New Delhi: A day after Congress criticised Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s statement, issuing a warning against anti-national elements in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre on Friday asked the party to not to indulge in any kind of politicking at the cost of security forces’ morale.
The stern message from Rawat came after three soldiers faced heavy stone-pelting at Parray Mohalla of Bandipore in north Kashmir when they were about to launch an operation against militants holed up there.
Alerted by the stone-pelters, the militants had got an opportunity to fire hand grenades and empty a few magazines from AK-rifles into the advancing troopers, leaving three jawans dead and some others, including a Commanding officer of CRPF, injured.
Addressing the media, Minister of State (MoS) in PMO, Jitendra Singh said, “We appeal to political sections and Congress to not to indulge in any kind of politicking at cost of security forces’ morale”
Singh also said that the army chief’s warning was out of concern for the youth of Kashmir and nobody was more concerned about the possibility of collateral damage than the army. “Congress calls itself a national party, but is doing cheap politics,” Singh added.
Earlier, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had criticised the lack of government initiative for the dismal situation in Kashmir and said, “The government is to be blamed for the situation in Kashmir. Even we ran the government, why was it not so bad then?”
“To threaten the Kashmiri youth like this is unjustified. Last year, 1000 kids were affected by splinters, 1200 kids lost their eyes,” Azad added
General Rawat, while paying his tribute to the bravehearts of the Handwara and Bandipora encounters, had said, “The people who have picked up arms, the local boys, if they want to continue with such acts of terrorism and display flags of the ISIS and Pakistan then we will treat them as anti-national elements.”