A day after a jawan succumbed to his injuries after being attacked by stone pelters in Anantnagar, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Bipin Rawat has strongly condemned the act, stating those doing such activities are 'behaving like terrorists'. Speaking at the 72nd Infantry Day celebrations at the India Gate in Delhi, he told reporters:
"You saw how a jawan escorting the border roads convoy, border roads aren't even armed, they were there to inspect the roads, build them and build bridges, the jawan who was escorting their convoy so that they aren't targeted by terrorists, people pelted stones and killed them. Who says that these pelters must not be treated like OGWs? If they can kill our jawans with stones, aren't these pelters terrorists in making? We just want to tell them pelting stones will not help anyone and only the pelters will be at loss. Hence we got an FIR registered. Everytime there is an FIR registered against us, we just want to say that our jawans also sustain injuries but this time, we have lost our jawan. And if a jawan was killed by pelters then they must face strict probe"
On Thursday, Sep Rajendra Singh. along with his Quick Reaction Team, were on the way through the Anantnag bypass tri-junction near NH-44, when they were obstructed by few youths hurling stones at the vehicle. Sep Rajendra Singh was injured with a stone hit directly on his head.
The jawan was provided with immediate after-care and first aid and was even evacuated to 92 Base hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries and passed away on Friday. Sep Rajendra Singh hailed from village Badena in Pithoragarh, Uttrakhand and had joined the Indian Army in 2016.
Along with speaking about the stone pelting situation in Kashmir, General Rawat also issued a warning to Pakistan. The Army chief made his statement clear that Kashmir belongs to India, and Pakistan attempts to make it a part of its country is futile.
"Kashmir is legally and rightfully India's. Pakistan is making a futile attempt. Indian Army has the ability and the will to defend Kashmir at any cost. If Pakistan does not desist from supporting terror, Indian army has lot of options," he added.
The act of terrorism on the Indian border has seen a number of encounter taking place between the forces and the terrorists. On Friday, two terrorists were gunned down and one soldier was martyred in Malganipora area of Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir.