Army chief comments row: Centre squarely behind General Bipin Rawat, MoS Jitendra Singh tells Opposition ‘not to politicise Army’

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New Delhi | Updated: February 17, 2017 1:52:10 PM

The BJP today came in support of army chief general Bipin Rawat and said that he was withing his right to urge the people of the state and the youth to stay away from stone pelting in Kashmir.

ANIThe army chief had only urged the youth of Kashmir to keep away from stone pelting, he says (ANI)

The Centre today came in support of army chief general Bipin Rawat and said that he was withing his right to urge the people of the state and the youth to stay away from stone pelting in Kashmir. Speaking to media persons, Union Minister and senior BJP leader Jitendra Singh said it was quite unfortunate that the Opposition parties are even politicising his statement.

Speaking at a press conference, he said that the army chief had only urged the youth of Kashmir to keep away from stone pelting. Pointing out that people of Kashmir want to be part of the mainstream development of the country, the minister also hit out at the regional parties saying that when they are in power they swear by the constitution of the country, but when they are out of it, they question the role of Army.

Slamming the Congress, the minister said that as the party is falling under its own weight, it is getting frustrated and therefore indulging in kind of jargon that is quite unheard in the history of democracy. He also added that the party is speaking language of separatists out of political compulsion.

Earlier in the day, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had also come in support of General Bipin Rawat and said that his recent warning to stone pelters in Kashmir was justified. Speaking to ‘India Today’ he said that not all Kashmiris are terrorists and locals were never treated as jihadis.

Yesterday General Bipin Rawat’s statement on tough action against stone pelters in the state had evoked mixed response. Even as Union Minister Kiren Rijiju stood by his support, Jammu & Kashmir’s main opposition National Conference supported separatists in criticising the stand.

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The party has called the army chief comments as tragic and said that the government should engage with youth of Kashmir valley, which is a militancy-hit area.

(With inputs from PTI)

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