Bipin Rawat
CDS Bipin Rawat | ANI Photo
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New Delhi: The charges against the Army about human rights violations in Kashmir and violent night raids in civilian areas are not true, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat told ThePrint, challenging that those levelling such allegations come forward with the “victims”.

Rawat said that some of the gruesome pictures that have come out in foreign media reports and on social media seem to be “photoshopped”.

“This is completely untrue. When I came to know of the allegations, I instantly checked with our units and commanders in Kashmir. I can clearly say that no civilian was tortured by the Army and neither were any night raids carried out in which civilians were harassed,” Rawat told ThePrint in an exclusive interview at the Army Headquarters in South Block.

When asked what would happen if the “victims” come forward, Rawat said he would order a probe.

“If any victim comes forward, I will personally order a full-fledged probe. But I can say for sure that no such action, as has been alleged by some, has taken place,” he said.

Talking about a picture that went viral on social media, showing injuries on the back of a person, the Army chief said it is clearly “photoshopped”.

“The lines are very straight and the same throughout the back. It clearly shows that some marks must have been there, which were then copied and pasted all over the back,” he added.

The picture was first put out by an international media organisation along with a report, but is no longer part of the story.

The allegations

The BBC, along with several international media organisations such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, has reported on the alleged torture of Kashmiris by security forces, especially the Army, following the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K last month.

Kashmiri activist Shehla Rashid had even tweeted that the Army conducted night raids in civilian areas in the Valley and harassed people. She further alleged that the Army tortured civilians in south Kashmir and used loudspeakers to make the rest of the villagers hear the screams of the one who was being tortured.

“One thing that everyone is good at these days is taking videos and pictures. Even encounters are at times shot on video by civilians. So don’t you think if the Army had indeed done what has been alleged, someone would not have captured it on the phone,” he asked.

Rawat said that the Army was involved in counter-terror operations and not in law and order issues. The Army operates with a certain ethos and it values human rights, he added.


Also read: Medical report says Kashmir teen, a topper and Kohli fan, died of shell and pellet injuries


 

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6 Comments Share Your Views

6 COMMENTS

  1. Allegations of torcher by the Army in the Valley in the aftermath of revocation of Art 370 indeed are false. If true why haven’t any police complaints been registered till now? Where ever International Media has made such statements, they need to prove them. If false the Army needs to file defamation cases & seek compensation for villyfying the Forces & the country.

    • What kind of name brigadier, is Mahalingam What parents Give such a name to a child.
      To find evidence of army abuse in Kashmir please google for the following reports from:
      UN expert David Kaye Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
      Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders;
      Bernard Duhaime, Chair-Rapporteur, Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances;
      Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association;
      Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. UN experts are David Kaye Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Bernard Duhaime, Chair-Rapporteur, Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association; and Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, arbitrary executions.

  2. What Rawat says must be taken with a pinch of salt.
    The man tied to the jeep came forward, but Rawat rewarded the army officer instead.
    Taking civilian human beings as hostages and using them as shields against threats to combat soldiers, is torture and illegal under any system and cowardly.
    You set the standard yourself others in the army just follow your example.

  3. DOES THIS CHIEF THINK WE ARE STUPID!
    GENERAL RAWAT, GAVE AN AWARD TO A MAJOR, WHO TIED A KASHMIRI SHAWL WEAVER TO A JEEP AS A HUMAN SHIELD.
    Using human shields is a gross violation of a persons human rights and against the Geneva convention. These are internationally accepted norms. The whole world saw the photograph, it’s an iconic photograph, of Farooq Dar tied as a human shield to the front of a jeep by Major Leetul Gogoi.
    General Rawat before even the his own Army enquiry into the incident was concluded, awarded Maj Gogoi the Army chiefs commendation card for this act.
    THIS ARMY CHIEF STATING STATING THAT THE BBC LIES IN REPORTING HUMAN RIGHTS IS BIZARRE. THIS ARMY CHIEF HAS LOST CREDIBILITY IN THE EYES OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THE POPULATION OF KASHMIR.

  4. Very reassuring to read that. The Indian Army is a fine, professional force and, in Kashmir, it is dealing with Indian citizens, not the enemy combatants it is trained to fight. This is a time for all stakeholders to do all that is possible to keep India’s global image bright.

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