Regret Killings, Youth Shouldn’t Pelt Stones At Army: Lt Gen Bhatt    

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SRINAGAR — A senior army commander on Saturday appealed youth to not pelt stones at the forces and urged them to stay away from the sites where anti-militancy operations are launched.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function in Baramulla, the GoC of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen A K Bhatt said army regrets the civilian killings during security operations in Valley.

 “I appeal youth and people that army is their own and they should not pelt stones at the army,” Lt Gen Bhatt told reporters on sidelines of a function in Baramulla in north Kashmir.

He asked people to stay away from areas (encounter sites), where security forces launch operations.

At least 107 civilian were killed in security forces firing on protestors near encounter sites in Valley since January 2017.

The GoC said army men have been directed to observe total restraint while dealing with any situation. “When a soldier faces threat to his life and there is threat to property, we fire.”

He said army doesn’t bear any grudge against people of Kashmir. “They are own our people and it is our duty to safeguard them.”

The GoC said the main motive of forces is to eliminate militancy through kinetic operations.

Stating that there is only very few militant recruitments happening in north Kashmir as compared to volatile south Kashmir, Lt Gen Bhatt appealed parents to persuade their children to not join militancy and to not pick up the guns.

 “We want them to live a dignified life and they should help us in making Kashmir a peaceful and prosperous region,” he said.

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