New Delhi, Aug 6 : Reacting to firing by the Army on people protesting against the Amarnath land issue, Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor today said that the Army is not there to fire on its own countrymen.
The Army opened fire on protestors in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district to quell a stone-pelting mob on Jammu-Pathankot national highway. One protester has reportedly been killed and another has been injured in firing by the army in curfew-bound Kathua.
"Amarnath land issue is of painful nature. It is divisive and can create turbulence in a sensitive border state. Sooner it comes to an end it would be better for the country," General Kapoor said while speaking on the role of the Indian Army in changing security paradigm at USI here.
He said that the aspect of protest is to be handled by civil administration and once situation goes out of control the Army is called in, and added that in the case of Jammu the Army was readily available so it moved in to control the situation.
"Agitation and counter agitation is a big concern for the nation. Additional forces will certainly bring normalcy in the region," General Kapoor said.
He further said that number of pilgrims who visited Amarnath Shrine has almost doubled this year and still there are 12 days to go which itself is an indication of change taking place in the Valley.
General Kapoor pointed out that overall situation in J-K is under control and efforts of the security forces have resulted in large number of terrorists surrendering with weapons.
Commenting on the ceasefire violation on the LoC, he said that infiltration attempts have increased and when we fire on infiltrators it is misconstrued by Pakistan as firing on them and cross firing begins leading to violation of ceasefire.
General Kapoor said that the matter has been taken up with the concerned Pakistani uthorities. By Praful Kumar Singh