Millennium Post

Army chief rejects 'clampdown,' claim in Jammu and Kashmir

Army chief rejects clampdown, claim in Jammu and Kashmir

Chennai: The chief of Army staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday rejected claims of a clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that it was a facade put up by terrorists to project a false picture of "harsh measures" to the outside world.

In reality, the violence and killings were down and the terrorists were being kept at bay, he told reporters.

While communication lines are through for the people, there is a breakdown for handlers of terrorists in Pakistan and their associates in the valley, he said. Also, arrangements are in place for the security forces to talk to their families and there is no communcation breakdown, he said.

Assuring further gradual easing of the situation, he said,"to say there is a clampdown, I don't agree with this."

Listing out a whole gamut of economic activities in the Kashmir valley, from movement of apple laden trucks to other parts of the country, operation of brick kilns and sand transportation through trucks after its procurement from the Jhelum river, he said "obviously people are coming out." Flights were being operated in and out of Srinagar and other modes of transport like taxis were functional, he said and wanted to know if these could happen in a lockdown scenario. "You can go to apple orchards and you can see heaps of apples that have been plucked and packed into boxes and being trasnported out of valley...

...hundreds of trucks have come out. Who is plucking these apples? who is packing them into boxes, who is loading them into these trucks.? and who takes the trucks out from the valley,? he asked.

The Army chief wondered how all such economic activities could happen in a clampdown situation.

"How are people moving out? So this clampdown is a facade which is being created by terrorists who don't want things to operate."

"A facade has been created through a fear psychosis ...by terrorists" and they want to project to the people of Kashmir and the rest of India that harsh measures were being undertaken which is not the truth and far from reality, he said. On the claim of

closure of shops, he said outlets were being operated through rear doors as terrorists threaten the shopkeepers to down shutters.

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