New Delhi, October 27: A day after an Indian Army jawan lost his life in a stone pelting incident, Army chief General Bipin Rawat slammed those who question the treatment of stone pelters as over ground workers.
“Jawan who lost his life after being attacked by stone pelters was guarding a border roads team which was constructing roads, and then we have some people saying don’t treat stone pelters like OGWs of terrorists,” the Army chief was quoted as saying by ANI.
Stone-pelters had on Thursday attacked Sepoy Rajendra Singh and his Quick Reaction Team (QRT) when they were guarding a border roads team near NH-44 in Anantnag.
The 22-year-old Singh, who hailed from Pithoragarh in Uttrakhand, was hit on the head by a stone which left him bleeding profusely. He was reportedly evacuated to 92 Base Hospital but succumbed to his injuries on Friday.
The Army chief was speaking at the 72nd Infantry Day celebrations at the India Gate in New Delhi.
“You saw how a jawan escorting the border roads convoy – border roads aren’t even armed, they were there to inspect the roads and bridges. The jawan who was escorting their convoy so that they aren’t targeted by terrorists, people pelted stones and killed them. Who says that the youth who holds a stone should not be treated like OGWs? If they can kill our jawans with stones, aren’t these pelters becoming terrorists?” Rawat said.
“All we want to tell the stone pelters is that such actions will not help anyone and they themselves will be at a loss,” the Army chief told reporters.
Pointing out that FIRs are quickly registered against the Army, the General said that the Army has now got an FIR registered in this case.
“We just want to say that our jawans also sustain injuries but this time we have lost a jawan. And if a jawan was killed by pelters then they must face strict action,” he said.
This is not the first time that General Rawat has called for strict action against stone pelters. In February 2017, the Army chief had for the first time said that anyone who tries to assist terrorists in any manner will be dealt with like terrorists.
His comments at the time had come after the deaths of four Army personnel, including Major Satish Dahiya, in two separate terrorist attacks in J-K. The Army chief was then criticised for his remark.
Meanwhile, reports say that the Jammu-Kashmir Police have registered an FIR against those who hurled stones at the Army convoy of which Singh was a part.
Sepoy Singh had joined the Army in 2016 and is survived by his parents. (Agencies)