Two days after Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat said that those who try to stop anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir by pelting stones will be shot and those waving Pakistani and Islamic State flags will be treated as anti-nationals, people in Srinagar did precisely that in revolt.
On Friday, they pelted stones and raised Pakistani flags near Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has already issued directives asking people to stay away from encounter sites after Rawat's warning. District administrations in Srinagar, Budgam and Shopian have also advised people to not assemble near places where encounters take place to avoid injury and loss of life. The areas where encounter are carried out will be kept under section 144 of the CrPC that prohibits assembly of more than five people.
The tough talk by the Army chief has been supported by several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders.
"There should be action against the stone pelters and whoever works against national interest as national interest is supreme," Minister of State for Home Affairs Home Kiren Rijiju told reporters. "Whatever the Army chief has said, he has said that in national interest. There is no need to misinterpret it. There is nothing wrong in the Army chief's statement," he added.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has also endorsed Rawat's comments. Another BJP leader Jitender Singh said, "I think it is high time that the nation should be made aware of the lowly politicking indulged into by some Congress leaders who have questioned not only the intention of the Army chief's statement but also have gone to the extent of calling him hot-headed. And the statements which have come one after the other are quite unbecoming of a national party."
Separatists in Jammu and Kashmir have condemned the statement, while Congress leaders said that the Kashmir issue is sensitive and can only be solved with sensitivity.
Jammu and Kashmir's former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has also slammed the Army chief's statement saying that mob should lead to constructive political action, not threats.
"The government needs to engage politically with the alienated youth of Kashmir – threats and warnings will only compound their hostility," Omar Abdullah had said.
Meanwhile, #ThankYouAlJazeera is trending on Twitter for their latest documentary on Kashmir -- Kashmir: Born to Fight. It shows Army brutality in Jammu and Kashmir.