‘Human shield’ may now be a defining image for Indian Army: Lt Gen Panag

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anag has served the state of Jammu & Kashmir for 40 years and yet he was questioned by the social media users for his take on the incident.

New Delhi: The former General Officer Commanding of Northern Command, Lt General HS Panag was recently called an anti-national for criticising the alleged use of a man as a “human shield” to protect Army officials from stone pelting in Kashmir’s Budgam district.

Besides being called an anti-national, he received about 2,000 tweets, some of which contained threats to beat him up, according to a report in NDTV. Panag has served the state of Jammu & Kashmir for 40 years and yet he was questioned by the social media users for his take on the incident and knowledge of the state. He responded to each of the tweets.

 “I used to have 40,000 followers, now I have 44,000,” General HS Panag joked after making headlines in international media. Criticism of the nation cannot be seen as anti-national as there is a difference between hyper-nationalism and patriotism, said Lt General Panag. The Army needs to be questioned to grow through criticism, he added.

The Indian Army has never used a ‘human shield’ in the past, noted the Lt General.

“This image will end up being the defining image of the Indian Army, just like the Napalm girl was for the Vietnam war,” said Lt General Panag, in connection to the image of the naked child running away from Napalm bombing.

On April 9, the Army had allegedly used a ‘human shield’ by tying a man to a jeep to avoid being pelted with stones by protestors in the Kashmir valley. The civilians were protesting over by-elections for the Srinagar parliamentary constituency. The video of the incident had gone viral.

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