Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2019, the army chief said radicalisation has taken a different route in Jammu and Kashmir where youth is being fed misinformation about religion, becoming a form of warfare. 

Army Chief Bipin Rawat Wednesday said there is a need to curb social media as it is becoming a source of spreading radicalisation through misinformation and falsehood.

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2019, the Army Chief said through social media, the youth are convinced that “there is sense” in what the terrorists are doing. Adding that “media and social media must be first controlled” to stop the spread of radicalisation through misinformation about religion. “Radicalisation through social media is becoming one of the reasons for raising funds for terrorist organisations,” he said.

Rawat further said that if “any particular nation” attempts to control social media, it is accused of “curbing the rights…suppressing the media,” urging the international community to come together to fight against it.

Radicalisation has taken a different route in Jammu and Kashmir where youth is being fed misinformation about religion, becoming a form of warfare. “That is why you find more and more educated youth being drawn into terrorism,” he further said.

Rawat has come down heavily on social media on earlier occasions as well, warning jawans on airing their grievances online, after videos alleging poor quality of food served in the army by a BSF jawan went viral. In 2017, Rawat had said jawans who take to social media to express their complaints could be punished as their act lowers the morale of those guarding the frontiers of the country.

In a reference to Pakistan, Rawat today said terrorism would prosper if it is sponsored by the state. “Terrorism is here to stay as long as there are nations that continue to sponsor it as state policy,” he said, adding that Pakistan keeps Taliban “in its backyard”.

The army chief also pressed for negotiations with Taliban, but “without conditions”.  In November, last year, India had attended an “unofficial” dialogue process with Taliban in Moscow.

(Inputs from PTI)

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