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Questioning our army personnel is excruciating

 2017-05-05 11:26:20.0

Questioning our army personnel is excruciating

Sudhir kumar:

Another veteran, who lost a family member to a militant's bullet, has raised an agonising poser to the Supreme Court, "How much do you know about the brutality of war? How many of you have sent your progeny to the armed forces? Have you ever lost a family member in the defence of the country? Do you know the pain of losing a young son or having a widowed daughter or seeing your grandchildren grow up without their father? If not, please do not impede our war effort. Human rights sound very nice when you and your families are safely ensconced in secure air-conditioned homes."

Applying the Court directions to the Pulwama incident, an FIR will be lodged against Gunner Rishi Kumar who risked his life and killed two terrorists despite being hit on his headgear. Police investigations will carry on for years haunting him even when posted to other places in India. Courts will issue summons and demand his presence. He will be accused of depriving the 'innocent' jihadis of their human rights and asked to justify the killings. He will be queried, "Are you sure they were terrorists? They did not kill you, why did you kill them? Did you give them adequate opportunity to surrender and reform themselves? Did you give them a fair chance to escape? Did you fire warning shots in the air?" Instead of lauding his bravery, he will be subjected to judicial witch-hunt. What a disgrace for the nation!

Subjecting active military operations to judicial review is an outlandish idea. Whereas all nations empower their soldiers to vanquish enemies of the state, India takes pride in shackling them. While addressing the U.S. Naval Academy in April 2010, Secretary of Defence Robert M Gates said, "You have answered the trumpet call. For my part, I consider myself personally responsible for each and every one of you as though you were my own sons and daughters. And when I send you in harm's way, as I will, I will do everything in my power to see that you have what you need to accomplish your mission and come home safely."

Apparently, India's Supreme Court thinks differently. Human rights of the enemies of the state appear to be far more important than the security of the country.
Finally, as a serving officer commented wryly, "The Supreme Court has given us two options – 'get killed and the country will honour your martyrdom' or 'kill the terrorist and face police/judicial investigations for years'." His apprehensions are genuine and shared by the most. Wonder which soldier will look forward to serving in such antagonistic environment!
However, the security forces are still hopeful that the Supreme Court will reconsider the issue and appreciate its gravity.

(Retired IAS Ex Army personnel)


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