J&K youth radicalised by misinformation, falsehoods about religion: Army chief

Misinformation and falsehoods about religion are being used to radicalise young people in Jammu and Kashmir, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Wednesday.

“That is why you find more and more educated youth being drawn into terrorism,” the Chief of Army Staff said at the Raisina Dialogue in Delhi.

He spoke of need to control social media as it was becoming a source of radicalisation.

According to the Army, 248 militants were killed in the Kashmir Valley last year. 58 were arrested and five surrendered. This was “the highest number of neutralisations” in a decade, said Lt. Gen Anil Bhatt, GOC 15 Corps.

General Rawat said — without naming Pakistan — terrorism was here to stay as long as there were nations that continued to sponsor it as a state policy. India has long accused Pakistan of abetting cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Terrorism is becoming a new form of warfare. A weaker nation is using terrorists as proxy to put pressure on another nation to come to terms with it,” Rawat said.

On the Afghan peace process, he said there should be negotiations with the Taliban, but without conditions.

He also said Pakistan had always kept the Taliban in its backyard and should be concerned about it.

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