Mukherji approached against Army’s human shield action

New Delhi, June 13 (KMS): Two human rights groups, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and Movement for Secular Democracy (MSD) including other activists, academicians and journalists from Ahmadabad have sent a memorandum to Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee, condemning the action of Indian Army of tying a Kashmiri to an army jeep as a human shield in occupied Kashmir.

The statement issued by PUCL and MSD said, “We, the concerned citizens of India, are shocked by the action of Major Gogoi of tying a Kashmiri artisan to the army jeep and parading him in villages in Jammu and Kashmir as a human shield … and statement by the Army Chief General Bipin Rawat defending and justifying his action and awarding a special award”.

“The Army is using Armed Forces Special Powers Act (ASPFA) blatantly which would not justify both the actions which are illegal, unconstitutional, and inhuman,” the statement added.

While condemning the Major Leetul Gogoi for tying the Kashmiri youth, Farooq Ahmad Dar, as a human shield, the rights groups said that the action was in violation of article 21 of Indian constitution and also of Geneva Conventions. “Simply by calling ‘a dirty proxy war’ the army chief cannot justify the action. The army in India is not above the Constitution,” they added.

“Neither Gogoi nor the Army Chief should have addressed the press conference. They must remember that the army is meant for defending the country and protecting the people, and not for frightening the people,” the statement maintained.

The groups further said that the attitude of the army chief was a serious threat to Indian Constitution, and asked for creating an atmosphere for dialogue with the aggrieved people of the Valley without delay.


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