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Children being radicalised in Kashmir: Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat. File

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Security forces cannot be blamed for injuries caused due to pellet guns in Kashmir, he says at Raisina Dialogue

Children as young as 10-12 years are being radicalised in Kashmir and there is need to isolate those completely radicalised and put them in “deradicalisation camps,” Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat said on Thursday. He also said that security forces cannot be blamed for injuries caused by pellet guns.

Speaking on a panel on countering terrorism at the ongoing Raisina Dialogue organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation, Gen. Rawat said radicalisation can be countered by looking at where it is happening and who are behind it.

“What we saw in Kashmir, we saw radicalisation happening. Today we are seeing radicalisation being undertaken even amongst young people. Girls and boys as young as 10-12 are now being radicalised. These people can still be isolated from radicalisation in a gradual way, but there are people who have been completely radicalised. These people need to be taken out separately and possibly taken into some deradicalisaiton camps,” he said.

“We have deradicalisation camps going on in our country”, he added, in the first comments on such camps from the Army.

Gen. Rawat said radicalisation is happening in schools, universities, religious places and sites. “First we need to get to the nerve of who is radicalising people... You can start isolating these people gradually and then start a counter-radicalisation programme by identifying people who have been radicalised, to what degree. We have got to segregate them in degrees and then look at those who are completely radicalised, first target them, but also looking at the future,” he said.

He said even Pakistan has such camps and they understand that some of “the terrorism they have been supporting, it is now hitting them back.”

Gen. Rawat said security forces cannot be blamed for injuries caused due to pellet guns and the radicalised stone-pelters are “more dangerous.” “The pellet guns are non-lethal weapons which are now used very rarely and only aimed below the legs,” he said.

There is an impression being created that the Army is heavy-handed in Kashmir, he said to a question on Kashmir. “We had to be heavy-handed when terrorism was forced upon us in the 1990s”, he said, adding it wasn’t so later. Stating that the casualties of security forces with respect to terrorists was 1:3, he said, “If we were heavy-handed we wouldn’t have these casualties.”

'Sponsors of terrorism have to be taken to task'

He said “we can’t control terrorism” so long as there are states that “sponsor terrorism and they are going to use terrorists as proxies, make weapons available to them, provide funding for them.”

“We’ve to bring an end to terrorism and that can only happen the way Americans started after 9/11. They said let’s go on a global war on terror. To do that you have to isolate the terrorists. Anybody who is sponsoring terrorism has to be taken to task,” Gen. Rawat said, adding, “With Pakistan we are going for blacklisting under Financial Action Task Force (FATF). If not, then we have to go for decisive action.”

Taliban talks

Welcoming a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan, Gen. Rawat said they should give up weapons.

“You have to come to a peace deal with everybody (in Afghanistan), if you've to come to a peace deal with them you’ve to go for negotiated peace. Taliban or whichever organisation is contemplating terror has to give up that weapon of terror, they must come to the political mainstrean,” he said. “It should not be a way to find an exit,” he added, referring to the planned U.S. exit from the country.

On how the CDS will work with the three Service Chiefs, Gen. Rawat said the CDS is the first among equals and has got clear and well-defined responsibilities. “While he is the first among equals, he has some authority over the three service chiefs except on operational issues,” he said, adding he had meetings with the three Chiefs and a “lot of decisions have already been taken in the past 15 days.”

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:21:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/raisina-dialogue-states-sponsoring-terrorism-must-be-taken-to-task-chief-of-defence-staff-gen-bipin-rawat/article30573674.ece

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