Addressing the youth of Kashmir, who are taking up arms or resorting to protests, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has said that they cannot fight the Indian Army, and that “Azadi” could never be achieved by them.
In an interview to The Indian Express, the Army chief cautioned Kashmiri youth from getting carried away. “We will always fight those who seek Azadi, those who want to secede. It’s not going to happen, never,” the Army chief said.
The Army chief further said that the cycle of killing would continue in Kashmir as fresh recruitments are being done by militant groups. Calling such attempts futile, General Rawat said it did not matter as to how many militants were killed.
He said that the Army or Indian administration does not like any sort of killing, but would fight with full force if compelled to do so. Comparing the role of Indian Army to that of forces in countries like Syria and neighbouring Pakistan, General Rawat said that the forces in India haven’t been brutal.
“Look at Syria and Pakistan. They use tanks and air power in similar situations. Our troops have been trying their level best to avoid any civilian casualty despite huge provocation…I know that the youth are angry. But attacking security forces, throwing stones at us isn’t the way”. he said.
He also questioned protests by locals during any operation by forces against militants. General Rawat said that if people do not want the militants to be killed, they should urge them to give up arms and surrender, adding that people were in fact inciting forces by resorting to actions like stone pelting.