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Give army free hand to deal with stone-pelters: Bajrang Dal

Barely a week after VHP president Pravin Togadia called for ‘carpet bombing’ of Kashmir Valley to stop attacks on security forces, its youth wing Bajrang Dal has demanded a ‘free hand’ for the army to deal with stone pelters.

india Updated: May 04, 2017 07:26 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bajrang Dal,Indian Army,Stone pelters
File photo of Bajrang Dal activists shouting slogans in Jammu. The youth wing of the VHP wants the army to be given a ‘free hand’ to deal with stone pelters inKashmir valley.(HT PHOTO)

Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the hardline Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) wants the government to give the army a “free hand” to deal with separatists and stone pelters in Kashmir. It sought to buttress its demand citing Monday’s mutilation of the bodies of two Indian troopers by Pakistani forces along the Line of Control.

“Our cadre is incensed by today’s attack and demand a fitting reply,” said Vinod Bansal, VHP spokesperson said.

The outfit plans to hold demonstrations across the country on Tuesday to protests against the continued attacks against security personnel in the Valley.

“A memorandum will be submitted to President Pranab Mukherjee, (who is the supreme commander of the armed forces) to allow the army to deal with separatists, the stone-pelters and their direct and indirect supporters with a free hand,” Bansal said.

The VHP and the Bajrang Dal, affiliates of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have been demanding stern military action against those who attack the security forces.

“These stone-pelters and those who are backing them should be dealt with in the same way as those who attack the army,” Bansal said.

Read more: VHP’s Pravin Togadia says govt should ‘carpet bomb’ Kashmir to stop militants

And despite the outrage over the blindings caused by the use of pellet guns to disperse stone pelting protesters, the Hindutva outfits say there is no reason why the government must put restrictions on the armed forces to counter “violence against the state.”

VHP chief Pravin Togadia caused a nation-wide outrage last week, with his demand that the government should carry out “carpet bombing” in the Valley to stop the attacks on security forces by militants.

“After attacks on Army camps in Uri and Kupwara, our government should carry out carpet bombing in Kashmir Vally area to stop such attacks. The attacks on Army camps and the incidents of stone-pelting should be considered as a war and the government should carpet bomb these areas,” news agencies quoted Togadia speaking in Gujarat.

On whether the Hindutva groups will also protests against the deadly ambush on a CRPF contingent in Chattisgarh’s Sukma that left 25 troopers dead, Bansal said, a demonstration was not on the cards, but the government has been asked to “deal sternly with Naxals”.

“There is widespread terror in Sukma from Maoists and their sympathizers the communists; the Church is sponsoring religious conversion and attacks against the security forces are increasing; yet a large section of political leaders are silent on it. The government needs to take action,” Bansal said.

First Published: May 01, 2017 16:52 IST