Says human shield situation-based, not standard operation
KG News Desk
Srinagar, June 17: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today said forces were doing a great job in bringing the Kashmir situation under control and that human shield is situation-based, not standard operation.
He said the Jammu and Kashmir situation should not be looked from the perspective of what was being projected and that the security forces were taking necessary action in the Valley.
General Rawat was in the city as the chief guest at the combined graduation parade, marking the completion of the pre-commissioning training of Indian Air Force flight cadets at the Air Force Academy, Dundigal.
“You should not look at the Jammu and Kashmir situation from the perspective of what is being projected. Let me tell you the security forces and all other agencies are doing a great job to bring the situation under control,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the programme when asked about the prevailing unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Some parts of South Kashmir are indeed troublesome, but necessary actions are being taken to ensure that the situation there is fully brought under control. Therefore, I think there should not be any cause for worry for anyone,” he said.
Asked if the situation is deteriorating in the Valley with each passing day, Rawat said, “..Well, not really. We are there to make sure the situation is brought under control. Therefore, I think at the present juncture we have to continue with the task in the manner in which we are carrying on.”
“The Indian armed forces belong to the people. We are the people’s armed forces. Therefore, the Army is for the people. We have been called upon to do a particular task by the Government of India. Because they do feel that there is a requirement for the Army to be there. Therefore, we are there,” he said.
He said use of human shield in Kashmir was “circumstances-based” and would not be used as a standard operating procedure as his soldiers had “a very good human rights record” and were doing a “great job” to bring peace in the troubled state
peaking about the April 9 controversy over using a civilian as a human shield against stone-pelters in Kashmir, the General said every action was taken “considering the nature of task that we are expected to carry out under the circumstances”.
When a reporter asked if he would make using human shields a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), the Army chief remarked that the media was asking a question whose answer is known. “I will ask a counter question. Is media expected to report the truth what will be the answer. You would never say no. You are asking me a question the answer of which is known to you.”
When the reporter wanted to know if his answer means that human shields will be part of SOP, he said: “No. It is not. What I am saying is it is not considered. I said it depends on the circumstances. It is circumstances-based. Each one takes action based on the circumstances, but the effort is to make sure that human rights violations are not there.”
He said his force was concerned about human rights and would make sure rights of people were not violated.
“We are an Army which believes very strongly in human rights and we have a very good human rights record.”
He said his soldiers knew how to deal with “children and women” who are part of mobs pelting stones at security forces in the Kashmir Valley.
“When they find there are children and there are ladies who are coming in front, they deal with them accordingly. Harsh measures are never used.”
The Army chief conferred the ‘President’s Commission’ to 120 graduating trainees of various branches including 25 women trainees.