Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has backed Army Chief General Bipin Rawat remarks that tough action will be taken against civilians who obstruct military’s anti-terror operations. Speaking to a leading news channel, Parrikar said that Army does not consider every Kashmiri on the street as a terror sympathiser.

Underlining that the Army can take a decision based on the situation at the local level, he said that those who obstruct anti-terror operations are obviously trying to protect terrorists.

“Army has a free hand for CICT (counter insurgency and counter terrorism) operations and the final decision rests with the local commander. Such operations are based on specific inputs,” he added.

Parrikar’s remarks came two days after Army chief Bipin Rawat’s strict warning to stone pelters that those waving Pakistan’s and ISIS flags and obstruct anti-terror operation will be dealt sternly.

“We would now request the local population that people who have picked up arms, and they are the local boys, if they want to continue with the acts of terrorism, displaying flags of ISIS and Pakistan, then we will treat them as anti-national elements and go helter-skelter for them,” Rawat said.

“They may survive today but we will get them tomorrow. Our relentless operations will continue,” the Army Chief told reporters.