All these shocking incidents will not demoralize our armed forces. Their commitment to the nation in total.
Video clips of the torture of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman by the Pakistanis wrench your heart. You can feel the pain to which this brave son of India is being subjected to. Glad to see that Wing Commander Abhinandan will be returning home shortly
Torture of POWs is the norm the world over; the Geneva convention notwithstanding.
But, what about the torture of a serving army officer within his own country? In August 2008, a senior leader of Maharashtra raised the bogey of “Hindu terrorism.” Almost on cue, the ATS of Mumbai police arrested a few Hindus following the Malegaon bomb blast which took place a month after the speech.
Among those arrested was Lt Col Prasad Purohit of army intelligence. He was undergoing training in Arabic at an army unit in Pachmarhi in M.P. from where he was picked up by one Col. Srivastava and handed over to the ATS by tampering with his movement order.
While in the ATS’ custody he was subjected to third-degree torture. Among other parts of his anatomy, his right knee was targetted. He had injured his right knee during operations in Kashmir. He was treated like an ordinary criminal. His family members were also abused and threatened. RDX was planted in the house of one the witnesses to implicate him. All these things happened during the Congress regime.
The significant aspect of this Kafkaesque saga is that the army has stood behind Lt Col Purohit like a rock.
After protracted litigation Lt Col Purohit was granted bail by the Supreme Court on August 21, 2017, largely on the basis of the papers filed by the defense ministry. However, no action has been taken against ATS personnel who mercilessly tortured Lt Col Purohit and even got promotion under the BJP.
The question is why is the Modi govt not withdrawing the case against Lt Col Purohit and arresting his tormentors when the MoD is solidly behind him?
But then it was when the BJP was sharing power with Mehbooba Mufti that FIRs for murder was filed against the army in Kashmir for gunning down pro-Pakistani stone-pelters. Not only that, the government even withdrew 9,730 cases filed against stone- pelters.
The great Rajnath Singh defended this decision in June 2018 by saying that the “youths were misled into stone-pelting ” the army!!
Since the J & K administration, which is under the Modi govt, is not changing its decisions to file FIRs against the army and withdraw those against stone-pelters, the daughter of a retd CRPF jawan and another teenager have filed a PIL in the SC. Major Gogoi of Jeep fame has also been treated shabbily by MoD.
All these shocking incidents will not demoralize our armed forces. Their commitment to the nation in total. But, certainly they must be given justice. They deserve it more than anyone else. PS: I am soon launching an online platform www.justiceforltcolpurohit.org Please support this cause wholeheartedly. Jai Hind!
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.