Comparing army chief Rawat to General Dyer is sad and uncalled for, says Admiral Sunil Lanba

New Delhi: Comparing army chief Bipin Rawat to General Dyer, who had earned notoriety for ordering the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, is a "sad comparison", Rawat's naval counterpart Admiral Sunil Lanba said on Thursday.

Academician Partha Chatterjee, in a piece published on a news website, had drawn comparison between Rawat and Dyer after the former commended Major Leetul Gogoi's action of using a civilian as a human shield in Kashmir.

"It is a sad comparison and is uncalled for," Lanba said.

On 13 April, 1919, Dyer had ordered firing on unarmed people gathered at the Jallianwala Baug in Amritsar.

File image of Admiral Sunil Lanba. Getty Images

File image of Admiral Sunil Lanba. Getty Images

The Navy chief was speaking on the sidelines of a flag-in ceremony of Indian Naval Mountaineering Team.

In an interview, Rawat had also said that the Indian Army is fully ready for a "two-and-a-half front (China, Pakistan and internal security requirements simultaneously) war".

Lanba sought to buttress the point, saying that "the Indian armed forces are always ready for any contingency".

The Navy chief will visit Israel soon and meet chiefs of the three services of the Jewish nation. His visit comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel.

"We have an in-depth defence relationship. We will exchange notes," Lanba said, but did not elaborate further on his scheduled visit.

Reacting to a report by US Department of Defence (DoD) that China is likely to establish additional military bases in Pakistan and other countries with which it has longstanding friendly ties and similar strategic interests, he said the Navy was monitoring the development.

"It is an assessment which is there in the report. We have our own assessment and we will see what happens in the future," Lanba said.

In its annual report to the Congress on China's military build-up, the DoD said China's construction of military base in the strategic location of Djibouti is just the first of what will likely be an ongoing expansion in friendly foreign ports around the world.

"They are making their first overseas base in Djibouti. The report is an assessment of what may happen in the future.

"There is this huge CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) project which is happening. There is a port of Gwadar which is being built with Chinese assistance. Time will tell what happens in the future on whether it will be converted into a military base," Lanba said.

On China providing submarines to India's neighbours such as Bangladesh, he said it is the capability that these nations wish to aspire and the Navy is prepared in its plan to counter this.

Downplaying Chinese concerns over Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) in the disputed South China Sea, he said the annual exercise takes place in the Indian waters and the South China Sea every alternate year.

"We are going to continue to follow this process," he said.

After the drill, China had said such activities should not hurt the "interests of other countries".

Updated Date: Jun 09, 2017 07:46 AM

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