August 2016 News

Don't Allow Militants To Join Public Rallies: Army Chief To Officers

23 August 2016
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Army chief General Dalbir Singh on Tuesday urged people of Kashmir to 'eschew violence and help restore peace.' He also directed his officers to 'go after' militants in South Kashmir villages and not allow them to be a part of freedom rallies there. Reliable sources said the Army chief arrived in Kashmir to take stock of the prevailing situation and assess the security scenario. Army's Srinagar-based spokesman Lt Colonel N N Joshi said General Singh made an appeal to people to 'eschew violence and help restore peace and calm at the earliest.' 'He laid special emphasis on having a constructive engagement with people for bringing back normalcy in Kashmir,' he said. Meanwhile, sources said, the Army chief passed strict directions to his men to ensure militants don't move freely and are prevented from taking part in public rallies, especially in South Kashmir. The move comes in the wake of presence of militants in freedom rallies in South Kashmir areas occasionally in the past 46 days of uprising in Kashmir. The Army chief was accompanied by Northern Army commander, Lt General D S Hooda. Pertinently, this is his second visit to Kashmir since the anti-India uprising broke out on July 8 following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani in southern Kokernag village. Sources said General Singh visited army units in North Kashmir where he was briefed about 'the operational preparedness.' 'He was briefed about the recent anti-militancy operations on the Line of Control in north Kashmir and was told that 10 militants were killed over the past one month at the LoC,' they said. GoC of Army's Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt General Satish Dua also accompanied the Army chief. The Army chief, according to sources, also directed for maintaining 'highest level of vigil along the LoC.' 'The Army chief also visited the Victor Force Headquarters at Awantipora where he was apprised of the latest situation in South Kashmir. He stressed on maintaining close coordination among various security agencies,' they said. They said General Singh also arrived at Army's 15 Corps headquarters in Srinagar where he was briefed about the recent killing of a lecturer by soldiers at Khrew and the level of damage caused by his men during a deadly nocturnal raid in the area. Expressing 'deep concern over the incident', the Army chief asked his men to ensure human rights are upheld and maximum restraint is exercised while dealing with protestors, an army official said. The Army spokesman said at 15 Corps headquarters, General Singh and the Northern Army commander discussed a series of issues including 'initiatives' undertaken by the Army in Kashmir. 'General Singh laid special emphasis on having a constructive engagement with the people for bringing normalcy back,' he said.