People nurturing separatist feelings have been shown door: Lt Gen BS Raju
"The Army is a friend of every civilian”
Srinagar, Mar 01 : Checking the nefarious designs of India’s adversaries across the Line of Control and engaging the youth top the agenda of the new commander of the Army’s strategically located XV Corps Lt Gen B S Raju who believes people nurturing separatist feelings have been shown the door.
For Lieutenant General Baggavalli Somashekar Raju, who took over as the new corps commander on Sunday from Lt Gen K J S Dhillon, his posting in the Kashmir Valley is like homecoming.
He had earlier served as the brigade commander along the LoC and later, led the ‘Victor Force’, a counter-insurgency group of the Army that looks after the militancy-hit south Kashmir region.
“The Army is a friend of every civilian and that message has been conveyed aptly by my predecessor. My every attempt would be to continue this practice,” Lt Gen Raju told PTI after taking over command of the XV Corps.
On the issue of militancy, Lt Gen Raju, an NDA alumni from the 1984-batch, said it is too early for him to comment, but reports show that militants or separatists are not in control. “I believe that those nurturing separatist feelings have been shown the door,” he said.
Lt Gen Raju, who was heading the ‘Victor Force’ in the aftermath of the neutralisation of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group’s poster boy Burhan Wani, is ceased of the matter that some people were “engaged in distracting the youth from their studies”.
“During my stint, the Army along with other arms of the government will counter this menace on top priority,” he said.
During his earlier stint in Kashmir, Lt Gen Raju had kept children engaged in different sports and creative activities and shown them that soldiers were on their side.
These activities included the Army launching a series of outreach programmes such as sports and painting competitions, distributing stationary, taking children on treks with packed meals.
On situation from across the border, the commander said there were indications that the Pakistani army may try to push militants into India. “We are prepared to give them a befitting reply and defeat their nefarious designs,” Lt Gen Raju asserted.
Lieutenant General BS Raju, an alumni of Sainik School, Bijapur and National Defence Academy, Pune was commissioned in December 1984 and has had an illustrious military career spanning 36 years during which he has held varied prestigious command, staff and instructional appointments. The General Officer has an incisive understanding of Jammu & Kashmir, having served here for five tenures since 1984, notable being Force Commander of Rashtriya Rifles and Brigade Commander of an Infantry Brigade on the Line of Control. A Graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (TN) & Royal College of Defence College, United Kingdom, Lieutenant General Raju is credited with important appointments at Army Headquarters and instructional appointments at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and leading the Indian Army Training Team abroad. Before taking over as the Chinar Corps Commander, the General was tenanting the prestigious appointment of Director General Staff Duties at Army Headquarters.