Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said that de-radicalisation camps are operating in India and stressed on the need to counter them by isolating the people who were completely radicalised.
General Rawat while addressing a panel discussion Raisina Dialogue 2020 in New Delhi spoke at length about the situation in Kashmir valley and the usage of pellet guns in Kashmir.
He also said that young boys and girls are being radicalised in the Valley which is a “matter of concern”.
“Radicalisation can be countered and we need to know from what is happening and who are the people radicalising them. It is happening in schools, universities and religious places and there are a group of people who are spreading this. They can be isolated and then start the counter-radicalisation program by identifying to what degree they were radicalised. You need to segregate them in degrees” he said.
The Defence Chief maintained that the only way to put an end to terrorism was to follow the path taken by the US after the 9/11 terror attacks. “You have to isolate the terrorists. Anybody who is sponsoring terrorism has to be taken to task. You cannot have partners who are partnering with you on terror.” Rawat added.
While talking about the stone pelting and use of pellet guns in Kashmir the Army Chief said, “There were young people who have been radicalised who were pelting stones which were as lethal as pellet guns. We have had casualties because of the stones.”
“If we say the security forces also start using stones against the stone pelters, that is not the way the security forces are meant to act. Pellet guns are supposed to be non-lethal weapon system but it is supposed to be fired below the lengths,” he said.
Meanwhile, his statements have landed him in controversy as the opposition parties seemed not to agree to his claims.
“Who’ll deradicalise lynchers & their political masters? What about those opposing citizenship for Assam’s Bengali Muslims? Maybe deradicalise “Badla” Yogi & “Pakistan jao” Meerut SP? Maybe deradicalise those imposing hardship on us through NPR-NRC?” AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi wrote on his Twitter.
Calling Rawat’s statements as “ridiculous” Owaisi further added that a “policy is decided by civilian administration not by any general”.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Sitaram Yechury said that “a military commander has no business saying this”.
Photo Credit: DNA India