New Delhi, May 28: Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat extended his full support to human shield incident which was done by Major Gogoi and said that the Indian security forces needed several innovative ways to fight against the "dirty war" in Kashmir.
While giving an interview to news agency PTI on Sunday, General Rawat noted the objective of awarding Major Gogoi, who had tied a man to a jeep in Kashmir to stop stone pelting activities, is only to boost the morale of army officers who are operating in a very difficult environment in the militancy- infested state.
General Rawat further said, "This is a proxy war and proxy war is a dirty war. It is played in a dirty way. The rules of engagements are there when the adversary comes face-to-face and fights with you. It is a dirty war. That is where innovation comes in. You fight a dirty war with innovations," He also said armed forces have the right of self-defence and Major Gogoi could have opted for firing at the crowd but he chose not to resort to it.
General Rawat said there was a ploy to break the trust between various security forces, and Major Gogoi could not have refused to provide security when polling agents had sought security assistance. On the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Army Chief said, "Kashmir needs a composite solution, everybody will have to get involved," he added in an interview.
"People are throwing stones at us, people are throwing petrol bombs at us. If my men ask me what do we do, should I say, just wait and die? I will come with a nice coffin with a national flag and I will send your bodies home with honour. Is it what I am supposed to tell them as chief? I have to maintain the morale of my troops who are operating there," he said.
The Army Chief added, "I would have been happy if the protesters were firing weapons at the Armed forces instead of throwing stones. Then I could do what I (want to do)," he said. The Army Chief said just four districts of South Kashmir were disturbed and it was incorrect to say that entire Kashmir has gone out of control. He also emphasized on the need for taking harsh measures to stop infiltration and counter-terrorism.
Importantly, the Army Chief’s statement came after a few days when Major Nitin Gogoi who was alleged for tying a civilian on Army’s bonnet jeep was awarded the commendation card. However, General Rawat’s statement came just after one day when a fierce encounter took place between army and militants in which 10 terrorists including Hizbul Mujaheedin commander Sabzar was killed.
During this encounter also, hundreds of people came in the way of Indian army with an aim to disturb encounter and started stone pelting. Seeing to the conditions, Indian army retaliated with pellet guns in which at least 60 stone pelters were injured. This is not the first time when pelters have tried to disturb army’s operation but they do it every time.