Braid chopping, a routine matter: Army chief

Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat Saturday brushed aside the issue of braid chopping incidents in Kashmir as a “routine matter” which the civil administration and the police would deal with.

“Why do you see it as a challenge?” Rawat said in response to a question about the “challenge being faced by the government and the security agencies due to the alleged braid chopping incidents which have triggered violent protests in the state.”

It has been happening in other parts of the country and now it has started happening in Kashmir as well, the Army chief told reporters in Jammu, according to news agency PTI.

“We don’t see it as a challenge. It is a routine matter. Civil administration and police is taking action into it and it will be foiled by taking actions,” he said.

Asked if the “separatists were taking advantage of this to trigger turmoil in the Valley,” he said the role of media was important to uncover the truth behind it.

He also said that radicalisation in Kashmir was being addressed with a “lot of seriousness”, as he blamed the social media for its rise.

“Radicalisation is taking place. It is a worldwide phenomenon that radicalisation is taking place. We are addressing it with a lot of seriousness,” Rawat said when asked if radicalisation was taking place in the Kashmir Valley.

Rawat, while speaking on the sidelines of a function, said that the Jammu and Kashmir government, the police, the administration and everybody was concerned about radicalisation.

“We are trying to ensure that people are being weaned away from this kind of radicalisation,” Rawat said.

The Army chief blamed the social media for the radicalisation of the people, particularly the youth in the state.

“It (radicalisation) is happening mainly because of the social media,” he said.

Rawat, while replying to a question on whether the NIA raids were aimed at “mellowing down separatists in the Valley and giving a jolt to the stone throwers,” said the central government’s approach was being followed in Kashmir to deal with the situation and the NIA raids were part of that.

“When the whole of the government approach is adopted then every aspect and every machinery of the government is to play a part and whatever success the NIA raids have achieved will emerge in the near future,” he said.

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