SRINAGAR: Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) has strongly reacted to the Army Chief’s recent statements on Kashmir. A broad coordination of various civil liberty groups in India, CDRO has termed the statements “slopism at best” insisted the General is “desperately desirous of playing the role army plays in Pakistan”.
“Civil liberties and Democratic Rights organizations have for long argued that using Indian Army to prosecute war against our own people is to fight an ignoble war, because such wars are Dirty Wars under the very definition of Counter Insurgency warfare where our own people are treated as enemies to be suppressed by using military force. CDRO as well as other civil liberties groups have been witness to and chroniclers of heinous crimes of sexual violence, custodial killings, massacres, enforced disappearances, blinding young men and women, use of pellet guns in such wars by India’s armed forces over several decades. Our work convinces us of the folly of using army for prolonged wars against our own people, when enlightened self-interest beckons a democratic resolution for long festering disputes such as the Kashmir Question.
Consequently, for the Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat to claim that the rules of engagement in a dirty war are “played in a dirty way” because it is a “proxy war”, is a slopism at best or a subterfuge to pass off the blame for Kashmir insurgency on to Pakistan. For 27 years Jammu and Kashmir has been a “Disturbed Area” where army and the paramilitary forces enjoy legal immunity under Armed Forces Special Powers Act and provisions of Indian Army Act 1950 for any offence committed by them in such wars.