Suspend Internet to curb terrorism, says Army chief

Suspend Internet to curb terrorism, says Army chief

Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Wednesday favoured suspension of Internet services to rein in terrorists.

"Putting some checks and curbs on Internet and social media that terrorist outfits always resort to, is required. In a democratic country people won't like it but we have to take a call on whether we want a safe and secure environment or willing to accept curbs temporarily so terrorism can be dealt with," Gen Rawat said here at the Raisina Dialogue – an international conference on strategic issues.

The General's comments come at a time when the Army is struggling to find an effective way to discourage the youth in Kashmir Valley from embracing jihad.

Despite killing 200 terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in 2017, as many as 117 youngsters had been radicalised between January and November last year.

Educated recruits

Many of them come from educated families in south Kashmir and are regular users of Internet and social media, which are being used by the terrorist organisations to lure them.

"Terrorists are using systems that are highly technology enabled and transcending international borders. We need to disrupt terrorists and their sponsors," the Army chief said.

Without naming Pakistan, Gen Rawat said the world should identify the nation that sponsors and supports terrorism and supplies funds to the terrorist groups to buy weapons.

Gen Rawat also suggested that the government buy up the poppy crop – a source of opium and heroine – as an option to choke the funding of terrorists. Terrorists promote illegal poppy cultivation, which is routed to the drug business to mop up funds to purchase weapons.

On the Chinese transgression at Doklam, Gen Rawat said he does not visualise serious trouble as the bonhomie (between India and China) had returned to pre-Doklam level. But the Army was always prepared, he added.

No serious threat

"While (PLA) troops may have returned, their infrastructure remains. It is anybody's guess whether they could not take their equipment in  the winter and whether they would come back. But we are also there; so, in case they come, we will face them," he said in a Facebook interview, which was aired as a part of the Raisina Dialogue.

"As far as Doklam is concerned, PLA soldiers are there in a part of the area, although not in numbers that we saw initially. They have carried out some infrastructure development which is mostly temporary in nature," he said.

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