Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said attempts were being made through “external linkages” to revive insurgency in Punjab and it will be too late if action is not taken soon, PTI reported.

He made the remarks to a gathering of senior Army officers, defence experts, and former senior government and police officials at a seminar in New Delhi.

“Punjab has been peaceful but because of these external linkages, attempts again are being made to revive insurgency in the state,” he said. “We have to be very careful. Let us not think that Punjab [situation] is over. 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.”

Militancy was at its height in Punjab in the 1980s during the movement for a separate Sikh nation of Khalistan. In August, Khalistan supporters organised a rally in London, an event India dubbed a “separatist activity”.

Rawat said a solution to the problem had not been found because of these outside forces. He added that insurgency cannot be combated through military force but through integrated functioning of the government, civil administration, military and police.

The Army chief said a similar attempt to revive insurgency in Assam through “external linkages” was being made.