Don't communalise martyrs: Army's Northern Command chief tells Owaisi

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A top Army commander today hit back at AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisis statement that Muslim soldiers were killed in the Sunjuwan attack, saying the Army does not communalise its soldiers.

"The Defence minister had made a statement during her visit to Jammu that the government and the ministry of defence are totally behind the soldiers and armed forces", he said.

The officer presented 39 Sena Medals and the "Unit Appreciation" to 26 units for their outstanding performance in 2017. "But can he also count how many Muslims are in terrorists organisation attacking the army?" "While direct methods include taking aim and firing, indirect methods involve artillery fire and mortar shelling which will inflict heavier damage to the Pakistani posts", said a senior Indian Army officer, requesting anonymity.

He however expressed concern over youngsters joining militant outfits."We need to address this trend".

Lieutenant General Anbu said that Hizbul Mujhadeen, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) are now working together.

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"The enemy is frustrated and is trying softer targets". With respect to stone-pelting, he said, "We have devised a method where CRPF and police deal with stone-pelters, while the army carries out its CI (counter-insurgency) operations". There's no differentiation, they keep jumping from one target to other.

He said the social media had been used extensively to spread separatist sentiment among the youth.

"We have to concentrate on three things, first to stop infiltration, secondly to eliminate the anti-nationals in the hinterland and thirdly to arrest the radical elements active in the region", he said.

Asked about possible Indian retaliation against the terror attack on the Sunjuwan Army camp in the state, he said, "Operating along the LoC is quite complex and challenging". I do not feel that we really need to do tit for tat.

On the impact of filing of an FIR against Major Aditya Kumar over the killing of three youths in south Kashmir's Shopian district last month, he said, "I am heading the Northern Command and I can say it with confidence that the issue of Major Aditya has not dented the morale of my troops, not even a bit, not even an iota".

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