Azadi isn’t possible, will always fight those who seek it, says Indian Army Chief

The Indian Army Chief in an interview with the Indian Express has said that Kashmiri youth need to know that Azadi (freedom) will not happen as they cannot fight the army. Bipin Rawat awhile expressing concern over youth picking the gun, stressed that those who are telling boys that this path will bring Azadi, are misleading them.

“I want to tell Kashmiri youth that Azadi isn’t possible. It won’t happen. Don’t get carried away unnecessarily. Why are you picking up weapons? We will always fight those who seek Azadi, those who want to secede. (Azadi) is not going to happen, never”.

Rawat said that he doesn’t attach much importance to the number of militants who are killed in encounters with the Army. “These numbers 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”.

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Rawat said he is ‘perturbed’ by the killings. “We don’t enjoy it. But if you want 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 defined the challenge as one to break this cycle so that calm returns. “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,’’ he said. “Let anyone of them say — mein le kay aata hun (I will bring him out). We will halt our operation. We can’t allow people to disrupt our operations and help terrorists to flee”.

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Instead, General Rawat said that the people are “inciting security forces by pelting stones at them to disrupt the operations…they are inciting security forces to become more aggressive.’’

Recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs told the forces to deal strictly with all those who disrupt anti-militancy operations. However the MHA haD also added that civilian killings and collateral damage should be averted during security operations

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