Communist Party of India’s Kerala secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has sparked controversy after he claimed the Indian army could rape and abduct women if given additional powers and no one would question them.
“They [army] can do anything to anybody. If they see more than four people standing together, they can shoot them…They can take any woman and rape her, nobody has the right to question them. This is the state wherever the army is,” Balakrishnan said.
The remarks by the Kerala leader came a day after India’s Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said the country’s armed forces have been given a free-hand to take decisions in “war-like situations.” He further added officers are not bound to consult members of Parliament and can do as they deem fit to counter terrorist forces.
Balakrishnan further added if the army is deployed in Kerala state’s Kannur, clashes between army and the people are bound to happen.
Indian army has long been accused of atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir too. Repression in occupied Kashmir also featured prominently in Amnesty International’s 2016-17 report, claiming that the Indian authorities are using repressive laws to curb freedom of expression and silence critical voices.