Kashmir stone pelting: Manohar Parrikar backs army chief Bipin Rawat, says ‘warning justified’

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New Delhi | Updated: February 17, 2017 10:32:01 AM

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has come in support of army chief General Bipin Rawat and said that his recent warning to stone pelters in Kashmir was justified.

Manohar ParrikarNot all Kashmiris are terrorists, he says. (PTI)

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has come in support of army chief 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 stoodby his support, Jammu & Kashmir’s main opposition National Conference supported separatists in criticising the stand.

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.

“Mobs rushing to encounter sites should concern us and alarm us into constructive political action – NOT issuing threats of ‘no mercy’. The Govt needs to engage politically with the alienated youth of Kashmir – threats and warnings will only compound their hostility,” he said in a series of tweets.

Union Minister of State Kiren Rijiju’s comments that “the country’s interest is supreme” is in support of his earlier statement during wreath laying ceremony of the troopers killed at the Palam air base in 2016.

Speaking to reporters, he said that there should be action against stone pelters and anybody who works in the national interest of the country.

Supporting General Bipin Raway, he had said that whatever General Rawat said was in national interest. And there was nothing wrong in his statement. In its reaction, the Hurriyat also reacted to his statement saying it showed army chief’s ignorance about ground realities in Kashmir.

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The tough message from General Bipin Rawat had come after three soldiers faced heavy stone-pelting in north Kashmir’ Bandipore, when they were about to launch an operation against militants hiding there.

(With inputs from PTI)

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