A day after a 22-year-old jawan was killed in stone pelting in Kashmir, an angry Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat on Saturday said stone-pelters are nothing but overground workers of terror organisation. He also asked Pakistan to desist from funding terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, asserting that the Indian state was "strong enough" to ensure that the border state remains a part of India and no one can take it away by force or any other means.
Indian Army soldier Rajendra Singh has succumbed to his injuries after being attacked with stones by some youth in Kashmir's Anantnag on Thursday. An army spokesman said Sepoy Rajendra Singh was part of the Quick Reaction Team which was providing security to a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) convoy on Thursday.
"I still say the same... If they (stone-pelters) can kill people with such acts, are they not becoming like terrorists… I want to tell them (stone-pelters) that no one will benefit from stone-pelting," said the Army chief, adding tough action should be taken against the stone-pelters. He said the Army has got an FIR lodged in the case. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event to mark the Infantry Day.
Rawat added that if Pakistan continues to support cross-border terrorism, the Indian Army can resort to "other actions" too.Rawat also said Pakistan was resorting to a "proxy war" to avenge its defeat at the hands of India in the 1971 war when Bangladesh was liberated. The aim of Pakistan, he said, is to keep the Indian Army "embroiled in this proxy war that they have lost.
"Asked about the cross-border infiltration, he said Pakistan would be wise to know that by indulging in such activities, harm is coming to Pakistan only.
"We are capable of finishing any infiltrators who reach our side. But, if Pakistan continues to support infiltration, we can use other kind of action too," Rawat said.
(With PTI inputs)