Indian Army forced to issue clarification over Army Chief statement drawing backlash from Muslims


NEW DELHI: The Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat is in hot waters over the controversial statement against the rising population of Indian Muslims in parts of country.

His controversial statement has drawn lashback from the Muslim organisations across the India who had warned Army Chief against issuing such political statements.

The Army has been forced to issue a clarification after General Bipin Rawat commented on the rise of Maulana Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) in Assam. The Army said: "There is nothing political or religious in the talk. The Army Chief just mentioned amalgamation and development in the seminar on North-East organised at DRDO Bhawan on 21 February 18."

The Army chief is facing the heat for saying that the rise of the AIUDF has been "faster" than that of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 1980s. "There is a party called AIUDF. If you look at it, they have grown in a faster time-frame than the BJP grew over the years," he said while referring to the BJP winning only 2 seats in 1984. "The AIDUF is moving at a faster pace in Assam."

Criticising General Rawat for his comment, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Awaisi warned against speaking on political matters. Owaisi had said that it is not the work of the Army chief work to comment on the rise of a political party. "What, the Army Chief should not interfere in political matters it is not his work to comment on the rise of a political party, Democracy & Constitution allows it and Army will always work under an Elected Civilian leadership," Owaisi said in a tweet on Wednesday.

General Rawat had said that a "planned immigration is taking place because of our western neighbour. They will always try and ensure that this area is taken over, playing the proxy dimension of warfare," General Rawat had said, talking about the influx of people from Bangladesh into the Northeast. He was addressing a conference on bridging gaps and securing borders in the Northeast region.

Speaking about the AIUDF, party MLA Aminul Islam said their popularity is increasing because of the work that they are doing. "AIUDF is working for the downtrodden. this is why our popularity is growing faster than BJP. We are hopeful that people of Assam irrespective of caste and creed, will accept AIUDF and our party will come to power soon," Islam said.

New Delhi