‘Exemplary punishment to Gogoi if guilty’
Anantnag: Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday said the government of India’s decision of ceasefire can be extended in the Valley if peace prevails during Ramazan.
The army chief also asked Pakistan to stop sending militants to Kashmir if it was interested in peace. Asked if the “unilateral ceasefire” will be extended after Ramazan in the Valley, Gen Rawat said such a decision would be entirely based on whether peace prevails during the ceasefire. “Like it has up till now, since the suspension of operations,” he told reporters in Pahalgam. He is in Kashmir on two day visit to review the security scenario.
“The decision to suspend operations was taken to give people an idea of how things look when peace and tranquility prevail,” Gen Rawat said
“I think the people are very happy with the scenario right now. If things keep moving in a positive direction, a decision to prolong suspension of operations can be taken in the future.”
He was also asked about the skirmishes on the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border with Pakistan. The army chief said that the onus lay on Pakistan to stop infiltration and ceasefire violations, which he said were done to aid infiltration.
“It is they who are vitiating the atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir. They should stop infiltrating terrorists into our territory and I am sure peace will automatically prevail on the borders,” Gen Rawat said.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at Army Goodwill School in Pahalgam, Rawat said that exemplary punishment would be given to Major Leetul Gogoi if he was found guilty of wrongdoing.
Major Gogoi, infamous for using a Budgam civilian as a human shield on April 9 last year, was this Wednesday detained for some time by police following an altercation with the management of a Srinagar hotel.
General Rawat said that action was warranted against any official of the Indian army, regardless of his rank, if found guilty of wrongdoing.
“If Major Gogoi has indulged in any wrongdoing, I assure you he will be punished sooner than later,” Gen Rawat said in answer to questions from media persons. “I will give Major Gogoi a punishment which will be exemplary,” he added.