Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said using civilians as “human shields” would not be made the military’s standard operating procedure. While speaking on the sidelines of an event in Hyderabad, he said the tactic employed by Major Leetul Gogoi in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district in April was “circumstances-based”, PTI reported.
“We take all actions after considering the nature of the task we are expected to carry out under the circumstances...Each one takes action based on the circumstances, but the effort is to make sure that human rights violations are not there,” he said after addressing an Air Force Academy graduation ceremony.
Major Gogoi had tied a civilian – identified as Farooq Daar – to a jeep allegedly as a shield to thwart attacks by stone-pelters. The move, which had come to light after a video of the incident went viral on social media, had drawn criticism from various quarters, though it had been defended by the Centre. Rawat, too, had defended Gogoi and said he could not have “looked back” and waited for orders at that point and took action “in his own wisdom”.