Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said attempts are being made through “external linkages” to revive insurgency in Punjab and it will be too late if action is not taken soon. He also raised concern over attempts to foment trouble in Assam.
Addressing a gathering of senior Army officers, defence experts and former senior officials of government and police at a seminar on “Changing Contours of Internal Security in India: Trends and Responses”, Gen. Rawat said that attempts were being made again through “external linkages’ and “external abetment” to revive insurgency in Assam.
“Punjab has been peaceful but because of these external linkages attempts again are being made to revive insurgency,” he said, adding, “We have to be very careful.” “We cannot close our eyes to what is happening in Punjab. And, if we do not take early action now, it will be too late,” he said.
Punjab saw one of the worst phases of insurgencies in the pro-Khalistan movement in 1980s which was eventually quelled by the government.
Internal security is one of the biggest problems in the country, but the question is why have we not been able to find a solution, Gen. Rawat asked, and then answered, “because it has external linkages”.
The event was organised by defence think-tank CLAWS (Centre for Land and Warfare Studies).
Asserting that insurgency cannot be dealt with military force, he pitched for an approach in which all agencies, the government, civil administration, military and police work in an “integrated manner”.
“The resolution of Naga insurgency can be forerunner to the Manipur insurgency situation. There are some linkages between the two. But if that resolution does not satisfy Manipuris then insurgency in that state will take a different turn,” Gen. Rawat said.