Reyaz Rashid

GoC 15 Crops asks youth to refrain from joining militancy, avoid pelting on forces

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Baramulla, Jul 14: Appealing the youth to stay away from encounter sites, General Officer Commanding (GoC) 15 Corps, Lt General AK Bhatt on Saturday asked Kashmiri youth to refrain from pelting government forces with stones.

“My appeal to public and youth is that they should avoid going near to the spots where army conducts its operations. Youth of Kashmir is our own youth, they are among us, so they should not pelt stones on army and keep themselves away from spots wherever there are operations,” the GoC told media-persons on the sidelines of screen training course by FTII.

He said the soldiers are under strict instructions to maintain self-retrain and not to retaliate immediately whenever there is stone-pelting by mobs.

“We open fire only when there is attempt on the lives of our soldiers or attack on our installations. We feel pained when there is civilian killing,” the Let. Gen Bhat said. He was flanked by GoC 19 Infantry Division Baramulla, Major General Gulab Singh Rawat.

“We’re not upset with public and youth of Kashmir because they are our own people. It’s our duty to serve them. Our job is to fight militants only, and not the civilian population,” he added

Asked about the reports of youth joining militant ranks in north Kashmir too, he replied that as compared to south Kashmir north Kashmir is calm.

‘I appeal public of north Kashmir to not allow their children to take to gun but to chose peaceful means to address their issues and sentiments. They should help us in resorting peace in the valley,” the GoC added.

Reacting to Friday’s attack on a CRPF party at Achabal Anantnag,  Lt Gen Bhatt said militants will continue targeting government forces at places where they apprehend any action from army, paramilitaries and police. He said we will continue our operations against the militants till the militancy is wiped out.

“The attack on CRPF party at Achabal Anantnag does not fall on the Yatra route, but militants will continue to target government forces at places where they apprehend action from the government forces,” he said.

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