Indiscipline and perversion in Indian army


A court of inquiry (CoI) has been ordered into the incident in which a soldier of the 22 NCC Battalion allegedly beat up and injured his commanding officer at Batala in Gurdaspur on 13th October 2013. The soldier was immediately arrested and his commanding officer Colonel B.M. Hansra rushed to hospital for treatment. According to official sources, Colonel Hansra had summoned the soldier after the latter was found missing from his duty on Monday. There were angry arguments between the two and the soldier allegedly attacked Col. Hansra in front of other officers and jawans. The Gurdaspur incident is the second soldier-officer clash in the past few days. Last week, officers and soldiers of 10 Sikh Light Infantry had clashed during an inter-company boxing tournament in Meerut. In August 2012, officers and jawans of 16 cavalry clashed at Samba in Jammu. In April, 2010, officers and jawans clashed at 45 cavalry unit at Tibri cantonment at Gurdaspur.

Indian Army has been rocked by series of indiscipline and corruption cases vis-a-vis land, liquor, sex, and other scams involving even general officers commanding. A Court of Inquiry (CoI) has blamed as many as 56 personnel of Indian Armed Forces including five officers for scuffle between officers and Jawans of an artillery regiment, which took place on 10th May 2012 at Nyoma after the rape attempt on officer’s wife. The CoI had recommended disciplinary action against 16 personnel including the regiment’s commanding officer, second-in-command and three other officers for failure of command and control, assault, indiscipline and other lapses while administrative action against 40 other personnel for their role in the incident. In another such incident Lt. Colonel Ajay Chaudhary was arrested for smuggling 24-crore worth of illegal drugs to Myanmar last month. The reason for indiscipline and clashes could be due to stressful environment prevailing in armed forces of India. However, military personnel are also accused of moral turpitude and gross misconduct as well.

Twelve officers and thirty nine soldiers were probed in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India, for sexually abusing the local women and for having fathered children while on UN peacekeeping mission in Congo in 2008. UN Commission found DNA evidence of children born to Congo women, having distinct Indian features. UN authorities had exerted pressure on Indian Government to investigate the issue, conduct DNA tests and asked for legal proceedings against the culprits. The Indian soldiers had exploited women of Congo, and sexual abuse cases reached to hundreds. The girls and women were raped either through coercion or by taking advantage of hunger to provide food items and Indian-made cosmetics. In March 2008, three officers were charged with sexual abuse of a local woman while on a holiday in South Africa. However, there is no parallel to the atrocities perpetrated on Kashmiris in Indian Held Kashmir where Indian soldiers’ stories of rape and murder are very common.

In order to suppress the freedom movement in IOK Indian Army used religious prejudice and hatred against Muslims while using rape as a weapon against Kashmiri women, whereas the Indian authorities turned a blind to their heinous crimes. Hence, the habitual criminals not only got away with their crime against Muslim women in IOK but also got promotions and postings of their choices.Nevertheless, some human rights organizations have been exposing Indian soldiers and officers involved in sex scandals and rapes. The Indian government had started crackdown against Kashmiris in the disputed territory of Kashmir in January 1990, after Kashmiris had started armed struggle in 1989. Rape by Indian security forces most often occurs during crackdowns, cordon-and-search operations when men are held for identification in parks or schoolyards while security forces search their homes. In these situations, the security forces frequently engage in collective punishment against the civilian population by assaulting residents and burning their homes.

Women who are the victims of rape are often stigmatized, and their testimony and integrity impugned. Social attitudes which cast the woman and not her attacker, as the guilty party often enjoys clout with the judiciary, making rape cases difficult to prosecute. But there is widespread disaffection in 13 Naxal affected states due to atrocities perpetrated by the army and inept policies of Indian government. Law and order situation in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, western Orissa and Bihar is hopeless. India faces insurgencies in Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam, Bodoland, Manipur and Tripura also where it is using heavy-handed methods and use of brutal force to quell the unrest. This fact has been censured by human rights organizations including Amnesty International. India has also egregious record of dealing with its neighbors; but it considers Pakistan as a great obstacle in its way of extending hegemony over other countries of the region; which is why it does not let any opportunity go waste to malign Pakistan.

Having that said; India’s lust for big power status clouds the prospects of unity amongst the South Asian nations. To make SAARC work, India has to give practical demonstration that it will deal with other member-countries on the basis of equal sovereignty. With the weak Indian government gearing up to win forthcoming elections, its control on an over-ambitious coterie of war mongering Army Generals and hawkish political leaders is eroding fast. Continuation of hostility along LoC, especially when the new civilian government in Pakistan is at the helm seems intriguing. Pakistan is confronting challenges to its economy, spectre of terrorism and worse law and order situation in Karachi. Balochistan is also in the throes of violence. India also tries to take advantage of deployment of Pakistan army on Pak-Afghan border. Their aim is to keep Pakistan embroiled in a security dilemma and incite it into arms race so that it could not revive its economy. The process of talks or the back door diplomacy is not being given a chance because Indian Army Generals are against reconciliation and friendly relationship as desired by the government of Pakistan.

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