SRINAGAR: While Army chief General Bipin Rawat reviewed the security situation and operational preparedness of troops in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, a senior army commander appealed youth to not pelt stones at the troops and urged them to stay away from the sites where anti-militancy operations are launched.
General Bipin Rawat, accompanied by Northern command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, visited Akhnoor sector on Saturday to take stock of the ground situation in the region.
“He was briefed by General Officer Commanding (GoC) 14 Corps Lt Gen Saranjeet Singh and other army officers about the operational preparedness, prevailing security situation and actions being undertaken to ensure a robust and effective counter infiltration grid,” defence spokesman in Jammu, Lt Col Devender Anand said.
The army chief, he said, also reviewed the measures and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted and being followed by troops.
Meanwhile, GoC of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen A K Bhatt said army regrets the civilian killings during security operations in Valley.
“I appeal youth and people that army is their own and they should not pelt stones at the army,” Lt Gen Bhatt told reporters on sidelines of a function in Baramulla in north Kashmir.
He asked people to stay away from areas (encounter sites), where security forces launch operations.
There have been many civilian killings in security forces firing on protestors near encounter sites in Valley.
The GoC said army men have been directed to observe total restraint while dealing with any situation. “When a soldier faces threat to his life and there is threat to property, we fire.”
He said army doesn’t bear any grudge against people of Kashmir. “They are own our people and it is our duty to safeguard them.”
The GoC said the main motive of troops is to eliminate militancy through kinetic operations.
Stating that there is only very few militant recruitments happening in north Kashmir as compared to volatile south Kashmir, Lt Gen Bhatt appealed parents to persuade their children to not join militancy and to not pick up the guns.
“We want them to live a dignified life and they should help us in making Kashmir a peaceful and prosperous region,” he said.