valley, Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen J S Sandhu paid rich tributes to Major Satish Dahiya, Rifleman Ravi Kumar, Paratrooper Dharmender Kumar and Gunner Astosh Kumar in a solemn ceremony at Badamaibagh Cantonment.
“Survived by his wife and a two-year-old daughter, 31-year-old Maj Dahiya had led the operation launched by Army in Handwara yesterday which eventually resulted in the elimination of three terrorists, thus delivering a major blow to the terror network in North Kashmir,” defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 15, 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid homage to the soldiers who died in the encounter. The Prime Minister, in a tweet, said, “Paid tributes to the brave men who lost their lives fighting terrorists in J&K. India will always remember their valour & sacrifice.”