IndiaBJP, Congress trade fireworks over Army Chief's remarks

BJP, Congress trade fireworks over Army Chief’s remarks


BJP, Congress trade fireworks over Army Chief's remarks

The ruling BJP and the main Opposition Congress on Friday traded fireworks over Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat's recent remarks warning local people hampering counter-militancy operations in of tough action.

Charging the Congress with allegedly speaking in the voice of separatists and “politicizing” the armed forces for “lowly political gains”, the BJP strongly defended Rawat, who had said on Wednesday that the locals preventing security forces from conducting their operations and even supporting terrorists in the Kashmir Valley will be treated as “anti-nationals” and will face “tough action”.

The separatists and the Conference, & Kashmir's principal Opposition party, have criticised the Army Chief over his stern message to the Kashmiri locals.

The Congress party has also said security forces should adopt restraint while dealing with common people and should only go after the wrong-doers.

Senior Congress leader and ex-Union home minister P Chidambaram has described the Army Chief's comments as “intemperate”. He asserted that the government should change its approach and reach out to the people of J&K to address the situation there which, he added, required a political solution.

Chidambaram also cautioned the government that its current high-handed approach would only cause “more alienation” in Kashmir in addition to “more infilitration, more encounters, and more deaths, including those of security personnel and civilians”.

A slew of union ministers and BJP leaders, including Venkaiah Naidu, Prakash Javadekar and Kiren Rijiju, have endorsed and justified Gen Rawat's remarks.

The centre has slammed the Congress leaders for criticizing Rawat's statement, claiming that what the Army Chief said was “not a warning” but only “concern” over civilians' safety.


“It is appalling and a matter of concern that the Congress is falling to this temptation of politicizing the Army Chief's statement… This party can go to any extent for political benefits. It is speaking the voice of separatists for lowly political gains.

Citing statements of Congress leaders, an official version said these were “unbecoming of a national party” and asked the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to make his position clear on his colleagues' comments.

“What the Army Chief has said is not a warning but an expression of concern. He is worried that innocent people may be hit and become collateral damage (in anti-terrorist operation). He is saying that don't come in the line of fire.

The Army Chief's tough talk came after four soldiers, including a Major, were killed in two separate encounters in Kashmir in which four terrorists were also gunned down.

Hitting back at the BJP, the Congress asked whether the morale of Indian soldiers was not affected when 188 jawans were killed in terror attacks over the last 30 months of the Narendra Modi dispensation.

The Congress's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala asked Singh whether this morale was not affected “when Modiji feasted with PM Sharief in Pakistan as jawans sacrificed for ” or “when Modiji invited the rogue ISI to investigate the Pathankot terror attack in India” or “when the BJP-PDP government gave compensation to the kin of dreaded terrorists in J & K”.

On the question of the Army Chief's remarks, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia reportedly said, “The issue of internal security of the country is a serious one and there can be no compromise on it. But… atrocities should not be inflicted on innocents. Action should be taken against those involved in wrong-doings but there is need to adopt restraint.”

He added that children were blinded and atrocities were committed against them during their agitation in Kashmir last year.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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