We don’t want to kill militants, opportunity to surrender given: Lt Gen B S Raju

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Srinagar: General officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lieutenant General BS Raju Tuesday said that the armed forces don’t want to kill militants and that an opportunity to surrender is given to every militants.

In a short video uploaded on the official handle of Chinar Corps (15 Corps), Lt General Raju said that any loss of life is sad. “Six-year-old boy who was killed in Bijbehara (Anantnag) and the recent incident a Sopore where a 65-year-old man was killed, were unfortunate. The picture (showing grandchild of the slain man on the chest of his dead grandfather) elicited emotions,” the army officer said.

He said that the army has had a string of successful anti-militancy operations in Kashmir. “The only way for a militant to get back is to strike and to engage us in populated areas.  That’s what happened in Bijbehara and Sopore as both towns are busy places. In both the incidents, we had Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) casualties and multiple injuries to (CRPF men) also,” the GoC was quoted as saying by a local news gathering agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

He said that in Sopore militants had used a mosque which is a new phenomenon. “From the mosque, we recovered 60 rounds of empty cases. The initial rounds were used to target CRPF men and the rest of the 50 were obviously fired with an aim to escape. Those 50 rounds caused civilian causality and that’s what exactly happened,” the army officer said. “These incidents are exploited by the environment and they provide a solid tool for the propaganda.

“As I said, every loss of life is unfortunate. We don’t even want to kill militants, we give them an opportunity to surrender,” the GoC Raju said.

The army tweet above the video on the official twitter handle reads: “Militants striking in populated areas seek civil casualties because that gets attention. Civilian deaths provide fodder to propaganda machines. Security forces show restraint. Even to the militants, we always offer the choice to surrender”—(KNO)

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