New Delhi: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday waded into the controversy over the ongoing anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in the country, condemning students, who, he said, were leading people to carry out arson and violence in the name of protests.

Speaking at an event, the Army Chief, who is widely tipped to be the country’s first-ever Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), said, “Leaders are not those who lead people in an inappropriate direction. As we are witnessing in large number of universities and colleges, students, the way they are leading masses and crowds to carry out arson and violence in cities and towns. This is not leadership.”

This is not the first time that General Rawat has spoken on a political issue in the country. In the past, too, he has been accused by the opposition of making ‘political comments.’

Student-led anti-CAA protests are currently underway in several colleges and universities in the country, including Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), two campuses which witnessed a massive police crackdown last week.

General Rawat is scheduled to retire as the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) on December 31 and will be succeeded by the Army’s Vice Chief, Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane. He became the Army’s 27th COAS in December 2016, succeeding General Dalbir Singh Suhag.