oppn parties The Army Moves To Take Action Against Bad Fish In J&K

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The Army Moves To Take Action Against Bad Fish In J&K

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2021-01-01 15:10:34

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

As the nation moves towards truly integrating Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of the country by doing away with the special status accorded to the state (now union territory) and the special powers given to it where most Indian laws did not apply to the state, there are a lot of changes that are happening, some of which are excellent. The outlook of the Army, for one, has changed for the better. Previously, it used to act in an imperious manner and always tried to shield its officers and men whenever cases of excessive use of power, or even outright misuse, were brought to its notice. But now, by acting with alacrity against the army captain of the 62 Rashtriya Rifles in the Amshipora fake encounter case in Shopian district of the state, the army has shown that it is moving with the times.

The army has acknowledged that "powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded" by the captain. It also said that the "dos and don'ts of the Chief of the Army Staff [COAS] as approved by the Supreme Court have been contravened".  The Shopian fake encounter case was a combination of greed and the powers vested under the AFSPA. The captain had hatched a conspiracy with some civilians to brand innocent civilians as terrorists and claim the bounty that is paid for killing terrorists. He planned the operation to a nicety and the details filed in the police chargesheet in a civilian court make for chilling reading. Three members of the same family were picked up from their room in Chowgam village in Shopian district and taken to the encounter site in Amshipora village. To give it a authentic setting, the CRPF and the state police were also called in to cordon off the area. Then, arms were planted on the victims and they were murdered in cold blood. The chargesheet also reveals that the captain kept senior officers in the dark about the operation.

There is no doubt that security forces are facing new and difficult challenges every day in policing a state like J&K. There is also no doubt that by and large, they act with fairness and take action based on intelligence inputs. But there obviously are some bad fishes who take advantage of the special powers or the chance to make easy money to kill innocents. This alienates the security forces and makes the task of winning over the people all the more difficult. By quickly initiating a preliminary probe with a formal court of inquiry in the Amshipora case and then following it up by summary of evidence proceedings, the army has laid the base for a court martial. It is good that both the army and the police have reached the same conclusion on how the case took place based on their independent inquiries. The army must be commended for having taken these steps. It will send the signal among the ranks that such behavior will no longer be tolerated. It will also reassure the civilians that the army is no longer their enemy and is doing all it can to eliminate rogue officers and men. But the army should also take a hard look at its internal processes which allowed the captain to undertake such an operation without informing his seniors.