Following the repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan recently, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday sent out a stern message by saying that Indian forces will give “adequate response” to any form of ceasefire violation on the border.
After a visit to the Line of Control (LoC), he said Indian Army is fully prepared to foil any form of infiltration bid. For those perpetuating violence from within, he said such people will be dealt with.
He also said that investigation is on into the incident of the army allegedly tying a man to the front of a jeep as a human shield, but went on to add that the Army was interested in saving the lives of both the people who had come to vote and a large crowd of protesters.
Priority right now, he said, is to restore normalcy.
“I did visit the LoC. I would compliment the Indian army for the level of preparedness and enthusiasm. Our soldiers are fully confident that they would not allow any form of infiltration to take place,” he told reporters in Srinagar.
To a question on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, while he was briefing the media on tax rates fixed under Goods and Services Tax (GST), Jaitley said: “If there is any effort and any form of ceasefire violation our soldiers will give an adequate response to that.”
He said terrorism and militancy are aimed both against the Indian state, its sovereignty and also against the people of Jammu and Kashmir and it is local people, alongside security personnel, who are losing their lives.
“And, therefore, those who have taken on to violence of this magnitude will certainly be accountable for their actions,” he said.
Jaitley, who is also finance minister, said it was known that Hyurriat and other militant organisations were being “funded from across the border”.
“They were funded to create unrest, they were funded to burn schools, they were funded to kill people and destroy public property. So their actions were a conspiracy against not only Indian state but also the average resident of Kashmir valley,” he said.
Those killing people have to be treated as a serious insurgency problem and dealt with accordingly, he said.
He said the aspirations of the people have to be addressed but that can be done only when there is peace in the state.
“You can’t have the energy of the state involved in combating violence in various places. The resources which are meant for the economic development of people are today being used essentially for security. And who is to be blamed for unleashing that era of violence?,” he asked.
On the issue of Army allegedly seizing a 24-year old shawl weaver on April 9 and strapping him to the front of their vehicle, Jaitley said the matter is being investigated.
“Let us not forget that the army is a responsible institution and the army was also interested in saving the life of various people who were both involved in election process as also the large crowd of protesters who had gathered there,” he said.
Priority at the moment, he said, is to restore normalcy. “There is a section which will have to be dealt with by security measures and that there is a section which will have to be dealt with by citizen sentiment. And that is what we are trying to do.”