Addressing the youth of Kashmir, who are taking up arms or resorting to protests, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has said that they cannot fight the Indian Army, and that "Azadi" could never be achieved by them. "It won't happen. Don't get carried away unnecessarily", Rawat said in an interview to Indian Express. It won't happen. Why are you picking up weapons? "You can't fight the Army", he said. Commenting on the reports of Kashmiri youth joining terror organisation, Rawat said, "The number of killed terrorists do not matter to me because I know this cycle will continue". There are fresh recruitments happening. If they want that the militants aren't killed, they should go and tell them to come out without their weapons so that nobody is killed, " he said, adding that "We can't allow people to disrupt our operations and help terrorists to flee".
The Indian COAS reiterated that the army has been criticised for using extreme force in the state and even shed light on how violence broke out after the murder of Burhan Wani. "Let us raise the issues". "We don't enjoy it. They are being consistently incited to attack us". "But yet they had to abdicate because the will and desire of people to be free to choose their destiny and be masters of their fate is far stronger than every military power", Mirwaiz reacted in a statement. And that the Islamist-Terrorist-Pakistan-PsyOps-Stone throwing combine can not take on the Indian Army and hope to survive to tell the tale. He also added that he knows that youth are angry. He added, "I don't understand why people are coming out in huge numbers to disrupt our operations". "Kashmiris need to comprehend that the SFs (security powers) haven't been so ruthless - take a gander at Syria and Pakistan".
Acknowledging the anger of Kashmiri youth, the Army chief said that the security forces were trying to avoid civilian casualties despite provocation.
Rawat also said he is ready to suspend military operation to avoid civilian casualties but questioned who will guarantee that the Army personnel, policemen and political workers won't be attacked.
Gen Rawat, according to the report, expressed concern over Kashmiri youth "picking up the gun" and said they were being misled to believe "this path will bring Azadi". "But who will guarantee that there won't be fire at our men, at our vehicles?" asked Rawat.
A JKDFP spokesperson said that General Rawat's present statement is in contrast to his last one where he had said that issues must be resolved mutually.