The shells that are used in the 120mm mortars go through an elaborate purchase and quality certification by the DG Quality Assurance, at least that’s what the DG is there for. But who will take the fall for this tragic mishap? Will we see the right guy take the fall or will it be some poor JCO/NCO who didnt know any better? We need to keep a close watch on who takes the hit. Someone always does, and it’s always someone who had little or nothing to do with it.
The other aspect to the issue is the Army exercise itself. Have you ever heard of a one day Army exercise, that too being conducted in front of DAs and the media without a rehearsal? Here are the bitter, undisputed facts: Exercise Dakshin Shakti was going on for a month and Exercise Brazen Chariots was just the show piece. So when Brazen Chariots needed to rehearse, they just took the assets of the ongoing Dakshin Shakti, thus harming a major army exercise. According to highly reliable sources, Army chief General Deepak Kapoor wrote to Southern Army Commander Lt Gen Nobel Thamburaj ordering the transfer of assets for the “showcase” Brazen Chariots. He is understood to have protested the rude interruption to his exercise, but of course had to go with what his chief wanted.
The result, as we all saw, was the deaths of three soldiers, which was quickly brushed under the carpet.
Worse, few questions about the DGQA will ever be answered. A few years ago the purchase of a few thousand faulty tank rounds lead a lot of questions being asked but no action taken. This results in our troops being put at great risk. And now, Army exercises have been reduced to mere showpieces rather than a professional preoccupation. A bloody shame.