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Highest officer in uniform 'breached limits of institutional role': CPI(M)

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New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Thursday slammed Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat for criticising the anti-CAA protestors, and said as the highest officer in uniform he has "breached the limit" of his institutional role. 

Gen Rawat criticised people leading violent protests over the  Citizenship Amendment Act, saying leadership is not about guiding masses, including students to carry out arson and violence, remarks that drew sharp reactions from opposition leaders.

The opposition party attacked Gen Rawat, who is due to retire on December 31 as Army Chief, for making remarks on political issues.

The Politburo of the party said the General has "directly indulged" in condemning the student protestors who have been opposing the amended citizenship law and the proposed pan-India National Register for Citizens.

"Army Chief's statement underlines as to how the situation has degenerated under the Modi government where the highest officer in uniform can so brazenly breach the limits of his institutional role. It is, therefore, necessary to raise the question as to whether we are going the Pakistan way of politicizing the military. Such obnoxious interference in matters of democratic struggles from top ranking military professionals is unheard of in the history of independent India," it said.

It urged that the General to apologise to the nation for his "indiscretion" which has extremely adverse ramifications for the Constitutional arrangement in the country. 

"We also demand that the government takes note of such a breach and censures the General," the party said.

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