The Indian Army has appointed a Major General rank officer to head its newly created human rights cell to give high priority to the observance of human rights convention and values, officials said.
Major General Gautam Chauhan took charge as the first Additional Director General Human Rights in the Indian Army on Thursday and will work under the India Army Vice Chief Lieutenant General SK Saini.
The human rights cell will be the nodal point to examine any human rights violation reports. To enhance transparency and ensure investigative expertise is available to the section, an Indian Police Service officer of SSP/SP rank will be taken on deputation, as per the mandate.
The approval for the human rights cell was given by the Ministry of Defence in August 2019 but it needed more procedural formalities till it could start functioning fully headed by a Major General rank officer directly under the Vice Chief of Army Staff.
The office will look at putting in place a more stringent mechanism to look into human rights violations.
Major General Chauhan, who has been appointed as the first Additional Director General was serving as Brigadier Operations Logistics at Headquarters of the Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS).
An infantry officer from Gorkha Rifles, Major General Chauhan has headed a brigade in North East. He has also served in the Directorate of the Military Operations (MO).
The post of Additional Directorate General Human rights is part of several reforms announced by the Army.
It will be the nodal body to examine any human rights violation reports.
The Indian Police Service officer part of the cell will not only assist in investigations and legalities but will also facilitate coordination with other organisations and the Home Ministry if required.
With the Army serving in sensitive conflict areas charges of human rights violations come up but don’t get the attention always.
Indian army has always maintained that its human rights record impeccable but such a body will help in looking into the charges in a professional manner and will also function as an internal watchdog, sources said.
Source: India Today