I wish stone pelters had guns in their hands: Army chief

Srinagar

 Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Sunday backed the infamous Army Major Leetul Gogooi for his act of tying a Kashmiri to a army jeep on April 09 possible as a human shield, a report in indianexpress.com said.

He termed the act ‘innovative’ and said troops needed ‘innovative ways’ to fight the “dirty war” in Kashmir.

“Rawat said he cannot ask his men to “just wait and die” when locals resort to stone pelting and hurling petrol bombs at them. He also said it would have been easier for the armed forces if the protesters were firing weapons instead of throwing stones,” the report added.

“In fact, I wish these people, instead of throwing stones at us, were firing weapons at us. Then I would have been happy. Then I could do what I (want to do),” the report quoted him saying.

General Rawat also backed the decision to award Major Gogoi and said it was his duty to lift the morale of the army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, the report said.

“As Army Chief my concern is morale of the Army. That is my job. I am far away from the battle field. I cannot influence the situation there. I can only tell the boys that I am with you. I always tell my people, things will go wrong, but if things have gone wrong and you did not have malafide intent, I am there,” Rawat is quoted in the report.

The report further quoted Rawat commenting on the prevailing situation in Kashmir.  “It will have to be a composite solution. Everybody will have to get involved. Army’s role is to ensure that violence does not take place and the common man who is not indulging in this (violence) is protected.”

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