Vij Warning: Army To Crack Whip On Violators
2 December 2004
The Indian Express
New Delhi: Taking serious note of the increasing incidents of indiscipline, Army Chief, General N.C. Vij on Thursday said the force was determined to deal sternly with violators and ensure that troops stuck to a laid-down code of conduct. We are determined to hand-out exemplary punishment to all personnel, irrespective of rank, if they indulge in indiscipline or violate the laid-down procedures during conduct of operations,' Gen Vij said on the sidelines of a function to felicitate climbers of the Rajputana Rifles, who recently scaled the 7,120 metre Trishul peak in Himalayas. On increasing allegations of human rights violations and fake encounters, Vij said, the Army high command has taken a 'very serious' view on this trend. He said the recent spurt in such allegations had been deliberated at the highest level and measures are being chalked out to deal with such cases with a heavy hand as 'high standards of discipline was the hallmark of a fine Army.' In this connection, he pointed out to a number of punitive actions taken against officers of the rank of even major Generals, Brigadiers And Colonels. 'It is not correct to assume that Army acts only when such incidents are brought out into open by the media. We have our own internal systems to detect and punish such offenders,' he said. On de-induction of troops in J&K, the Army Chief said it would not be done at the cost of the security interests of the country. 'The troop reduction exercise would not be undertaken overlooking the country's security,' he said, adding that the security situation in J&K has improved after fencing. Asked about the fate of alleged culprits in the Tehelka scam, the Army Chief said the authorities had been waiting for legal aspects of the case to be sorted out. 'Now, that it has been sorted out, action would follow soon.' On the operations reportedly conducted by the Myanmar Army against insurgent groups in the Northeast, the army chief said the Yangon Junta was 'India-friendly'. 'The two armies have developed a good working relationship and this cooperation is put into practice, whenever situation demands.' Asked if the Myanmar Army had logistics to mount such an operation, Gen Vij said the neighbouring country had earlier also carried out such operations. However, he said, he had not received detailed reports on the operations. On the A.V. Singh report on measures to bring back 'youthful profile' to the Indian Army, Vij said, he was hopeful that the recommendations would be implemented soon. He said the report was under the consideration of the defence minister, who was favourably inclined towards it.