Representational image | PTI photo
Representational image | PTI photo
Text Size:
  • 2.2K
    Shares

The beating of army personnel in custody is a very grave provocation, and Col. Firdosh Dubash’s actions are quite expected in such a situation.

The recent case involving Indian Army personnel from the Arunachal Scouts regiment and their spat with the civilian administration and police in Bomdila has produced a classic example of how a commanding officer (CO) should act when his men are being humiliated.

The beating of army personnel in custody, even after knowing that they were from the army, is a very grave provocation by the law-enforcing authorities.

The CO, Col. Firdosh P. Dubash, has been accused of leading the ransacking of a police station and a PWD office — charges that the army has denied, insisting that he had only gone to the police station to handle the situation his personnel found themselves in.

His troops are also alleged to have abused a woman IAS officer, Dr Sonal Swarup, who is the district magistrate, which has led the IAS association to demand action against the CO and Adjutant Major Kaushik Roy.

Unbelievable allegations

The allegations of abusing the district magistrate, a lady, are unbelievable. The army teaches its personnel never to permit any person to ever misbehave publicly with a lady, let alone the DM of a district.

Remember the incident of one Smriti Kalra slapping a jawan repeatedly last September in broad daylight in Gurgaon? The jawan did not resist at all. It is ingrained in army personnel to respect ladies throughout their service.

Other charges are obviously very minor, almost on the verge of being frivolous.

By the time a cadet in any of the nation’s military academies gets commissioned, he has the ‘Chetwode Motto’ etched in his mind and heart:

“The safety, honour and welfare of your country comes first, always and every time.
The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command comes next.
Your own ease, comfort and safety comes last, always and every time.”

War is never kind on soldiers. They have to be trained and led into battles to face certain death. The leader has to be right in front to face the first bullet of the enemy. He must lead by example.


Also read: Defence ministry says both police and Indian Army jawans to blame for bust-up at Bomdila


Naam, namak, nishaan

The Indian Army strives on three most important motivators to live by and to die for — naamnamaknishaan.

Naam is the name of his paltan (battalion), regiment and country.

Namak is the fidelity to salt partaken.

Nishaan is the ensign of his paltan.

An Assam regiment personnel gets charged at the mere word ‘Rhino’. And at the command of “Rhino Charge”, he goes in to the battle field to display ‘Asam Vikram’ — unparalleled or unique valour — and lays down his life.

It is not easy to command a human being to go and die. The spirit comes from ethos and traditions built by various units and regiments over the ages. The bonhomie has to be the closest and strongest to achieve this kind of loyalty to embrace death.

The Indian Army has the best leaders in the world, who always lead the charge from the front. Pick any operation, and you will find the highest ratio of officers making the supreme sacrifice.


Also read: Arunachal Pradesh is Indian Army’s tallest ally, don’t take its people for granted


Col. Dubash’s actions

Col. Dubash’s actions are quite expected in such a situation, when there was such grave provocation. As the CO, he has taken action, in the best interest of everyone, to restore the honour of men under his command.

The Integrated Headquarters (IHQ) of the Ministry of Defence has probably decided, and will certainly take, appropriate action for any misdemeanour by the CO and the other officer, and one hopes similar action is taken against the law-enforcing and administrative agencies in that area.

But from an army perspective, every infantryman would volunteer to serve under this CO. Every officer would willingly go to war with such a CO at his side. Serving and veteran army personnel are proud of this CO — with body, mind and soul!

Get the PrintEssential to make sense of the day's key developments.


  • 2.2K
    Shares
31 Comments Share Your Views

31 COMMENTS

  1. The police and district administration after custodial beating of soldiers put out a mala fide press release giving only one side of the story which the press promptly played up. This is the first article in the press which tries to balance that. Even if the Army men were drunk and disorderly as alleged the police was mandated by law to inform their unit. Action under Army Act would have been swift and strict. On the contrary the police inspector in his arrogance chose to treat them like common rowdies and when approached by a major (a group A gazetted officer far senior to a police inspector) chose to be rude and arrogant and repeated the same when the Commanding Officer (a Colonel) went to the PS and refused to abide by the law and hand over the jawans). When the colonel was speaking to the SP, CRPF and IRB (who’re under the SP) were called by the police who proceeded to provoke the CO’s guard party.

    Indeed, although the incident is most unfortunate, the Colonel stood by his men who had been wronged by the police. It is also heartening that The higher Army hierarchy seems to have supported the colonel’s stand.

    • The words used by the author (Ex-army personnel) – “Col. Firdosh Dubash’s actions are quite expected” shows the attitude of appreciation for extra legal measures by the army men. What ever may be the case, the issue should have been resolved through legal means and not by issuing threats to civil administation. Only difference between Indian Army and Pakistan Army is that the former till now have followed the legal and constitutional route where as the latter has gone beyond the legal bounds and ruined their country. If disputes are resolved through such threats and using the military power given by the civil government to protect the country against the civil administration then it will lead to breaking of the rule of law. Col. is given authority to lead his men to protect the country, the uniform he wears, the guns he and his men carry are provided to him by the civil government to protect the country. The use of his powers to threaten civil adminstration is grave misuse of his authority. Investigation should be done to check if there has been any mishandling or beating of the jawans in the police custody and suitable action should be taken. At the same time penal action should be taken against the CO for threating the civil administration. Today the army is threating the district authority, tommorow they can threaten the CM or the PM. The point to remember here is the when the Pakistan army did the coup the people were happy with the feeling of patriotism and nationalism but the world knows how it turned out to be

      • Please before harping read the law of the land. Army Act, which is part of the law of the land clearly prohibits any action by Police except in rape, murder and attempt to murder. In any other case, detained army personal should be handed over to nearest Defence Unit at the earliest.
        Here officer of the unit, a Major, visited PS to take charge of the army men the custody was denied, CO was mistreated. Do I have to add anything more…
        Half knowledge is dangerous read before you write.

      • @ Mr Rahul’s comments.
        The problem with us is we do not understand the ethos of Armed Forces Men.

        They are trained to obey only lawful command. The Army Act the legal manual has a section which says so. The command here means not only the order of his superiors, but also the civil Govt. The action of the civil administration at Bomdila of man handling the army men is unlawful. The action of the commanding officer should be viewed in this perspective.

        Armed Forces is mandated by constitution to take action when there is a constitutional breakdown or unlawful activity happens. In my view the Commanding Officer was soft.

        If he complains to his superiors via proper channel the issue would have died a natural death in the beaurocratic delay and the commanding officer would have lost his authority in the eyes of his men as he had failed to protect them.

  2. The joke of this is there was an organised mela. Many tribals must have gone tipsy. The arunachal scouts belong to same tribes of local population. They are deployed their on principle OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE.
    in addition the entire bombdila town is just 6 odd sq kms!!!!!!!. The unit could have been called as per CRPC and the unit auth would hv arrived in munutes to take them over if drunk . Proper disciplinary proceedings would hv commenced in 48 hrs . Both RM and MOS home could have done more useful jobs.

  3. Our army being disciplined institution teaches it’s man to respect civilians. What we are reading is seems only side of the story which blame army officials for misbehaving DM and police officers. We are not being feeded with both side interaction and arrived into the conclusion that army men are guilty. However as noted above army has started enquiry about the incidence let us wait n watch what is the outcome. If the commission found guilty either civil or military official exemplary action should must be taken by the govt to ensure justice.

  4. Ridiculous article. The truth behind an incident like this is to be determined based on evidence and witness accounts, not by quoting motherhood statements like the “army is a disciplined force” etc. The gentleman who wrote this article makes out as if it is not necessary to look into the complaints of the district administration; the army officer is to be deemed innocent just because he belongs to the army! We have all seen his unbecoming and thuggish statement on video, openly threatening the police inspector. There is a decades long history of army men misbehaving with tribals – especially women in the North East. It boggles the mind to think that any sane person could imagine that the e tire district administration including the police force and the collector, a woman at that, could collectively gang up against the colonel.

    • It seems you don’t have any knowledge of army and how they operate. Our army is a disciplined force. Your statement that army misbehave with civilians esp in north east is an utter foolish statement. There may be one odd aberration and i am sure army would have punished them. I’m this case too had local police handed over those 2 jawans things would have finished there itself. Its the arrogance of DM, SP and local police which had provoked the CO. No commanding officer worth his salt can see his men beaten up and and languishing in jail. I am totally with the commanding officer. He is the true son of the soil. Salute you.

    • Sir u i guess you belong to the ias ips fraternity….. Sir if a person who has volunteered to take a bullet and die while leaving his family behind at the mercy of uncouth elements the commanding officer will do anything to save such boys…….. Secondly were the young soldiers beaten up if yes then let the whole police station burn for once……… And hang that person who gave such orders………ofcourse if the jawans have done something wrong they will be punished…. Who are you take the law in your hands first…….. The case is simple like someone trying to defend himself from an aggressor who is has done sonething wrong already………..OR ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY…… To kya ho gayaa do jawaan peeet diye….. Were they supposed to be beaten……. If they werent that SO needs to be beaten bkack and blue first

    • Apparently Mr Ajay has personal issues with somebody within the Army.
      But hopefully even he does not condone custodial torture by police and then denial of laid process under the Adjustment of Jurisdiction-1978.
      Hope he demands action against the obviously erring police inspector, SP and other personnel involved who could have avoided this turf war.

  5. A good step by CO. Under his command, how hard the war may be, the soldier would still stand and fight for his Until his last drop of blood flow from his body.
    With mere intoxication, or what ever blemphy…. We cannot treat or beaten up some one else, might be a uniform man or a civilian.

  6. Clear case of not following laid down laws and guidelines by the PS authorities, administrators abetting crime. Well done CO to have held his men and not resorting to violence and responding in to provocation.

  7. A applaud the CO BUT unfortunately all politicians and babus and senior army officers will be after the blood of CO . Army is now castracted and all credit goes to senior brass who bow down in front of babus and netas who rule the roost. My sympathies with the CO he will be fixed by his own organisation because he is a hinderance in promotion of his senior who wants no trouble during his tenure. The worst that can happen to Indian army is PM,RM AND COAS who will finish this org . Make it baniya army ruled and controlled by politicians and money power. But I salute the CO who stood by his man unlike generals who look ONLY FOR their comfort next post retirement avenues and pay and vacancies only for brig and above,

  8. @ Mr Rahul and Ajay. Your comments inform me of ur lack of information and idealistic attitude towards Army/ defence forces….
    On ground a lot of mistrust and revengeful attitude exists and is frequently exhibited by Police personnel all around country side towards Militarymen.
    I have seen and gone through them many times and have exercised extreme caution not to cause unpalatable situations for all concerned…
    Both uniform services have well written SOPs , so police personnel should immediately inform nearest military unit …else…..

  9. This only shows the poor state of civil-military relations in the country. Even as allegations have been mounted by both sides, neither the police nor the army are expected to flout statutorily laid down provisions and resort to extra-legal means.

    If the local police is at fault, the said army unit cannot use that as justification for their retaliatory actions – both alleged ones and those captured on video. The CO is well within his ambit to look out for his men, but it doesn’t serve any purpose to pitch this episode as an army versus police battle and further use it to valorise unconstitutional behaviour by our men in uniform (both olive green and khakee).

  10. Colonial mindset if every institution starts behaving like this,there will be anarchy, no place for such action in a democracy.
    If there was something wrong legal recourse should have been taken.army men involved particularly CO of unit need to be dealt in strongest possible manner.
    These people and there action are causing mis trust and aniliation amongst people.
    We have already a messuage kashmir can’t afford the same in northeast.

  11. Any body taking action against the Police Inspector & SP for illegal custody as well as custodial torture? Any news on that? Anybody interested?
    The police seems to be more carefull while dealing with known and habitual offenders like the Maoists, Naxalists and other mafia/ gangsters. And while dealing with even relatives or friends of small time politicians they are absolutely subservient.
    The police need to be taught this lesson to treat all common people with more respect than the habitual and known offenders or criminals.
    AS far as Army persons are concerned, definitely they are better disciplined and behaved than the common citizens. Criminal Courts and Court Martial (Adjustment of Jurisdiction 1978) clearly lays out the process for handling any military persons who have committed offenses and states that if an officer decides to try the individual under Army Act he is to be handed over the custody.
    Most courts are Happy to do so since army has a recorded reputation for dealing with such cases swiftly and as per due process.

    On the contrary the Police and Civil administration has known to be habitual in manipulating investigations and delaying or denying justice. Let us see what action is taken against the Police and the civil administration.

  12. Firslty I applaud the CO AND I PITTY his bad phase will start now .first to decide that army was wrong will be top brass army and there will competition as to who proves they most sincere and honest . I m surprised chief has not responded to it deciding that army was wrong and strict action will be taken like in Gogoi case . The worst phase of army was as it is there now a babus stamp has been put as chief so worst is yet to come. The CO is a hero even if boys did a mistake police can’t break their bones. They could have arrested and taken legal action . The baby organisation sorted out CM of Delhi so poor colonel is due for tough time. The politicians give a lollipop of governorship and all top brass is sold out . Soon Indian army is on the way of police where plolitics connections and money will play imp role as it has already started courtesy Khadi and pahadi

  13. Hat’s off to Commanding Officer, Col. Firdosh Dubash for timely action to save respect of men in uniform, in similar situation at Porbandar in Gujrat one of the fine officer of Indian Coast Guard DIG RMSharma acted in similar manner and saved the honour of Service.

  14. The tragedy in this nation is the holier than thou attitude and a tendency to dish out a street corner level performance.It is easier to use media and public forums to highlight service issues,parity between different institutions and hollering about izzat and need for respect but when the same media asks uncomfortable questions on questionable practices, archaic hierarchical systems and accountability we find such people running for cover.

  15. A CO will act in such a manner only if the civil administration would have caused extreme provocation and humiliated the army personal and it’s officers…CO of a unit is never an immature individual.

  16. As a civilian i completly support the army officer in this case.

    While we people live our army, these civil servants suffer from an inferiority complex.

    No one should dare touch the honour of an army man.

    • Very well said. The uniformed forces: local police employed on normal law and order, the armed police are under the state govt. CRPF, BSF and Other paramilitary forces are under Central Govt. They are all trained and equipped in an acsending order, so that one superior force can take on the role of the lessor force when required and ensure the integrity of the nation is maintained. Then comes the armed forces who are superior in training and equipment than all other forces and are capable of restoring order when all other uniformed forces under the civil set up fail.

      The logical outcome of this heirarchy is that a lessor force should respect the better/ stronger force.

      That is why the civil administration by law is not allowed to proceed against armed forces personnel and are expected to inform the nearest armed forces unit and hand over the erring army personnel. The Bomdila administration failed to follow this protocol which led to the reaction.

      Can you expect a superior force ( as explained above) to be scarred of a lessor force. Like a lion scarred of the Jackal.

  17. Guys who are speaking against CO…When your brother is beaten for some act which he didn’t do. And also when the attacker is not authorised to hit him. What do u do …..I think I plead the attacker for not repeating it and speak respectfully to him. Hence your brother is sbeatrn again. As CO he roared correctly otherwise he is not worth commanding. His boys will never bring victory in war. Baaki San angrezi hai. Bolte rajo

  18. Iam surprised how the army fraternity are supporting such incident…iam from arunachal Pradesh and I have friends in bomdila where the said incident took place…two jawans were arrested for creating nuisance in the public place under the influence of alcohol and teasing girls who were out there for festival celebrating..does the army permit teasing girls and creating disturbances in the public place… They were arrested because they were creating problem in the public place not because they were army jawans so it’s should not be seen as army vrs police…and after they were arrested they started creating problem in police station braging about being an army man and also abused a lady police…
    How can a army regarded as the protector of the land ranshake the public property(police station and PWD office) I would say those chaps were lucky that it happened in bomdila the land of Buddha regarded as one of the most peaceloving district in arunachal Pradesh..had it happened in the other part of the state it would have caused a huge violence between army and the public..and for every one information the public of bomdila has already taken out a peaceful public March against the action of the army..if the same thing happen again in arunachal don’t blame the people of arunachal as it may turn into another Kashmir..
    Jai hind

  19. This is BS, the police misbehave with common people every day, police is not someone people like to approach for issues. They make money both ways. Police and IAS are unprofessional bunch who are trying to become power centers and want to degrade the forces. What police got from the army is what they should get from everyone who is ill-treated by the police and inefficient IAS lobby. So many people get ill-treated by the police because there is strong history of slavery for 1000s of years, we have always been at the recieving end of rulers after rulers and have always been ruled, slavery has been around for 1000s of years. Now these are not external rulers but internal forces like IPS, local Police and Civil servants who all think they are VIPs and sahabs, and continue to misbehave on roads sirens pushing people etc, lack of fair law and order system. In historically courageous nations like US UK Russia for such poor treatment of public time and again multiple cops would have been beaten up and probably attacked violently for public harassment, and they would have learnt to behave. Now owing to military training and sense of self respect the army don’t take shit sitting and give it back to the Police the hard way.. good .. police and DM and DC deserve this. For these DC and DM and SP – why should they be given cars, staff and banglows at our cost. They should wash and start their own cars, cook breakfast, feed kids, drop them to school and come to work driving themselves, be at service center to get fridge, mobile and cars serviced.. Why is Govt spending tax payer money on these people and make them different to commoners????? This is a poor nation, where is the luxury being supported from, where is the osterity? Fault lies within our civil system of inherited power centering and sahabism. With what IAS association and IPS association are doing crying and winging on getting beaten up, maybe the 13 lac strong army should also protest in new Delhi, well the protest will be a totally different ballgame and of a severe intensity. Govt is pushing the great armed forces to a corner and the results will be severe. I as a Civillian have a lot of respect for these forces. How come civil admin fail everywhere includes cleanliness, infra, sanitation, water, electricity, schools, traffic, health, railways, natural disasters, and how come where each and every place civil admin and police fail in duty, the armed forces are able to do the very same thing efficiently???? Including building railway overbridges at 1/20 the cost???

  20. If action is not taken against the DM and the SSP, the COAS has No business to take any action against the CO… in fact such COs deserve to be COAS… if such officers are written off for such actions; God bless this Nation, it will be lead by spineless political people…..

  21. Facts not myths should prevail. If the inebriated jawans misbehaved, they should have been detained,not beaten up in the lock up as alleged. The CO’s video needs to be sent for forensic verification. If what is heard on this website is verified to be true,the relevant IPC needs to be applied. The brave man with 100’s of soldiers under his command armed to the teeth is threatening like a Bollywood thug. Threatening a man to come out of Bomdila and see what I do to you. Sounds more like a criminal. The police personnel if guilty of beating up the Jawans should be dealt with as per the provisions of the law. Same applies to this CO whose language is more familiar in a Bollywood flick than anywhere else.

  22. @Col Mandhir Singh What action the COAS can take/can’t take/should take/should not take is for the good /wise/mature sense of the COAS. That is why he is a COAS,not a retired Colonel.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here