Human shield row: Indian army chief shows ‘Criminal Leadership’, says rights body
Reacting to the statement of Indian army Chief Bipin Rawat on the issue of “Human Shield”, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Keneth Roth on Monday tweeted saying Indian Army Chief shows ‘Criminal Leadership”.
On Sunday the Indian army chief had termed the “infamous” act of strapping a Kashmiri to an army Jeep as “innovative” and said that commending the Army officer was to boost the morale of his army which is fighting a “dirty war” in Kashmir.
On April 09 on the day of Srinagar by-election, an army Major Leetul Gogoi strapped a Kashmiri Shawl weaver to a front of an army Jeep as a human shield and paraded him through many villages in Beerwah area of Central part of Kashmir’s Budgam district. An army man atop a Jeep warned people of meeting same fate if they would throw stones, a video of the act which went viral on social media showed.
Couple of weeks ago Punjab chief Minister Amrinder Singh wrote an article in Indian Express commending army major for his act and asked that he should be rewarded.
Later it surfaced in media that army has rewarded the major for his role in counterinsurgency operations. The rewarding of army major became a subject of debate.
The “grave human rights violation” act has drawn mixed reactions in India. Hindustan Times newspaper in its May 28 Editorial criticized the act and army chief’s statement saying, “General’s assertions are disappointing.”
But a litany of politicians has come in support of army major for his act of using a person as human shield.
India’s ruling party chief Amit Shah on May 26 appreciated the army major for his act.