No threat but need to be alert in Punjab: Army chief

Pathankot: While maintaining that there was no immediate threat of militancy in Punjab, the Indian Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat, said on Monday that there was a need to be alert about it.

“There is not much threat (of terrorism) in Punjab, but we need to be alert about it. It is better to be alert than to allow things (to go out of hand),” the Army chief said while talking to the media after a function at the Mamun Cantonment, around 250 km from Chandigarh.

Referring to the ‘Referendum 2020’ campaign started by separatist and pro-Khalistan elements from other countries, General Rawat said that the governments (centre and Punjab) were fully aware of this and were taking appropriate action.

“The union government is taking full action on this. We are fully aware of what is happening. Punjab Chief Minister (Amarinder Singh) is particularly concerned about this. He is taking direct action to ensure that this kind of violence does not spread in the state of Punjab.

“The people of Punjab will ensure that violence will not spread. They are the ones who will quell the insurgency. While outsiders will attempt (to instigate violence), the people are very strong,” he said.

Regarding the threats issued to him by the separatist group, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), the Army chief said that he was not bothered by them.

“Who is the Army chief? The Army chief is a nominated person who becomes the chief. He is not an individual. You take away one chap, the next person will come. The policy on terrorism will not change,” Rawat said.