Stern action should be taken against stone throwers: Gen Rawat
A day after a soldier was killed in stone-pelting in Kashmir, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said that stone-throwers are overground workers of militants and strict action should be taken against them.
In a scathing attack on Pakistan, Rawat said the neighbouring country is trying to create disturbance and stall development in Kashmir, but India is strong enough to counter everything.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event here, he said an FIR has been filed following the soldier's death.
Sepoy Rajendra Singh, 22, was part of a Quick Response Team that was providing security to a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) convoy on Thursday. A few youths hurled stones at the convoy passed through the Anantnag bypass and Singh was hit on the head. He later succumbed to his injuries.
Gen Singh said Border Roads personnel were there to help in construction of roads and bridges and the soldier was escorting the convoy so that it is not targeted by terrorists.
"Who says that those who have stones in their hands must not be treated like OGWs (overground workers)? If they can kill our jawans with stones, are not these pelters terrorists in the making?" he asked.
Gen Rawat said he wanted to tell the stone-pelters that they will not benefit from stone-pelting and that it will be their loss.
"We have lodged an FIR. Due to stone-pelting a number of our soldiers get injured and this time one of our soldiers died. I think strict action should be taken against the stone-pelters responsible for the incident."
In a warning to Pakistan, Rawat said that Indian Army is capable of countering any infiltrators and if the neighbouring country continues to support infiltration, the country can use another kind of action.
Targeting Pakistan for supporting cross-border terrorism in the Kashmir valley, he said that that the neighbouring country is using terror as a way to keep the pot boiling.
Gen Rawat said that no one else can take Kashmir either forcefully or any other means as Kashmir is an integral part of India.
He said that Pakistan is fully aware that they can never succeed.
On September 29 2016, a surgical strike was carried out by the Army's special forces across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PoK) to destroy terror launch pads. The strike was conducted to avenge the attack by militants on Indian Army brigade headquarters in Uri Jammu and Kashmir on September 18, 2016.