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Opposition CPI and JD-U were today critical of the honour to an Army Major, who tied a man to the bonnet of a jeep as a 'human shield' against stone- pelting mob in Jammu and Kashmir, fearing this could "complicate" the situation in the troubled state. The Congress, on the other hand, steered clear of the issue saying it does not wish to raise questions on the Army chief awarding Major Leetul Gogoi with a commendation certificate for fighting insurgency. However, Congress's Amarinder Singh, who served in the Army in the mid-1960s and is now the Punjab chief minister, said he would have done the same had he been in Gogoi's place. "We express our resentment at this type of honouring. When an inquiry is pending, this type of honouring is not good.
It does not send a good impression in Kashmir in current circumstances as the situation may become all the more complicated," CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said. Another CPI leader, however, said that the need of the hour is to build confidence among Kashmiris. JD-U leader Sharad Yadav said the situation in Kashmir is critical and no step should have been taken till the findings of the probe into the incident. "Such an act, even before the probe is complete, can aggravate the situation," he said. Congress in-charge of communications Randeep Surjewala said, "Giving commendation certificates to soldiers of the Army is the sole prerogative of the Army chief. There is no reason to raise questions on the Army chief's decision." The BJP, however, hit out at those criticising the Major and dubbed them as "apologists" for stone pelters and separatists. BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said that under threat to one's life, the Supreme Court held that even a civilian can kill a person in self-defence. "Here, the life of security forces and public servants was under threat and what Major Gogoi did was to save their lives and that of civilians as well. "Those criticising the Major are apologists for stone pelters and separatists fuelling violence in the valley," he said.