Rights leader slams Indian army chief’s ‘criminal’ stance on using Kashmiris as human shield


NEW YORK, May 31 (APP): A top Human rights advocate has condemned Indian army chief’s statement justifying the use of Kashmiris as a human shield against protestors as “criminal leadership.”
Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), took exception to the blatant position Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat has taken on the issue of an Indian major using a Kashmiri man as human shield in the disputed territory.
“Indian army chief shows criminal leadership, backing as ‘innovative’
troops’ use of Kashmir man as a human shield,” Roth wrote on his twitter account.
Roth’s tweet went viral as human rights activists and sympathizers of
Kashmiri victims shared the post more than 1600 times on the social media platform.
The Indian army chief awarded a medal of commendation to Major Teetal Gogoi for adopting an “innovation” approach in using the Kashmiri man as a human shield.
He also told India’s PTI news agency that the purpose of awarding Major Gogoi was to boost the morale of Indian troops in the territory, which is a UN-recognized disputed area.
Gen Rawat went on to say, “I wish these people, instead of throwing
stones at us, were firing weapons at us. Then I would have been happy. Then I could do what I (want to do).”
Roth, the HRW chief, had earlier also castigated New Delhi for using
brutal tactics against Kashmiri protesters.
“Kashmir fighters are vastly diminished but India is responding to
mere protesters with similar brutality.”
In addition, the UN Human Rights officials had condemned India’s ban
on social media as “collective punishment.”