For the first time, the Army has expressed concern over social networking sites, saying they are being used by anti-national elements to unleash propaganda against the security forces in the Kashmir Valley.
“Facebook and other social networking sites are being used as a tool of propaganda against the Army and other security agencies by elements hell-bent on disturbing peace in the Kashmir Valley,” said S A Hasnain, General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps.
Hasnain’s statement assumes importance in the wake of protesters in the Egypt crisis using Facebook to mobilise people. More so, when the Valley is staring at yet another summer in nervous anticipation of fresh trouble.
There are already many pages devoted to the burgeoning Egyptian crisis on the social sites in the Kashmir Valley. Besides, the evolving situation in Egypt has become the exciting new subject of discussion on Facebook and Twitter.
Addressing mediapersons at an Army function at Khanabal in South Kashmir, Hasnain said video clippings posted on Facebook highlighting alleged excesses by security personnel were fabricated.
He promised there would be no human rights violations in the state in 2011. “It is the Army’s New Year resolution to reach out to people in inaccessible areas and work for peace and stability,” Hasnain said.
Hasnain refused to comment on last year’s fake encounter in Macchil in which the Army allegedly killed three porters and passed them off as militants, saying the matter was sub-judice.
Referring to the demand to revoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the Valley, Hasnain said Army had no role in the matter.
“The decision to revoke is a political decision. The Army can only offer suggestions to the government,” the GOC said. Kashmir, he said, was a political issue and needed a political solution.
Hasnain said there was no infiltration at present because of the snow-filled mountain passes. “But with the melting of snow in the coming months, the militants may again try to sneak into this side,” he said.