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"Army V/S Cops"- Fwd

"Army V/S Cops"- Fwd

Author: Air Commodore T.T.Job

Some interesting material written by Mr. Sethu Madhavan further to Kolkata incidence where Armymen vandalised police station to free Major, Capt.

"Your article Kolkata Corner (Sour Start / Villains of the Piece), made interesting reading. Your piece is a refreshing change from the media herd that swallowed the police version hook, line, sinker and rod.

My following views mirror yours for the most part. However no media outlet would publish / include my contrarian opinion however hard I tried! I would appreicate if you would...

It is indeed regrettable that the top Netas - Pradhan Mantriji and Raksha Mantriji included - have their Pugdis and Lungis tied into a collective knot over the "gross indiscipline" of the Army, relying solely on the version of the Kolkata cops.

The media, as always, have declared the Army officers GUILTY as charged. They have also pre-empted the need to have a victim, or even her statement - and have gone ahead and declared the Army jawans GUILTY anyway. So the Neta-Babu-Patrakar-Pandu Chowkidaar axis plays Prosecutor, Judge, Jury and Executioner.

After everyone from the PM, the defence minister, External Affairs minister, and the PMO, rushed to personally call and assure the WB Chief Minister that the GUILTY Army officers and jawans would be given exemplary punishment, the cops' story has begun to unravel.

By the way, when was the last time anyone heard of the PM personally rushing to inquire about common men and women who are tortured, even killed, by police high handedness?

Turns out that Park Street Cops were working overtime on New Years Eve to nab random members of the public, slapping them and locking them up on trumped up charges of drunkenness, eve teasing or hooliganism and extorting money from them. One couple has also registered a complaint with the NHRC to the effect (the husband was picked up by the park Street Cops as he and his wife were crossing the road. When he asked to know his offence, he was slapped by the cop, who took him to his superior who declared, 'You are a drunkard', slapped him some more, and ordered that he be locked up.) Just so happened that the police snared the wrong fish - the Army Officers - and promptly ended up getting paid in their own coin - by being placed at the receiving end of a (well deserved) beating.

The media immediately jumped on the "casting aspersions" bandwagon and sullied the Army. As the truth slowly begins to emerge - and the usual shenanigans of Indian cops wear thin - we see that there is no woman that complained about being teased or groped.

Four bouncers of this hotel thrashed an Army Major because he demanded his meal for a valid coupon he held. They then put him in a taxi and brought him to Park Street cops. Hafta happy cops who have good 'relations' with this hotel dutifully locked up the officer - inspite of him informing them of his identity. 'No one tells us what we are supposed to do here', so saying the cops beat up the Major before locking him.

This is a clear violation of the law - but pandu chowkidars obviously have no clue about the Army Act passed by the Parliament. Soon a captain reaches the police station to reason with the Pandus to free his superior officer. 'Dont tell us what we are supposed to do here' so saying they lock up the Captain as well and for good measure book him for guess what? 'Crossing the road at the wrong place'! Wow, that is so cute. Isnt it?

Unfortunately for the cops, the Captain had called his Commanding Officer on his cell before he was locked up. The Commanding Officer (CO) of the 3 Madras regiment (Madras regiment is the oldest Regiment in the Indian Army - a small trivia for you - inconsequential to the case) comes with soldiers of his unit - soldiers that have fought with, and under the leadership of, these officers for 5 years in Siachen and Kashmir and have lost some of their men there - witness the badly beaten Major and Captain.

The CO, a Lt. Colonel, gets the cop to open the lockup, and as the Major steps out the jawans get to see the real extent of the beatings handed to their officer. To make matters worse the cop speaks rough and insults the Major in the presence of his jawans. The 3 Madras jawans known to give their life to rescue their own from the enemey, fly into blind rage and all hell breaks loose. Their CO, the Lt Colonel restores order and disperses them, and himself waits for senior Police Officers to arrive. The cops immediately call the press,and the print and electronic media is full of stories about 'Yet another case of gross indiscipline in the Army'.

The Prime Minister, Defence Minister and External Affairs minister express their unhappiness at the 'indiscipline of the GUILTY Army officers' and call the West Bengal CM to offer full support! The Army refuses to hand over their own. The police chief is angry but when made to read and understand the letter of the law by the Army authorities, comes around. Now the cops end up looking like fools, because they obviously never went to the scene of the alleged eve teasing to investigate, or even bothered to take the statement of the 'victim' - they simply went by the words of the bouncers of Park Hotel.

The cops are now looking desperately for 'witnesses', and not being able to produce any, who do they come up with? The 4 bouncers themselves of course!!! Now they - the bouncers - claim that the 4 of them were beaten bad by the Major! So I guess these 4 were the eves that the Major teased. The cops now claim that they of course never knew that these were army officers - else they would have followed the law! The truth will slowly emerge and certainly the situation ended up much worse than it should have been. Neither party should be blamed or exonerated till the final picture is out. What stuns me is the alacrity with which the PM, defence minister and External affairs Minister of this country reacted to the 'shameful guilt of army officers' without so much as bothering to ascertain basic facts.

Why is it that so many cases of police excesses, and even some cases of army excesses against general civilian population in Kashmir /North East, does not elicit the same swift reaction from these folks?But touch their corrupt babus or pandus and Netas behave like a cat on a hot tin roof. Of the press' eagerness to besmirch the Armed forces, the lesser said the better. A few quick questions for the Neta-babu-Patrakar-Pandu axis...

1. The Army officers indicted in Tehelka scam are serving prison time- after being court martialed by the Army. What about the bureacrats involved? Any guesses? Of course absolutely nothing happens to them.

2. The army officer accused in the Kashmir molestation case has been tried by the army, punished and discharged from service. What about the cop - the SHO - who was also involved? You guessed right. Even an FIR has not been filed. So much for the indiscipline of the Army and the efficiency of the morally upright cops / neta / babu axis.

3. Why do Kolkata citizens complain that when ever riotous situations erupt in Kolkata the brave cops suddenly become incommunicado - and dont take any phone calls? Because when required to muster courage and discipline they do exactly what they did when confronted by jawans of 3 MadrasRegiment - hide under their desks. Finally to control rioting mobs Neta / Babus requisition the 'indisciplined' Army and the jawans face up to the marauding mobs and bring things under control.

4. Where is the PMO and PM when widows of Kargil martyrs go running from pillar to post begging for the Gas stations that a grateful nation promised 8 years ago? Some of the widows have had to go on hunger strike, others threatened suicide. Of course the 'disciplined' bureacrats and ethical politicians hide behind various fig leaves like 'land acquisition problems' and 'procedural delays'. When it is time for these 'indisciplined and GUILTY' army officers and Jawans to lay down their lives there is never any 'procedural delay'.

5. Why doesn't the PMO, PM and Raksha Mantri ever commiserate with,and get so agitated over, long pending legitimate grievances of Armed Forces personnel regarding pay, pension, equipment, housing etc.?Did you hear of the PM and PMO's displeasure at the Army chief's refusal to unilaterally withdraw Indian troops from Siachen as demanded by Pakistan as a "Confidence building meausure"? As a last resort the Indian Army chief requested the Netas - Defence Minister and PM - to bear down on Pakistanto jointly certify / delienate on maps the Indian positions prior to getting Indian soldiers to stand down. Neither the Indian PM, nor the Pakistani "democratic" dictator ("Ataturk" wannabe and infamous Kargil architect) are happy with the Indian Army. Long story short, the army chief's insistence on the map has reined on the PM's expected "solution" to the Kashmir issue in addition to deferring / cancelling his proposed trip to Pakistan. For his efforts the Army Chief has incurred the displeasure of the External Affairs Mantri Mahodayji, and an informal gag on holding press conferences.

This is what the Neta / Babu nexus is upto. Of the police and trigger happy rent-a-cause Patrakar the lesser said the better.

By the way, did the cops lock KPS Gill up and beat him even after he confessed to groping / misbehaving with a woman?

Just a little crumb for thought - Now that the Chowkidaar-Neta-Babu axis have been educated on the provisions of the Army, Navy and Airforce Acts that disallow Pandu chowkidaar to arrest an Army Major,Lt Colonel or General (except on charges of Rape, Murder or culpable homicide), it wont be long before they work in tandem to amend these provisions through an Act of Parliament. Should that take long, pandu chowkidaars could now trump up charges of Rape, Murder, Culpable homicide against defence personnel including Senior Officers and promptly lock them up.

It is sad that when foreign Armies like the US Army, Canadian Army and Australian Army are sending their Army officers and soldiers to be trained in specialised warfare Schools of the Indian Army, fellow Indians - Pradhan Mantri Mahodayji, Raksha Mantri Mahodayji and External Affairs Mantri Mahodayji included - publicly berate Army Officers and Jawans before even waiting for the facts to emerge.

The Aam Janta's blind support for the police in any skirmish between Police and the Armed Forces (as evidenced by letters and comments in the blogosphere and print media) may seem surprising, confounding, even frustrating at first glance. However the unwritten "slave charter" that governs the one-way relationship between Pandu chowkidaar and "pulis se soshit peedit" Public can put things in perspective. In a subservience that mirrors slave Tom's ("Uncle Tom's cabin") reverence for his brutal white masters of slavery era America, the Indian public invariably forget and forgive the periodic brutality handed them by their Pandu chowkidaars - Bhagalpur blindings, fake encounter killings, rapes, custodial deaths, routine merciless beatings, the occassional urine therapy / golden shower / watersports (kind courtesy of Orissa Police), forced incest between mother and son (mission accomplished by Rajasthan Police circa 1996) and Systematic breaking of bones ("Emergency" years gift from Kerala Police) to name just a few from this eminent collection. However, come time for these very police brutes to receive their just deserts at the hands of the Military (as in the case of the Kolkata Police, or in case of the thrashing administered to Kerala police in Thevara police station, Kochi, by Naval Officers incensed over the beating, arrest, and locking up of a fellow Naval Officer over a trumped up petty traffic offense by a Kerala police constable - "So you are a Naval Officer? Let me teach you a lesson" - in 1992) the "pulis se peedit soshit laachar" Aam Janta, like slave Uncle Tom, invariably stand by their tormentor-in-chief - Pandu chowkidaar. Never the Army.

Slave Tom considered it his spiritual duty to serve his master (subservience to the earthly master as a prelude, almost a rite of passage, to serving the heavenly master). Right or wrong, my slave master is always right.

The Indian Public considers it democracy. Plain and simple. Right or wrong, between the Armed Forces and Police, my Pandu Chowkidaar is always right. Never the Armed Forces.

For all of Aam Janta's fawning obsequiousness, how does the Neta-Babu-Patrakar-Pandu nexus regard the common man? Exactly how the white masters regarded slave Uncle Tom and his ilk: "Bigger the fool, better the slave."

Air Commodore T.T.Job,
Director, AXEL.INDIA,
C-223, JVV,Kalyan Nagar,
Bangalore, 560043.

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