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India
28 May 2017

Army Chief Bipin Rawat defends human shield idea

Army defends human shield decision

Army Chief Bipin Rawat, in an attempt to instil confidence in his men, defended the actions of Major Leetul Gogoi who had used an alleged stone-pelting youth as a human shield for the army's operation.

Major Gogoi was awarded the Army Chief's Commendation Card for his anti-insurgency operations.

His actions had created a stir among human rights activists and Kashmiri groups.

In context

Army defends human shield decision

Fight dirty wars with innovation, says Rawat

"This is a proxy war and proxy war is a dirty war...The rules of engagements are there when the adversary comes face-to-face and fights with you. It is a dirty war.... That is where innovation comes in. You fight a dirty war with innovations."

What happened?

Details

What happened?

A Rashtriya Rifles quick-reaction team reportedly received an SOS from ITBP and J&K police personnel surrounded by stone-pelters on polling day, April 9.

After arriving, they caught hold of one of them, Farooq Ahmad Dar, and tied him to the front of the jeep with a warning for miscreants written on paper, strapped on his waist.

He was later handed over to police.

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Rawat defends move, says he stands with his men

"People are throwing stones at us, people are throwing petrol bombs at us. If my men ask me what do we do, should I say, just wait and die? I have to maintain the morale of my troops who are operating there."

Rawat

Rawat says people must fear Army

Rawat elaborated on the security challenges within Kashmir. He said that it would have been safer for the forces to respond had the protesters been using guns instead of stones.

Clarifying his stance, he said "We are a friendly army, but when we are called to restore law and order, people have to be afraid of us."

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