Unfortunate that Congress is exploding turmoil in Valley: Nirmal Singh

New Delhi [India], Feb. 18 : Amid the political slugfest over Army Chief Bipin Rawat's statement on tough action against locals obstructing counter-militancy operations in Kashmir, the state government has accused the Congress of playing politics over the controversy and exploiting the entire situation.

Speaking to ANI here, Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said the Congress' stand over the Army Chief' statement amid turbulent times in the Valley was both 'disappointing and unfortunate'.

"We are in the middle of a proxy war with Pakistan and also being attacked by their terrorists, in such times the Congress trying to exploit the situation is simply disappointing and unfortunate.

The Congress should come out of their mindset of playing politics and support the Army," Singh said. Howevver, the Congress has maintained its critical stance on the Army Chief saying there was absolutely no need for him to make such a statement which would obviously result in tension in the Valley.

Asserting that the Opposition has always unitedly supported all initiatives for Jammu and Kashmir, Congress leader Tom Vadakkan told ANI that there was no need for the Army Chief to make such a statement and create a situation.

"Now we have reports of hand grenade attacks and stone pelting coming from the Valley. What was the need to have said that? In a civil society, the Army is there for the defence of the country not to make statements.

He (Army Chief) is not a parliamentarian. We accept that the army has been vigilant and is effective, but there was no need for this," he added.

A protest that broke out near the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar saw protestors pelting stones and raising Pakistan flags shortly after Friday prayers.

The incident was in response to Thursday's warning by the Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat that Kashmiris supporting terrorists would be considered anti-national and acted against.

"People who have picked up arms, the local boys, if they want to continue with such acts of terrorism and display flags of ISIS and Pakistan, then we will treat them as anti-national elements and go helter-skelter for them.

Our relentless operations will continue," General Rawat said while paying tribute to the bravehearts of the Handwara and Bandipora encounters.

Urging the local people to extend their support to the security forces trying to maintain peace in the Valley, General Rawat said, "They would not be spared if they continue resorting to negative acts and such actions are the reason for the high number of casualties among security forces".

Source: ANI