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Rijiju Defends Army Chief, Says General Should Not be Misinterpreted

Rijiju Defends Army Chief, Says General Should Not be Misinterpreted

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju (PTI)

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New Delhi: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday endorsed Army Chief Bipin Rawat's statement on tough action against those creating hurdles during anti-terror operations in Kashmir, saying country's interest is supreme.

"There should be action against the stone pelters and whoever works against national interest as national interest is supreme," he told reporters here.

Rijiju's comments came after General Rawat said yesterday that hostile conduct of locals was causing higher casualties in the Kashmir Valley and those attacking security forces during anti-militancy operations will be treated as "anti-nationals" and will face "tough action".

"Whatever the Army Chief has said, he has said that in national interest. There is no need to misinterpret it. There is is nothing wrong in the Army Chief's statement," he said.

Asked about the prevailing security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Minister of State for Home said he would not like to comment on the routine law and order matters.

General Rawat's statement came a day after four army personnel, including a Major, were killed in two separate encounters in the Kashmir Valley.

Four terrorists were also gunned down in the encounters on Tuesday.

The opposition National Conference in the state today dubbed as "tragic" the Army Chief's warning of tough action against stone-pelters and said the government needs to engage politically the "alienated" youths of the Valley.

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