When on the 22nd day of October, 2007, a IGAR(S), many interesting and sensitive matters were brought up. That unpre-cedented interaction-cum-luncheon was attended by a dozen of Media boys and a same number of AR Commandants, including the CO of the 22nd Maratha LI, with Maj.Gen. B.K. Chengappa, Brig. Kayastha and Col. Pant at the dais, along with Col. Gen. Staff officer HQ IGAR(S), Col S Gupta. It was an open debate with volleys of questions, answers and swift retorts targeted upon alleged harassments and personal high- handedness upon the State’s news reporters, journalists, etc., by young Army/AR-Officers and Jawans. It was more than an AR-Media interaction since many sensitive issues were covered and discussed upon like never before . The alleged high-handedness of AR personnel was sincerely clarified, well-reasoned ad acknowledged by Gen Chengappa by “apologising” on behalf HQ IGAR(S) if they are really true as reported which has never been said or done before by any general officer of Combat Command.
He promised to see to it that such things are taken care of and asked the media persons to report any atrocities seen to be committed by his officers and all other ranks. He was brutally frank and sincere in saying that the mental outlook, IQ and reasoning of some of his officer and jawans need to be noted since all human beings have different mental aptitudes and personalities. Well, blindly shielding and protecting the wrong doings of any armed forces unit regularly are disadvantage course of action and even against the law of nature.
The MPHQ must have to address this controversial problem openly so that they would get much better support from the general public and the media boys. It is all about professional and diplomatical game plan. Yes, indeed, the action of some officers or jawans does not reflect the overall image or standard procedure of the whole establishment. Apart from the harassed citizens, the media boys have to prepare or accept the mandatory professional hazards like war-correspondents. There is no gain without pain. Undesirable circumstances can be avoided by adhering bravely to the strict media ethics and professional responsibilities.
When it comes to news coverage and news reporting, personal interest and loyalty have to be kept strictly personal – and that also apply to all armed forces personnel. Mental toughness, common sense, reasoning, ethics and “mind reading” are the best answers to many problems. There is no room to fool around in critical situations in CI and Counter-Terrorist (CT) Ops for any party concerned. It pays to go easy and patient to stay out of the harm’s way. In CI/CT Ops, there is no need to take chance for better ringside or onsight view before the highly charged smoke clears out. Once it happened, it always stay happened. You definitely won’t expect sweets and handshakes in any ambush or gunbattle site be them from the police, Military and even UG Militants. The IGAR(S), Gen. Chengappa, did frankly pointed out as to why all security forces personnel went on rampage or high-handed mode aftermath a bloody ambush and encounters. He asked the Media boys to take into account the justifiable hostile mood of officers and jawans whose colleagues were either shot dead or mortally wounded right in front of their own eyes while on routine duties. One may also add the killings of SF personnel while shopping or marketing in the civvies on off-duty period. Moreover, even ordinary citizens have been repeatedly shot dead by UG militants, “open” execution by UG militants are sometimes as good as extra-judicial killings and summary executions without trails by Peers of Jury as required on humanitarian ground. Even most sections of the general public just could not accept any type of socio-political crimes and acted as civil police cum court of the law. We have seen countless number of destruction of houses, public properties and beatings by irates public whenever there is a brutal rape case or murder case committed by local citizen(s). They also went on rampage on their own ‘goodwill’.
One important point was that of the plights and sorrows of family members and relatives of all armed forces personnel killed in action and that of civilians killed by UG militants. All the unfortunate victims of CI/CT Ops have had families to feed, children to raise, lovers to dream etc like all UG militants killed in action. So, it’s all about the two sides of every coin. Another worthy subject matter has been that of quick bails and early releases of hardcore UG militants by the police and lawyers through the Court of Law which hampered CI/CT Ops.
With the right amount of hefty bundles of banknotes, lawyers and police IOs exploited the various loopholes of the existing law. Many hardcore militants are bailed out or released out of jail in quick time period only to be ‘recirculated’ into wrong side of the ‘mainstream’ to re-operate with more authorities and powers against the very system which literally bailed them out of trouble to be a free man. Actually, these loopholes were ‘made’ so as to protect the poor, helpless and innocent citizens from the rich, literate, powerful and criminal-minded citizens. Otherwise, without solid physical evidences, eye-witness testimonies etc any innocent citizen could be framed and sent to jail for life imprisonment, or even to the hangman’s noose. However, nowadays, this legal protection for unarmed individual citizen (a suspect of a crime) has been wantonly exploited and abused by both UG militants and high-class criminals with money power.
Well, there’s nothing much to do when a law is being fully honoured by the court of law as and when injustice is justified by lawyers as permitted. In order to make an arrest or conduct raids, lots of time, plannings, resources, lives, limbs, etc were lost and, hence, the sheer disappointments of the armed forces when their prize catches are recirculated freely in quick time to make their jobs harder and harder. But, then, they are all trained and paid for this disappointing job. The show must go on.
Source: The Sangai Express