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Tie Arundhati Roy Instead: Paresh Rawal Wades Into 'Human Shield' Row

Bollywood actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal has kicked up a controversy saying the army officer who allegedly used a Kashmiri as a “human shield” in the Valley should have “tied” author-activist Arundhati Roy to the jeep instead.

CNN-News18

Updated:May 22, 2017, 1:39 PM IST
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New Delhi: Bollywood actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal has kicked up a controversy saying the army officer who allegedly used a Kashmiri as a “human shield” in the Valley should have “tied” author-activist Arundhati Roy to the jeep instead.

Arundhati Roy became a household name in 1997 when her novel The God of Small Things won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Since then, she has been an extremely vocal political activist, often highlighting human rights issues within the country and beyond, inviting ire from the Centre. Her new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, is expected to hit stands and bookstores next month.

The Ahmedabad East lawmaker’s statement comes almost a month after a video showed a Kashmiri being tied to an army jeep as an alleged human shield against stone-pelters during bypoll-related violence in Budgam district of the Valley.

Rawal’s tweet gave the Congress more ammo to target the tense coalition between the BJP and the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Criticising Rawal, columnist Shobhaa De told CNN-News18: “This is absurd and I am surprised that someone is doing that for publicity.”

Speaking to CNN-News18 last week, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had defended the army officer, Major Gogoi. “If our soldiers are doing something to protect themselves, how can you denounce that? You cannot. After all, forces are also human beings. They also need to protect their lives…. Indian forces are very responsible. We believe in human rights. We honour human rights. But at the same, we carry the right to protect ourselves,” Rijiju had said.

ALSO READ | After Amarinder, Rijiju Backs Army Office in 'Human Shield' Controversy

Rijiju had also called Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s demand for a medal for Major Gogoi as “encouraging”. "Forces have human rights too," Rijiju had said.

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