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Human Shield tactic cannot be SOP

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has appreciated the security agencies for their “great job” while facing strife and taking necessary action to bring situation under control in Kashmir. He has also asserted that there should be no cause of worry to anyone.

Speaking to media persons after the combined graduation parade of the Air Force Academy and Dundigal, 36 km from Hyderabad, on Saturday, Gen. Rawat said that security forces were working day and night to bring normalcy in Kashmir and assured situation was “not deteriorating”.

To a query on the rise of attacks on soldiers by local youth in the valley, Gen. Rawat said “Misinformation and disinformation is being fed to the people, which  is triggering trouble and compelling some to take up arms. But they will soon realize it is not good for their own state and people”.

Referring to repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Army Chief said they do it for a purpose and India’s security forces counter it.

Responding to a question, the Army Chief said that the human shield tactic employed by Major Leetul Gogoi to deter stonepelters cannot be made Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as the armed forces were sensitive to human rights. However, in the recent past, General Rawat defended Gogoi’s action saying his decision prevented casualties and injuries.

Farooq Ahmed Dar, 27, was used as human shield to deter stonepelters by Major Leetul Gogoi at Ultigam village of Badgam district in April this year. Dar was quoted saying that he had gone to cast his vote at the polling booth when he was picked up by Army to be paraded around the streets.

Leetul Gogoi said “it was a quick decision ad I didn’t fire even one bullet.. I ended up saving a lot of lives. It was a do or die situation.” He was later awarded for his “sustained efforts on counter-insurgency operations” by Army Chief Bipin Rawat.

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