Officers whose bases were attacked by militants in J&K may be told to quit: Report
Kashmir News Trust Web Desk
NEW DELHI: Government has recommended to the Indian army high command that those officers should “go home” who were in charge of the Sunjuwan military camp, Nagrota army base and the Uri brigade in Jammu and Kashmir when militants attacked their bases in past few years, Hindustan Times reported on Friday.
“The government has decided to send these officers home, seeking to take action against the senior leadership for security lapses that may have aided the attacks,” said the report.
The report said that the government has communicated its recommendation to the Indian Army and essentially the government wants these officers to put in their papers and retire.
“The officers will still be eligible to receive all the benefits that are due to them,” reported Hindustan Times said.
The report said that the army was communicated that commanders should put in their papers days after the new government was sworn in.
The decision comes less than a month after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was sworn in for a second successive term in office after winning a commanding majority in the April-May general elections.
A total of 36 army personnel died in the three attacks, two of which, on the Uri brigade and the Nagrota base, took place in 2016, and the third, on the Sunjuwan camp, last year.
“Inquires by the Indian Army into the Uri attack revealed lapses, importantly there had been prior information about a possible attack,” said the report.
Similarly, inquiries into the attacks in Nagrota and Sunjuwan also revealed command and control lapses, it said.
It said that the government wants to hold senior leadership responsible for lapses that may have aided the militant attacks.
The report said that after the Modi government came back to power last month, it revived the move for action against commanders under whose watch their establishments were attacked by militants.
However, the Indian Army is not keen to retire the commanders because of operational issues. “The attacks have been probed. Necessary steps have been initiated already, can action be initiated again?” said the report.
The report said that the army had also argued that punishing officers for militant attacks would lead to a “fortress mindset” at a time when militaries spend more energy protecting bases and minimising casualties rather than pursuing militants.
“If officers are punished for militants managing to carry out an attack, casualties of soldiers, the focus and tempo of counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states will have to change,” Hindustan Times quoted a senior army officer, who has served many years in Jammu and Kashmir as having said.