New Delhi: A day after triggering controversy over anti-CAA remarks, Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday said the Indian Armed Forces have the utmost respect for human rights laws. He said they not only ensure the protection of human rights of the people of the country but also of its adversaries as well.

He said this while addressing the interns and senior officers of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the topic of ‘Preserving Human Rights in Times of War and Prisoners of War’.

“The Indian armed forces are much disciplined and have the utmost respect for human rights laws and international human rights laws. The Indian armed forces not only ensure the protection of human rights of our own people but also of adversaries and deal with the prisoners of war as per the Geneva Conventions,” Rawat said.

He also said that the driving ethos of the Indian armed forces is humanity and decency. “They are extremely secular. The challenge is the changing war fare tactics with the advent of technology,” he added.

He also stated that the Army Headquarters had created a human rights cell in 1993, which now is being upgraded to the level of a Directorate and it will be led by an Additional Director General.

“This will also have police personnel to address the complaints of human rights violations against the armed forces and facilitate related enquiries,” he said.

He also stated that the Army has taken initiatives to recruit women personnel in the forces. “A new initiative has been taken in October this year by recruiting women Jawans in Military Police Force. The Army takes along with it police personnel in search operations, but keeping in view the concerns of women during such operations, the army has now decided to deploy its lady Jawans of its Military Police Force also,” he added.