Army chief General Bipin Rawat | PTI
File image of CDS General Bipin Rawat | PTI
Text Size:

New Delhi: Army chief General Bipin Rawat Friday said the armed forces have utmost respect for laws related to human rights and they not only ensure protection of human rights of people of the country, but also of its adversaries.

He was addressing interns and senior officers of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on “Preserving Human Rights in Times of War and Prisoners of War” at the Manav Adhikar Bhawan here, officials said.

“The Indian armed forces are much disciplined and have the utmost respect for human rights laws and international human rights laws.

“The Indian armed forces not only ensure protection of human rights of our own people but also of adversaries and deal with Prisoners of War as per the Geneva Conventions,” General Rawat was quoted as saying in a statement.

The army chief’s comments came a day after he found himself in the midst of a massive row after he publicly criticised people leading protests against the amended citizenship law, saying leadership is not about guiding masses to carry out arson and violence across the country.

Rawat in his address at the NHRC event, asserted that the driving ethos of the armed forces are “‘insaniyat’ and ‘sharafat’ (humanity and decency)” and added that “they are extremely secular”.

“The challenge is the changing warfare tactics with the advent of technology. Unlike the attack by any armed forces, the terror attacks remain unaccountable in international law.

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.


“Hence, counter-terrorism and anti-insurgency operations have to be dealt in a manner of winning the hearts of the people by identifying and alienating the insurgents among them without collateral damage, which becomes very challenging and difficult,” he said.

General Rawat also said the Army Headquarters had created a “human rights cell” in 1993, which is now being upgraded to the level of a directorate, which will be headed by an additional director general.

This will also have police personnel to address complaints of human rights violations against the armed force, and facilitate related inquiries, he said.

Rawat said a new initiate was taken in October by recruiting women personnel in the Military Police Force.

He said keeping in view the provisions of human rights laws and importance of protection of human rights, “now a court of inquiry is being held after every anti-insurgency operation and all records are being maintained related to such operations”.

Referring to the Armed Force Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the Army chief said the Act gives “almost the same powers to the Army, which are also exercised by police and the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force)” in connection with search and inquiry operations.

However, over the years the Army itself has “diluted its application in its own way under the ten commandments issued by the Chief of Army Staff which are to be strictly adhered by every soldier, particularly those deployed for operations in anti- insurgency areas,” Rawat was quoted as saying in the statement.

The Supreme Court guidelines on this are also being strictly followed by soldiers, who are all given special training before deployment in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations, he said.

NHRC Member justice P C Pant addressing the gathering gave an insight into various laws protecting human rights.

He also mentioned about some of the fundamental rights, which are not given to the armed forces in line of duty, the NHRC statement said.

NHRC Secretary General Jaideep Govind, NHRC Member D M Mulay, Director General (Investigation) Prabhat Singh, and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.

Also read: General Bipin Rawat says non-contact warfare will help Army gain advantage over adversary


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here