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Politicians Can't Decide What Army Should Do In 'War-Like Zone,' Says Arun Jaitley

"We should allow our army officers to take a decision."

24/05/2017 7:58 PM IST | Updated 24/05/2017 7:58 PM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NEW DELHI -- In a "war-like zone" it is best left to the army officers to decide how to deal with the situation instead of consulting politicians, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday, referring to an Indian Army officer involved in a human shield incident in Jammu and Kashmir.

Asked about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the controversy triggered by the incident, where a Kashmiri man was tied in front of a jeep by Major Leetul Gogoi, the Minister said: "Military solutions are to be provided by military officers, not through comments of politicians."

"How a situation is to be dealt with when you are in a war-like zone... we should allow our army officers to take a decision. They don't have to consult Members of Parliament as to what they should do under these circumstances," the Minister said.

A video, shot on 9 April during the Srinagar by-polls held amid violent incidents, showed a man, later identified as Farooq Ahmad Dar, being tied to the bonnet of an army jeep in Badgam of Jammu and Kashmir to ward off stone pelters.

The video went viral on social media and created an uproar. An FIR was registered by the Jammu and Kashmir police against the security forces.

On 15 April, the Army constituted a court of inquiry in the incident, and its final report is pending.

Major Gogoi has been awarded the Army Chief's Commendation Card for sustained efforts in counter insurgency operations.

Jaitley had come out in support of the officer earlier as well. At a press conference in Srinagar last week the Minister said it should not be forgotten that the officer had responsibility to save the lives of those involved in the election process as well as the crowd that had gathered.

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