New Delhi: Indian Army chief General BipinRawat has said the youth in Kashmir must not get “carried away unnecessarily” and understand “azadi” is not possible as the security forces will always fight those who want to secede.
In an interview with Indian Express on Thursday,Rawatsaidhe was concerned that the youth in the strife-torn state are picking up guns and “those who tell them (that) this path will bring azadi … misleading them”.
“These numbers (of militants who are killed in gunbattles with the army) don’t matter to me because I know this cycle will continue. There are fresh recruitments happening. I only want to stress that all this is futile, nothing is going to be achieved by them. You can’t fight the army,” Gen Rawat said.
Gen Rawat said that Army was ready to “suspend” military operations in the valley to avoid civilian killings but hastened to add that there was no guarantee that militants too will suspend their attacks on the forces and refrain from targeting civilians.
“…who will guarantee that there won’t be fire at our men, at our vehicles? Who will guarantee that policemen, political workers, our men returning home on leave aren’t attacked, aren’t killed?’’ he asked.
The general reiterated that “there isn’t a military solution to this issue” and wants politicians and political representatives to talk to people, especially in south Kashmir.
“But they are scared that they will be attacked. It will happen once there is calm. And we are hopeful that people will soon realise that all this is futile and start thinking differently,” he said.
He said that the security forces “don’t enjoy” killing but if anyone wants to “fight us then we will fight you with all our force”.
“Kashmiris have to understand that the SFs (security forces) haven’t been so 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,’’ he said.
“I know that the youth are angry. But attacking security forces, throwing stones at us isn’t the way,” he said.
Interestingly, barely a month back Rawat admitted that there was a no win situation in Kashmir and neither army nor the militants would achieve anything through the violence.
On April, 15, Rawat had said that: radicalised youth of Kashmir would soon realise that the gun was not the solution to their problem as neither the army nor the terrorists would achieve their goals through it.
Peace, according to him was the only way to improve the situation in Kashmir that had been witnessing insurgency for about three decades now.
Rawat in his interview expressed concern over people flocking to sites of gunbattles and “inciting security forces by pelting stones at them to disrupt the operations … They are inciting security forces to become more aggressive.’’
“I don’t understand why people are coming out in huge numbers to disrupt our operations. Who is inciting them? If they want that the militants aren’t killed, they should go and tell them to come out without their weapons so that nobody is killed … We will halt our operation. We can’t allow people to disrupt our operations and help terrorists to flee,” he told the Indian Express.
The general said the army, which has been criticised for using extreme force in the state, “did try a soft approach too” and pointed out to the violence in 2016 after HizbulMujahideen’sBurhanWani was killed in a gunfight with security forces.
“… Until June 2016, everything was fine. What is that incited people so much because of that one encounter? Everything was turned upside down in a few days’ time. The entire South Kashmir was out in the streets, throwing stones at us, attacking our posts,” he said.
He said he was getting messages that people in the state were saying “azadidurnahihai (azadi isn’t far away)” by October-November that year.
“Somebody was feeding this to people, telling them Azadi was around the corner. Our posts were being regularly attacked. Stones were being pelted at our men … We had to bring the situation under control. We couldn’t afford all that. We needed to tell people Azadi isn’t happening. We had to establish the writ (of the state)”.
“(The BurhanWani encounter) wasn’t the first such encounter in Kashmir … I am still trying to understand where did all that anger come from. The youth have gotten themselves in Pakistan’s trap. They are being consistently incited to attack us,’’ he said.
He added that youngsters, who have picked up guns, and terrorists aren’t a big challenge for the army and that the army has repeatedly asked people not to come to disrupt their operations and throw stones at security personnel.
Pak ‘duty-bound’ to share info: Guv
Says militant infrastructure ‘disrupted’, remaining militants to be sternly dealt with
Srinagar, Jun 19: Asserting that his administration has “disrupted” militant infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said that Pakistan is “duty-bound” to share intelligence inputs about militant attacks with the Government of India.
However, in an apparent jibe, the Governor said “it needs to be seen how many attacks Pakistan is able to stop on its own soil.”
“Pakistan is duty-bound to share intelligence inputs with us. But it also needs to be seen how many attacks are they (Pakistan) able to stop on its own soil,’ Malik said at a police function in SKICC, Srinagar on Wednesday.
Asked about the recent increase in militant activities in the valley, the Governor said as his administration has disrupted the militant infrastructure in the state, the militants are doing “one-odd attacks to keep themselves relevant.
“No one has been able to stop one or two attacks, not even America, England or France. But we are working on it and will be able to find a solution to the problem. We will deal with them (militants) sternly and with precision,” he said.
He said that militant recruitment and stone pelting incidents across the Kashmir Valley have also come down.
“No stone pelting takes place anywhere now not even after Friday prayers. A number of youth have also joined their families back and are leaving the militant ranks. Yesterday only two more boys returned to their families,” Malik said.
Last week on Saturday, the Governor had made a similar briefing about the state while addressing the 5th Governing Council meeting of Niti Aayog.
He’d told the meeting that the militant activities have come down in J&K as the people of the state are “not giving shelter to militants.”
Malik had also said time had come to focus on development of the state while giving a PowerPoint presentation and figures about militant activities.
The Governor had claimed that the administration was getting information about militants and their “activities by locals and that they are not offering shelter to those involved in militant activities.”
JK Bank case: ACB widens ambit, seeks admitted signatures of 13 officers including two past chairmen
Srinagar, Jun 19: Widening the ambit of the investigations, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has sought the admitted signatures of 13 senior officials of Jammu and Kashmir Bank including its two former chairmen in connection with the case related to alleged backdoor appointments.
A top source in the Anti-Corruption Bureau told The Kashmir Monitor that Senior Superintendent of ACB recently wrote a letter to the incumbent chairman of the J&K Bank to provide details of 10 admitted signatures, handwriting, and initials of 13 officers of the bank.
Among the13 officers, the source said, two are former J&K Bank chairmen. “Most officials have either served in the Human Resource Department or are still posted there,” the source said.
The ACB had registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the basis of a complaint about the alleged illegal and fraudulent appointments made in the bank.
The allegations reflected in the complaint disclose commission of criminal misconduct by J&K Bank officers.
“This constitutes offence under section 5(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act Samvat 2006 and punishable under section 5(2) of the Act. A case FIR No 10/2019 was registered in Police Station Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Central Kashmir in Srinagar. Investigation of the case has also been taken up,” a spokesman of ACB had said.
The ACB officials refused to share the details saying: “The case is under investigation”.
However, a senior official, who wished not to be quoted, said: “Once we receive the admitted signatures, handwriting, and initials, the same will be forwarded to Forensic Scientific Laboratory to ascertain whether they match with the records we have seized during raids.”
The ACB is currently investigating 1,200 appointments, made allegedly at the behest of some political leaders of the previous PDP-BJP dispensation.
The government recently removed Parvez Ahmad as JK Bank Chairman. There are also allegations of large-scale irregularities in matters related to loans, finances and appointments.
The ACB sleuths on Wednesday raided the official residence of deposed chairman of JK Bank Parvez Ahmad near Polo View Lal Chowk. The ACB team also raided the house of Ahmad’s brother at Natipora area.
The union home ministry and the state government have decided to split the post of chairman-cum managing director of the bank in accordance with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines.
RK Chhibber, who was the bank’s executive president, has been named as the interim CMD.
Jammu and Kashmir government has 59.3 percent stakes in the bank, which has been established in 1938.
Modi chairs all-party meet; Cong, TMC give it a miss
New Delhi, Jun 19: “Most parties gave their support to ‘One Nation, One Election‘, CPI(M) and CPI had a difference of opinion but they didn’t oppose the idea, just the implementation of it,” Defence minister Rajnath Singh declared on Wednesday after the all-party meet on the same concluded.
He added, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address, said that a committee will be constituted to give its suggestions on the subject (One Nation, One Election) in a time-bound manner.”
One of the affirmative voices came from Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik, who on Wednesday said, “Our party is supporting the idea of One Nation, One Election.”
The Modi government-led meeting of the heads of political parties to discuss the proposal of ‘One Nation One Election’, among other issues was held in the Parliament even as several party patriarchs skipped the meet.
Out of those who opted to sit out this ‘crucial meet’ were Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President M K Stalin, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu. Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati and her former ally Samajwadi Party too decided to skip the meeting. Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal too did not attend the meeting but the party sent Raghav Chaddha as its representative.
Attacking the moot point of the meet today, BSP chief Mayawati said that holding simultaneous national and state elections “appears to be an undemocratic and unconstitutional” idea for a vast country like India. She added that elections in any democracy can never be a problem “nor elections should be weighed from the point of view of expenditure and extravagance”.
‘One nation, one election’ is not an issue before the country, she said. Elections through ballot papers are actually the national issue and our party will continue its struggle for it,” Mayawati declared.
On the other hand, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also claimed that she would have joined the meeting had it been on EVMs. She had declined the invitation to attend and had asked the Centre to instead prepare a white paper on the “one nation, one election” issue for consultations.
Sources said that Opposition parties are wary of the meeting convened by the prime minister as they feel this might be a “trap” set by the BJP and needs proper discussion before going ahead.
The agenda for the meeting also includes the celebration of 75 years of Independence in 2022 and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year. It will be followed by a dinner meeting with all the MPs on Thursday.
Meanwhile, JD(U)’s chief Nitish Kumar, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, BJD’s Naveen Patnaik, PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti and YSRCP’s Jaganmohan Reddy are among those who attended the meeting.