[India], Feb. 17 (ANI): Expressing full support towards Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat's warning towards anti-national elements supporting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday, however, asserted that the youth of the Valley who are being led astray, must be dealt with a 'healing touch' rather than more violence.
Speaking to ANI here, BJP leader Hina Bhat stated that any anti-nationalistic approach or terrorist action in the Valley must be dealt with in a strict manner, adding that the "fifth generation" of the state was being introduced to terrorism, which much be stopped at all costs.
"Whatever the Police and the Army have been doing in Kashmir to control the situation, I think they are doing their best. But we really need to see the situation regarding stone pelters, against whom they are saying action will be taken. At the same time we need the healing touch. We cannot get our youth more affected by whatever is happening," she added.
However, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad criticized the lack of government initiative for the dismal situation in Kashmir and said "The government is to be blamed for the situation in Kashmir. Even we ran the government, why was it not so bad then? To threaten the Kashmiri youth like this is unjustified. Last year 1000 kids were affected by splinters, 1200 kids lost their eyes."
Upset with the killings of jawans in a recent encounter with terrorists in the Valley, General Rawat on Wednesday lashed out at those obstructing Army's combing operations.
"Those who obstruct our operations during encounters and are not supportive will be treated as overground workers of terrorists," said Rawat after paying tribute to security personnel who lost their lives in encounters with terrorists in Kashmir on Tuesday.
Urging the local people to extend their support to the security forces trying to maintain peace in the Valley, Rawat said they won't be spared if they continue resorting to negative acts.
"Our idea is not kill these young boys, but to bring them into mainstream. But, if they wish to remain in this manner, we will target them with harsher measures," he warned.
General Rawat expressed his disappointment about the involvement of local people in terrorist acts, whether directly or indirectly.
He said such actions are the reason for the high number of casualties among security forces.
Four army personnel, including a major lost their lives in two encounters in the Bandipora and Handwara areas of North Kashmir on Tuesday. (ANI)