‘Unbecoming of Army Officer’: Karat Criticises Rawat on Kashmir

BJP leaders responded to Prakash Karat’s remarks by saying that his party has never been loyal to India.

2 min read
CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat wrote an article critical on Army chief Bipin Rawat in his party’s mouthpiece, People’s Democracy. (Photo: PTI/<b>The Quint</b>)

CPI (Marxist) leader Prakash Karat, who was the general secretary of the party till 2015, has lashed out against army chief, General Bipin Rawat, for his stance on the Kashmir unrest.

In an editorial, titled ‘Damaging the Army’s Image’, in People’s Democracy – the mouthpiece of the CPI(M) – he took exception to Rawat’s recent comments “about dealing with civilian protestors in Kashmir”, saying how it panders to the Modi government’s view which “seeks to suppress the people of Kashmir, who are voicing their political protest, through the sole reliance on use of force”.

Karat’s response was to Rawat’s recent statement on stone-pelting in the Valley:

I wish these people, instead of throwing stones at us, were firing weapons at us, then I would have been happy. Then I could do what I (want to do).
General Bipin Rawat

Karat further went on criticise the decision to award Major Leetul Gogoi – the army officer who was implicated in tying Farooq Dar to a jeep as a human shield – with the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation Card, emphasising on how it undermines the “high professional standards of the army”.

Gen Rawat makes no distinction between young protestors throwing stones and armed militants… To taunt protestors to take up arms, so that the army could deal with them appropriately is a needless provocation and displays an attitude which is unbecoming of a senior army officer.
Prakash Karat 

Karat’s believes that the continuance of the government-backed strategy of coercion would be equally detrimental to the Army as to the Kashmiri civilians.


BJP Hits Back

The BJP hit out against the CPI(M) leader’s remarks, with GVL Narasimha Rao, National spokesperson of the party, saying:

Instead of standing with (the) forces, CPM wants to stand with terrorists and separatists. Has CPM’s real name become China Pakistan Mouthpiece?
GVL Narasimha Rao

Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy responded to the controversy by saying:

I won’t bother about Prakash Karat. He’s belongs to the Communist Party, and the Communist Party has never been loyal to India. 
Subramanian Swamy

This comes on the heels of an article in which renowned academic Partha Chatterjee compared the Army chief to Jallianwala Bagh massacre mastermind General Dyre, inviting huge backlash.

(With inputs from ANI)

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