14:34 GMT24 September 2020
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    Issuing a stern warning to local youth in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Army on Tuesday advised youngsters not to take up arms under any circumstances.

    The Indian Army on Tuesday said that the mastermind of the recent Pulwama blast, which killed 40 paramilitary personnel last week, has been eliminated along with two others in an encounter which took place less than 100 hours after a jihadi operative from the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group's attack. 

    READ MORE: India Slaps Pakistani Goods With 200 Percent Import Duty After Kashmir Attack

    "In a Kashmiri society, mother has great role to play. Through you, I would request the mothers of Kashmir to please request their sons who've joined terrorism to surrender and get back to mainstream. Anyone who has picked up gun will be killed and eliminated unless he surrenders," Lieutenant General Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, commander of the Indian Army's Chinar Corps, said.

    "Anyone who has picked up a gun will be killed and eliminated," the army said in a statement.

    The Indian Army's statement follows the rising number of local youths joining the militancy in the state in 2018. "208 boys have joined militancy in 2018, which was almost double the number in comparison to 2017," a military source told Sputnik.

    Nevertheless, Dhillon claimed that the numbers in the Kashmir valley have come down in the last three months.  The international border is guarded by paramilitary troops of the Border Security Force.

    READ MORE: Pompeo: Pakistan Must Not Provide Safe Havens for Terrorists After Kashmir Blast

    The Indian Army has also indicated that it will not spare those who try to provide escape routes to militants. Lt. Gen Dhillon warned that civilians should do their best to stay out of counter-terror operations.

    On Monday, four soldiers, including an Indian Army officer and two civilians, were killed in a 16-hour-long operation against three terrorists holed up in Pulwama.


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