A day after warning that attempts were being made to “revive insurgency” in Punjab, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday accused Pakistan of trying to vitiate the atmosphere in the country. Rawat also stressed that people needed to be careful during the ongoing festival season to prevent anti-national forces from succeeding in their nefarious designs.
“See we have a neighbouring country which always tries to vitiate atmosphere here. Our country is progressing which is not liked by them,” Rawat told the media. He had on Saturday said that “external linkages” were trying to “revive insurgency” in Punjab and Assam and if early action was not taken, it would be too late.
Noting that Punjab was progressing at a “very fast” pace, Rawat said attempts were being made to disrupt peace in the state. “I have been reading what is coming out in the media. There is Referendum 2020 coming in the UK… Whatever we call it, there is an attempt being made to disrupt the peace again in Punjab,” he said. “We have to be careful,” Rawat added.
Hundreds of people had turned up at the Trafalgar Square in London on August 12 in support of a pro-Khalistan rally. The Sikhs for Justice group had said its rally was intended to raise awareness for a non-binding referendum in 2020.
The Army chief further said terror modules were busted in Punjab recently and people of the state must remain alert. “Punjab is such a state where militancy ended completely. Why? Because people of the state stopped it,” Rawat said.
Punjab had seen one of the worst phases of insurgencies in the 1980s when the pro-Khalistan movement was at its peak, which was eventually quelled by the government.
The Army chief further asked the security agencies and the people of the country to remain alert as terrorists could strike in any part of the country during the festive season. “Festival season is coming and we need to be more alert at this time,” he said.