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Posted at: Feb 15, 2018, 1:23 AM; last updated: Feb 15, 2018, 1:23 AM (IST)

Army: Faith in all faiths, we don’t communalise

Frustrated enemy eyeing soft targets, says Northern Command chief
Army: Faith in all faiths, we don’t communalise
Lt Gen D Anbu, GOC-in-Charge, Northern Command, addresses mediapersons in Udhampur on Wednesday. Tribune Photo

Arteev Sharma

Tribune News Service

Udhampur, February 14

A day after All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi questioned the Prime Minister’s silence on the “killing of Muslim Army men” in the Sunjuwan terror attack, the Army today said it didn’t “communalise” its soldiers and those making such utterances had no idea of its functioning.

“The Army is ‘sarv dharam sthal’. All religions are welcome and only one’s identity as a soldier matters. We don’t communalise anyone. The people who don’t know the functioning of the Army make these statements. I think they need to visit us and see how we put all aside and live together,” Northern Command chief Lt General Devraj Anbu told reporters here.

The commander said the large number of people attending the funeral of bravehearts in Kashmir was a “testimony” to the secular fabric of the force.

Owaisi had questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the killing of Muslim Army men in the Sunjuwan terror attack that had left six soldiers and a civilian dead.

About the Sunjuwan military base attack, General Anbu said it was the result of ‘frustration’ on the other side. “It’s a frustrated enemy when he is not able to face you at the border and looks for easier alternatives and such places where you do not have the same sort of security situation,” he said.

The Northern Command chief said they were “in a dominant position” on the Line of Control” where the operation and the management was “quite complex, challenging and dynamic”.

“Last year, we dominated the adversary on the LoC. Our adversary doesn’t believe in accepting the casualties but we have done a lot of damage across the border. We really don’t need to go for tit for tat as we are in a dominant position. We will not get cowed down by small incidents like fidayeen attacks. It will not derail us from the main course of action which we have chalked out for ourselves,” he said.

The commander said the issue of locals taking to militancy was a cause for concern for all but said there were a number of reasons behind it. “The increase is attributed to the post-Burhan euphoria (in the Valley) and the way the social media played up the issue. The curbs to bring it down will take a while. These locals don’t have weapons and their lifespan (after picking up the gun) is just 6-7 months. As many as 68 of them surrendered voluntarily last year.” General Anbu said that 185-220 terrorists in the south and 190-225 terrorists in the north of the Peer Panjal were ready for infiltration.

The Pakistan Army had a direct role in planning terror attacks because it was masterminding terror strikes not only in India but also everywhere in other neighbourhood, the General said.

As many as 192 Pakistan soldiers were killed in Indian retaliation on the LoC but Islamabad had acknowledged only six or seven deaths in two incidents.


‘Hizb, JeM, Let hand in glove with each other’

Udhampur: Army’s Northern Command chief Lt General Devraj Anbu said on Wednesday that all major terrorist outfits — Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) — were hand in glove with each other and planning attacks in the state. He, however, said the Army was well prepared to foil their nefarious designs. “All three terrorist outfits, namely HM, JeM or LeT, are hand in glove whether it is in the Valley or in Jammu. There is no differentiation as they (militants) keep jumping from one ‘tanzeem’ to another,” General Anbu told reporters here. The Army commander said anybody who picks up arms and was against the state, was a terrorist and the Army knows how to deal with them. 

‘Shopian FIR no dent to troop morale' 

On the FIR against Major Aditya Kumar in the Shopian firing incident, the Northern Command chief said: "I can say with confidence that it has not dented the morale of my troops at all -- not even a bit, not even an iota. It has not dented the morale at all because our intentions are very clear."

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