Indian armed forces are extremely secular: Bipin Rawat
New Delhi, Dec 27: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday said that the India armed forces are "extremely secular" and have "utmost respect" for human rights.
His statement comes a day after he atrirred up a controversy by condemning "leaders who lead the masses in arson and violence" over the Citizenship Amendment Act.
"Preserving human rights in times of war and prisoners of war" at the Manav Adhikar Bhawan in Delhi, General Rawat said addressing senior officers of the National Human Rights Commission.
"Indian military personnel have the utmost respect for international human rights laws," he added.
"We not only ensure the protection of the human rights of our own people but also that of our adversaries. We deal with prisoners of war in accordance with the Geneva Convention," news agency IANS quoted him as saying.
Rawat on Thursday stirred up a controversy on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, saying "leaders are not those who lead masses in arson and violence".
The opposition led by the Congress attacked Gen Rawat, who is due to retire on December 31 as Army Chief, for making remarks on political issues.
"Leaders are not those who lead people in inappropriate directions, as we are witnessing in a large number of university and college students, the way they are leading masses of crowds to carry out arson and violence in our cities and towns. This is not leadership," the Army Chief said at a health summit.
In his three-year tenure as Army Chief, Rawat faced allegations of not remaining politically neutral.