Human shield not to become 'standard operating procedure': Army chief
Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat said it would have been easier for the armed forces if the protesters were firing weapons instead of throwing stones. Photograph: (Twitter)
Army chief General Bipin Rawat said the human shield tactic cannot become the standard operating procedure in the Valley, the Times of India reports. The human shield tactic drew a lot of criticism after a Major, Leetul Gogoi, tied a civilian up to his jeep.
A man was strapped to the front of a police jeep purportedly to be used as a human shield against stone pelters (DNA)
This is something of a reversal for Rawat, who earlier said that Major Gogoi's decision prevented casualties and injuries. Rawat added that the armed forces are sensitive to issues of human rights, and have always maintained a good record.
Rawat's earlier support for human shields taken against this recent reversal makes it hard to peg down exactly where he currently stands: Is he in favour of human shields so long as they potentially protect against injuries or death? If so, when isn't he against them? He never said they are never acceptable, only that it cannot become standard operating procedure.
After, he told the media that security force were working hard to bring normalcy to Kashmir, and said the situation was "not deteriorating".