Now, this is precisely how 'Fifth Column' works overtime to thwart efforts to bring about peace and create conditions for development projects to start in the trouble-torn Kashmir Valley. While the Pakistan Army continues to train and push in its proxy soldiers to keep Kashmir aflame, the separatists and a section of media are quick to pick up incidents and innovatively twist and colour facts and flagrantly proliferate their concoctions aimed at tarnishing the image of the Army. In the last two decades, they have turned the 'Paradise on Earth' into 'Hell'.
The Army has neither denied nor hidden the fact that one Farooq Ahmed Dar was made to sit on the bonnet of an army jeep and secured there by a rope under the orders of an army officer who was leading a team to rescue a group of CRPF and J&K Police personnel under the siege of an irate crowd threatening to kill them. In response to their SOS call, Major Gogoi rushed towards the trouble spot with his team of soldiers. Seeing the mob fiercely enraged and the life of Security Forces personnel manifestly endangered, the Army Officer (Major Gogoi) did what has been widely reported. Yes, he did pick up the nearest inciter in the mob, made him sit on the bonnet and tied him there to keep him from falling from the moving vehicle. And yes, Gogoi was not courteous, kind and hospitable to the 'gentleman'! And yes, tying a man like that on the bonnet of a vehicle was neither ethical nor legal. But who would he rescue the entrapped police personnel from an impending death?
To overcome the deathly grim situation, Major Gogoi had the following options to tackle it: -
(a) Option 1: Abandon his rescue mission and run away leaving the entrapped police personnel at the mercy of the wrathful mob readying to lynch them. (No Indian Army officer will ever choose this option. One would rather die than run away in a situation like the one Major Gogoi faced).
(b) Option 2: Order his men to charge through the enraged mob and rescue the endangered police personnel. This could cause mass casualties on both sides – the mob and the Army/police personnel. As a conscientious officer, Gogoi avoided it risking himself and his men in the face of an enraged mob.
(c) Option 3: Warn the irate mob to disperse and set free the police personnel under their siege; and, in the event of the mob disregarding such warning, resort to use of force at his disposal including firing to accomplish his rescue mission at all costs!
(d) Option 4: Quickly innovate an unconventional, unorthodox method that would deter the irate mob and enable him to extricate the entrapped police personnel from the impending harm.
Note: Those criticising the Army Officer's action have ever right to criticise. But they must also suggest which of these options would they choose if they were in Major Gogoi's position.
Legally and militarily, Gogoi would be fully justified to choose Option 3 and execute his mission. In fact, he did his best to communicate and warn the mob to desist but no one heeded his warnings. Finally, a novel idea struck his mind. He caught one of the miscreants who came closer shouting slogans against the Army and inciting the mob. Rather than exercising his option to open fire, Major Gogoi decided to use this man, later identified as Farooq Ahmed Dar, in a manner that would dissuade the mob from attacking the police and the army personnel. Seeing their ring leader perched on the bonnet of a jeep and alert soldiers wielding weapons, the mob stopped pelting stones and started dispersing with their rage visibly subdued. The police personnel found an opportunity to quickly board their buses. Major Gogoi's team escorted them to their camp safe and happy. Mission accomplished, Farooq Ahmed Dar was taken off the jeep and allowed to go home without a scratch on his body.
Far from being condemned for his innovative idea that avoided many casualties, Major Gogoi deserves nationwide applause for rescuing the police personnel safely and successfully dissuading the hostile mob from attacking the Security Forces without firing a shot. Gen Bipin Rawat has very appropriately rewarded the officer for rescuing the police personnel and nipping the impending violence in the bud. I salute both – Major Gogoi for his ingenious fieldcraft and the Army Chief Gen Rawat for rewarding ingenuity and boosting the morale of the young army officers in the field.
Those interested in knowing more on how and why the Kashmir wound has festered over so many years and what could be a pragmatic solution should read the currently bestselling book on this burning issue: "Kashmir – A Different Perspective" by Col Rajinder Singh. It is available for online purchase at a discount at the following portals:
A Kashmiri goes to vote in troubled times; braving the scorn of his
fellowmen (who mostly want to secede from India), and the response of
the Indian Army's officer is to tie him up, and drive him around for 5
hours on the bonnet of a jeep. Then the COAS commends his junior for
this blatant assault on democracy while the CoI is underway.
If Farooq Ahmed Dar is indeed a "terrorist" and/or "ringleader" (both
words being included as Unparliamentary ones) then Army should either
arrest Dar, or summon him as a witness in the court of inquiry against
Gogoi, or else eliminate him in a staged encounter as is usually done
in J&K (eg. Pathrabal) and then conduct a proforma CoI/CM.
WWW : http://indiaagainstcorruption.