Mobs who disrupt military ops will be treated as ‘overground workers of terrorists’: Army Chief Rawat

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Angry at civilians disrupting operations, security forces in J&K want clear guidelines on how to deal with stone-pelting mobs during anti-terror drive. Four security personnel were martyred during the encounter in last two operations in Handwara in Kulgam district and Hajin, Bandipora.

The India Today reported that the Army, CRPF and J&K police are reviewing the SOP and refining them to meet the challenge posed by such mobs. The report added that concerned by the incident army commander from North Command, Lt General Devraj Ambu went to the Chinar Corps area to personally assess the situation.

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Meanwhile, Army Chief General Bipin paid tribute to security personnel who lost their lives in encounters with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday. He also said that those who disrupt operations during encounters and are not supportive will be treated as ‘overground workers of terrorists’.

The close to 1:1 kill ratio (five terrorists were killed during the operation), is considered unacceptable and the acceptable ratio in the army is one soldier for every 7 terrorists killed. It’s believed that security forces want defined ‘Red Lines’, a clear demarcated area, beyond which protesters won’t be permitted and if they do then the defence personnel would be within their rights to use non-lethal or lethal force.

They are also considering videographing the entire procedure and there’s a chance that pellet guns might also be used to restrain the protesters.

Indian Army pays homage to martyrs

Earlier, the Army paid homage to four soldiers, including an officer, who laid down their lives during two counter-insurgency operations in Bandipora and Kupwara districts of Kashmir.

Joined by officials of other security forces operating in the Valley, Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen J S Sandhu paid rich tributes to Major Satish Dahiya, Rifleman Ravi Kumar, Paratrooper Dharmender Kumar and Gunner Astosh Kumar in a solemn ceremony at Badamaibagh Cantonment here.

“Survived by his wife and a two-year-old daughter, 31-year-old Maj Dahiya had led the operation launched by Army in Handwara yesterday which eventually resulted in the elimination of three terrorists, thus delivering a major blow to the terror network in North Kashmir,” defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.

He said the officer, hailing from Mahendergarh in Haryana, had been a part of several counter-terrorist operations and had also been awarded for gallantry earlier. 33-year-old Rifleman Ravi Kumar hailed from Samba in Jammu and Kashmir and was part of another operation in Hajin, Bandipora yesterday in which one terrorist was killed.

He is survived by his wife and a three-year-old daughter, the spokesman said. Also forming part of the same operation was Paratrooper Dharmender Kumar of Nainital, Uttarakhand.

“The young paratrooper, who defied his 26 years of age and had established himself amongst his comrades as a spirited and daring soldier, is survived by his parents,” he said.

Gunner Astosh Kumar hailed from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh and is survived by his mother Shila Devi. His father Havildar Lal Sahib had laid down his life during the Kargil War. “The mortal remains of the martyrs will be taken to their native places for last rites with full military honours. The Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families and remains committed to their dignity and wellbeing,” the spokesman said.