Army Chief only `expressed concern` not `threatened action` on locals against supporting militants in Kashmir: BJP

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New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday came out in support of Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, who had on Wednesday cautioned locals against supporting militants in Jammu and Kashmir.

Rawat's stern message had not gone down well with the Congress, which criticised the lack of government's initiative for the dismal situation in Kashmir.

In the wake of the political slugfest that has broken out over Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat’s statement, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh reiterated that the Congress, as well as other political parties, should not drag the Indian Army into politics.

Addressing a press conference, Dr Singh said that it was the sensitivity of the Army Chief which made him caution the youth of Kashmir. His concern should not be read as a warning.

He further urged all political parties not to do anything which may affect the morale of the armed forces.“We appeal to political sections and Congress to not to indulge in any kind of politicking at cost of security forces’ morale.”

He added that the whole country was indebted to the Army.On Wednesday, Rawat had said: “Our aim is to bring peace and tranquility in the Kashmir Valley. These terrorists have now entered villages and we are conducting operations against them. We find the local population is somehow not supporting security forces' action.”

Speaking on the high casualties among the security forces in anti-terrorist operations, the Chief of Army Staff had said: "Our aim has been to conduct operations in a way that don't endanger the civilians. However, sometimes locals prevent us from conducting military operations - at times even supporting terrorists to escape.""It leads to higher casualties among the security forces," he had added.

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