Army Rights Record Impeccable: Vij
12 April 2004
The Times of India
New Delhi: Facing allegations of human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast, Army Chief Gen N C Vij on Monday stressed the record of his force was 'impeccable'. Speaking at the inauguration of the Army commanders' conference, Vij said the Army was dealing 'severely' with officers found guilty of committing atrocities on civilians. 'Around 1,380 allegations have been levelled in Kashmir since 1990 and 450 in the Northeast. Out of these, only 35 allegations in J&K and 30 in the Northeast have been found to be genuine,' Army officers claimed. 'Around 70 personnel in J&K and 65 in the Northea-st have been punished. Depending on the crime, punishment ranges from forfeiture of seniority and loss of rank to dismissal and RI,' another officer said. The conference will revi-ew the strategy to be adopted for counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir in the coming summer months when the mountain passes open and infiltration becomes the order of the day. Vij also expressed satisfaction with the progress in the multi-tiered fencing of the Line of Control. While fencing in Jammu sector is almost over, the Army proposes to complete it in the Kashmir Valley by July latest. On America's request to India to send troops to Iraq, Vij said the decision rests with the government and, since elections are around the corner, the new government will have the final say.