Friday, May 11, 2012

Big Fist-Fight At Border Unit Shocks Army (Updated)

In news that broke early this morning on Headlines Today, there was a violent fist-fight involving Indian Army officers and soldiers of the 226 Field Regiment deployed at Nyoma, Ladakh very close to the border with China-administered Tibet.

Now the events are still unofficial, so there may be corrections, but as I understand it, here's what happened:

The incident took place late last evening during a field firing exercise by the regiment at the Mahe Field Firing Range just west of Nyoma. It is understood that a Major-rank officer had his wife with him at the range or base. Sources say a jawan or orderly "misbehaved" with either the Major or his wife (as I said, the details are sketchy), and the Major responded by beating up the jawan so severely that he needed medical attention. When the Major, in a furious temper at this time, physically stopped soldiers from transferring the injured jawan to the infirmary back at the barracks, they responded by attacking the officers.

The  unit's Commanding Officer, Colonel P. Kadam, who wasn't at the spot, rushed in when he heard about the brawl. Sources say he entered the scene, and was quickly briefed on the sidelines about what had happened. The CO then proceeded to berate the Major or Majors for trying to stop the jawans from getting their injured colleague treated for his injuries. It was at this moment that the Major or Majors allegedly snapped again, and turned their attention on their Commanding Officer, beating him up. Colonel Kadam, who is understood to have sustained injuries to his face and neck, is at the base hospital in Nyoma along with a certain number of jawans and other officers. But things didn't end there. The jawans are understood to have destroyed certain amounts of property -- allegedly setting fire to some parts of the buildings on the base.

3 Division commander Maj Gen A.L. Chavan arrived at the spot early this morning along with two Brigadiers. The Army has released a statement saying there was a "minor scuffle between officers and troops of a unit on 10/11 May 2012 in Ladakh region. The situation is under control."

Sources say Commanding Officer Colonel P. Kadam, currently recuperating from his injuries, is a Silver Gunner from the 1st Gunnery Course, "intelligent and sharp". Originally from Belapur, Thane in Maharashtra, Col Kadam served in 21 Rashtriya Rifles in Sopore during the Kargil War, after which he returned to his parent unit, the 226 Medium Regiment, a unit with an apparently chequered history as far as jawan-officer relations are concerned. A former officer with the regiment said he wasn't in the least surprised about the incident. "Something like this was just waiting to happen, considering how officers in this unit treat jawans. Col Kadam and his predecessor were meritorious officers, but not good man managers," says one former officer who worked with him.

What happened last night at Nyoma is perhaps the most troubling incident in the Indian Army in a very long time -- and we all know what a year it's been. I'll be updating this post.

MAY 12 | 6.18PM | ARMY STATEMENT

Further to Army’s statement issued yesterday on the incident at the Mahe Field Ranges in Ladakh Region during the field firing exercise of  Field Regiment.

The Brigade Commander of the Artillery Brigade and General Officer Commanding of the Division interacted with the troops on 11 May 2012.  The situation was brought well under control and the Regiment is being moved back from ranges to its location with effect from 12 May 2012.  A Court of Inquiry to investigate into the circumstances under which the incident took place has commenced.

Misinterpretation and mischievous reporting to sensationalise the incident by some sections of print and electronic media need to be dispelled.  Main issues are as under:

(a) The entire episode can at worst be seen as an isolated act of indiscipline.  It can in no way be termed as mutiny.

(b) No arms and ammunition have been used by anybody. The armoury has not been captured by the troops as is being wrongly reported.

(c) The Court of Inquiry will identify the complicity of the officers and men. However, nobody has been removed, dismissed or suspended.

(d) Col P Kadam, the Commanding Officer was not assaulted by other officers, as has been wrongly reported.  The CO as well as Maj AK Sharma and Sepoy Suman Ghosh who suffered superficial injuries, have been given medical treatment.

(e) The situation is well under control.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mutinies, though rare, do happen. And please, what a year its been? Seems all the media does for the army is bitch about it. Let them be. The army will sort this out.

Anonymous said...

ther can be a chinese hand in it.

Anonymous said...

Army people fight create indispline and then post comments that media bitches the army. They also threaten the citizens with mutinies, when questioned by their expenditures paying poor citizens. horrible, god save the country, since they are busy fighting internal war among themselves.

High Five said...

strict disciplinary action should taken against the gulty.None should be spared.

Anonymous said...

A shocking and curious incident. proper probe is to be conducted by only army - as it is their internal matter. all colonial practices indulged by any officers or insubordintion by jawans are to looked into. this is 2012. their is no provison of on the spot physical punishment just to become superhero in front of a lady. officers are not from uk nor the jawans are from ..... disgusting. it has disturbed me a lot. whoevr is responsible for this incident should be heavely dealt with.

Karan Singh said...

Mr Aroor...while reporting such sensitive issues, be sure you are on firm ground with your facts and refrain from stating mere 'conjectures' or 'as you understand'. A degree of maturity is expected from you...and not cheap sensationalism. It would be simple for you and people of your ilk to retract or amend your 'story' once facts emerge... however the damage would have already been done.

Anonymous said...

Shocking And Disturbing , Hope Action Be Taken Soon

Anonymous said...

Security forces still discriminate ground level soldiers. Govt should bring in Democracy there, it is not British Empire.

Vijay said...

There is no need to sensationalize the events by saying "what a year its been". If people want, they are welcome to go and serve in Ladakh in one of the world's toughest environments. The Army already is doing a very commendable job against two nuclear armed adversaries, an environment which No other country in the world faces

Nikhil said...

^ I disagree with Anonymous above. Mutinies should not happen, since it is a crime against the country, I say disband the unit and punish all most severely.

Anonymous said...

The time to re-consider the requirement of 'sahayaks' has arrived. The 'sahayak' - a jawan deputed to assist an officer in his military duties has now largely been reduced to a servant paid for by the government. His job is primarily that of preparing the uniform of his officer. The solution - SIMPLIFY the uniform. Make it easier for officers to do without 'sahayaks' and the army will be better off...

the terminator said...

Anon 8.50PM, You are on the spot. The army has already had its fair share of media bashing. Let them be. Let them sort out their internal affairs, small or big. They are a very disciplined lot and don't usually get their feathers ruffled. Mutinies and rebellions are rare and unheard of in the Indian army. So let us not carried away and cause another scare such as the coup that was reported by a irresponsible paper known for sensationalizing minor incidents.

Anonymous said...

Seriously ... Army Officers treats JAwans like dogs ...I was in NCC I have seen it closely

Also If CO is a bad person no one can stop him He is the king of the base.
but don't forget its not the fvkng Genrals who win the war but its the brave Soldiers ...

Anonymous said...

ah well comments comments & comments . i wonder how many even have a faintest idea about life our men in forces lead.one can have an honest opinion only when one understands things clearly . the incident needs to b seen sgainst backdrop of tough life in that area leading to frayed emotions in offrs & men combined with bad man management . but as usual our forces will tackle this and emerge winners . guilty will b booked which is more than what happens in civvy street.

Sanjay Pal said...

Whether all facts are known or not, two undisputed things have come out:- (1) Officers including the CO had taken their wives along while on an annual artillery firing near sensitive Chinese border, (2) There were exchange of blows between Officers and Jawans. Both the things are against regulations and highlight poor leadership and personal integrity of officers. What is the point now trying to terrify the Media from doing its job as if some national security would be compromised by reporting the matter. You do wrong thing, muck will fly. If President's foreign trips with relatives can be questioned, why try to hide Officers wives having picnic at exchequer's cost in Leh.

Anonymous said...

Mr. karan, i guess it would have been better for people of your 'ilk' to keep any such stories in the wrap -lest the colonial practises still followed in our army are exposed. i am totally against this incident and want all the offenders be punished as per their severity of offence & not as per their cadres. do you support the age old practices implemented by the british officers to reign the indian sepoys to be still followed? defence warfare, strategies, arsenal, concepts have all evolved in this progressive world. is it not high time some reforms be made for this colonial practises. officer-jawan relationship should be more on bonding and companionship. no compromise in discipline & hierchial system - but there are several grey areas which needs medication .... don't you think the same Sir??

Rajarshi said...

Many commentators commenting above anonymously are probably serving officers of IA who are accusing media for puncturing the halo surrounding the ethos of Indian Armed Forces. While they can get justifiably proud of their tribulations in the line of duty, statements like "ask a civvie to go and serve in Leh", "mutinies happen and army will sort this out" demonstrate a certain ostrich like mentality. This can only lead to further self-denials and assertions of 'all-is-well' with Indian Army. While I have little faith or belief in today's Indian media, it probably doesn't even take a hyper-active media to understand that there are many things rotten in the forces today. With forces no longer being the career of choice of the best and the brightest of the country, it is easy to blame it on mediocrity of officers joining the forces today. And such denials don't help anyone's case. It is a well-known fact how colonial & hierarchical institutions like Armed Forces prepetuate a certain degree of institutionalized inequity. There are many questions to be answered in this incident. What were the officers' wives doing in a firing range?

Anonymous said...

As usual truth remains a casualty , howevevr the changing profiles of men and officers have to be kept in mind by commanding officers in present times. The lowering of age has to be understood with the maturity that goes
with each rank.
Such aberrations have happened before and will happen again , as is wont to with human beings , but adaptation to times and education on correct behaviour to officers and men alike is what is required.

akumar said...

ARMY OFFICER KYA STYLE BOLENESE BAHUTH KUCH BOLINE PADEGAA ,,,,,,ARMY OFFICER JAWAN KO KUTHA JISE TREAT KATHE HI KYOKI MEM EK INDIAB ARMY JAWA HI OFFICER 80% PERCENTAGE ACHA NAHI HI

Anonymous said...

nawab zada type of officers should be shunted out of the army because a jawan is not a officers gulam

Vijay said...

Btw, I am a civilian and wrote the earlier article at 7.16 am about tough conditions in Ladakh etc. I am seeing people write without any knowledge that Army people are posting comments here.
I follow defence matters closely like you all, and my point is dont take one incident and blow it out of proportion, especially when some of the facts were wrongly reported.
Again Indian armed forces do a very commendable job with outdated equipment and harsh conditions and us people sitting in our nice offices should realize that.

Anonymous said...

I have several times in the past mentioned that our armed forces, particularly the Indian Army is a relic of colonial era. Recruitment (and maybe even promotions) are still on the basis of "martial race" aka those races which were in the forefront of keeping India under the boots of foreigners be it British or Mughal.
Our caste system was/is pretty much in sync with the British racist colonial mentality. Their institutions (armed forces happens to be one) to govern this country also had such systems and theories as their foundation. And we have adopted or continued with such practices with little or no changes since "independence".
After 64 years of independence we need to relook the way this country is run.

Colonel Commandant said...

I am a serving officer and was appalled and sickened to hear senile retired Generals opinionate on TV on the subject. Just listen to the old buzzards on TV, the bhootpurav Generals, holding court on disbanding 226 Medium Regiment for its rebellious behavior; the gentlemen don't even know the facts and rush in to pour contrived wisdom on an issue where angels have yet to tread.

The root of the issue is the arbitrary reduction in the age of a Commanding Officers wherein officers with barely 16 years of service are commanding units. Given the intensely competitive promotional environment prevalent in the Army, the sharp-shooter, glib and fixer variety who are at-all-costs upwardly mobile occupy staff appointments at unit level for most part of their unit tenures whereas their records are doctored by condescending Commanding Officers to show requisite tenures as sub-unit commanders. As a result, these officers sail through regimental service without actually commanding sub-units and learning the nuances of true man management. Upwardly mobile as they are, such officers soon return as 'young' Commanding Officers who perpetuate the culture. The result is that we have a crop of young Turks as COs who lack maturity, empathy and respect of their men - an essential prerequisite for willing and unquestionable obedience of their subordinates. The result is compliant Commanding Officers who meet every whim of their superiors, whimsical in their dealings with subordinates and averse to risk or dissent.

Command tenures of Brigade Commanders (20 months), Divisional Commanders (14-18 months)and Corps Commanders (10-12 months)are so short that the brutal appraisal system bullies Commanding Officers to comply with their Brigade Commanders' KRAs, who in turn fall over themselves to outdo each other in exceeding the Divisional Commander's KRAs, who in turn worship the Corps Commander's KRAs to get a favourable appraisal for three-star rank at any cost. Once you are a three-staar General, its age that takes you to be an Army Commander or the COAS - merit doesn't count - it never did.

And we have been bequeathed this culture of sinful compliance, abuse of privilege and unabashed sycophancy by these pontificating old Generals who crap all over TV discussions that basic soldierly skills and the art of commanding troops has been set aside. Their favourite adage has been 'jungle mein mor naacha aur kisne dekha' meaning that there's no point being a peacock dancing by itself, unnoticed, in the forest; the success mantra is 'be seen and be heard by those who matter - your superiors who write your appraisals'.

So you old buzzards - buzz off and stay away from adding more s**t to the pile you left behind on retirement.

karan singh said...

Acts of indiscipline, though unfortunate, have occurred in all militaries around the world. Among the more modern ones ...the US army, suggest you read 'crises in command'. That apart, I object to the 'sensationalist' tone and tenor of reporting adopted by Mr Aroor, and the inappropriate and demeaning comments being offered on the Indian Army and its officer cadre.... All this coupled with a lack of awareness or sensitivities of the service environment without even bothering to ascertain facts.

Anonymous said...

Mostly useless and intemperate comments from jurnos and DODOs..

about fauji officers:

"Kuchha baat hai ki hasti mitati nahin hamari /// Sadiyon rahah hai dushman sara jahan hamara "

Anonymous said...

All and sundry and his aunt has been commenting on this issue and other unrelated issues like that of sahayak and blaming officers. No a single ass has blamed the jawan for misbehaving with a lady!!!!!That's what started this ruckus!!! we misbehave with your wives and daughters and sisters and will you keep quiet??? You talk about leadership failure of Majors and Captains,you, the scum who gets bullied by police and politicians and babus and take it nicely,you want to talk about withdrawing shayaks simply because of jealousy.I do not have it,how come he has??? You keep five servants ah home for washing ur underwear and talk about dignity of labour???U deride captains and majors????Well,we run the army and navy and airforce....if you feel we have let you down,come take our place....and you will swallow all that u said

Anonymous said...

Mr.Karan Singh from your comments it seems you are an Ostrich that prefers to bury it's head in the sand. Are you completely unaware about former Army Chief being implicated in scams and the current one not knowing his date of birth?? If this is the quality of our chief of staffs then the rot is very deep indeed which this incident has highlighted. You need to increase your "awareness".

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.12 AM

When you have nothing to say you are taking shelter behind crap poems. It's high time from a "fauji" you became a "professional soldier".

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1.50 PM Mate you joined the forces for the respect, hefty pay and scores of other benefits that hoi polloi are denied. If you had the brains you would have become an investment banker or something better.
Now coming to the issue of a soldier misbehaving with an officer's wife or wives...I want to ask you what were their wives doing at a time and place where they weren't supposed to be??? The "Sahayak" misbehaved most probably when he might have been asked to do something for "madam" for which he rightfully refused. Bringing their wives to witness an artillery barrage near a sensitive border...shows not only complete disregard of safety and official rules but also extremely low IQ...it seems such exercises are tamasha for such officers and not something that hones their skills.

Anonymous said...

there seems to be a hint of slavery and rebellion to it here...no place for these in modern times as we are looking at two dastardly enemies hell bent on pushing us into the seas...what are the Majors wives doing here for gods sake??!Dont they have their lovely kitty parties to take care of?? Jawans & COs being beaten!! The army needs a Overhaul...from Top up...seems more Babugiri here than democratic soldiers, and certainly no way to treat Decorated veterans...they are our valuable assets!!

Anonymous said...

@ anon 1.50 pm. your filthy mindset is well documented in your comment. poltician - babus are all unanimously against any legislation that hampers their free run on corruption. no surprise you will be dead against any reform which stops you from treating jawans as dogs. dont blame your rigours of service conditions. its 100 times better than that of a jawan. actually you are used to govt paid personal servants aka 'sahayaks' and can't do without them. its your birthright to take your ladies to govt paid picnics to exotic locales where jawans serve your guest and you show your masculanity by physically assaulting them ...oh my god hail the emperor. mate which law of yours permits this? easy to blame a poor sepoy who cannot defend himself just to justify the excesses commited by few immatured friends of yours. adarsh, sukna, war-room leaks, tatra .... the list is endless. its only when you have any personal agendas (date of birth, parity with IAS, pay & perks, etc) you are to your true calibre and can dwell to unprecidented heights.

Pandu said...

When you have 'Officer' recruited in the military under SC/ST/OBC quota system ..... you are diluting the very concept of 'the very best and capable' !

What more can be expected ?? The worse is yet to come !!

Anonymous said...

Here both the parties i.e. the officer and sepoy belong to upper castes. And, in the armed forces, there are no quotas.

The quality of our armed forces has deteriorated due to same racist systems left by the British being perpetuated. In other words we have continued with racist mindsets of the British which jives very well with our own castist mindset, but done away with the British efficiency and discipline with our Indian chor mentality. In other words we have accepted the worst of two worlds. No wonder we are witnessing such events on a daily basis.

Pandu said...

Anon @10:23 AM

No reservations for UPSC/NDA exams ??? You must be kidding ?

Bash up a 'Dalit' and then see what happens ...The General has to kneel and beg sorry in front of the nation !!

Akalbir Singh said...

The Poor Citizenry is paying for the mammoth expenditures of Army and they are busy fighting internal war among themselves. Pathetic