Tension grips Army Regiment at Nyoma after clashes between officers, jawan

Tension grips Army Regiment at Nyoma after clashes between officers, jawan

11 May 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Mohinder Verma

Jammu: In an unfortunate incident, soldiers went on revolt in an Army Regiment situated in the remote Nyoma block of the Leh district and captured armory after clashes between group of officers and jawans over an alleged molestation of wife of a Major by an orderly. During the clashes few jawans and officers including Commanding Officer (CO) of the Regiment, who tried to pacify the situation, sustained injuries. Taking the incident very seriously, the Defence Ministry has sought a detailed report on the incident from the Leh-based 14 Corps while as Army ordered Court of Inquiry to bring facts to the fore and fix the responsibility for necessary action against the erring personnel. Army Chief General V K Singh also spoke to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Northern Command, Lt Gen K T Parnaik and discussed the issue. 'Different versions have been pouring in about the reason behind the incident, which led to tension in the 226 Field Regiment of Third Infantry Division, and one of the version is that a soldier allegedly misbehaved with wife of a Major which resulted into clashes between the jawans and officers', sources said. Report said that following misbehaviour with his wife in the afternoon, Major beat up the ‘erring’ jawan severely and didn’t permit other soldier to allow any medical treatment for the injured. This fuelled anger among the co-jawans, who strongly objected to the action on the part of Major. As the repeated requests from the colleagues of the injured jawan for his medical treatment failed to yield any result, the soldiers went berserk and entered into scuffle with the officer. In the meantime, some colleagues of the Major came to his rescue and started thrashing the jawans. This led to revolt by the jawans, who started staging protest against the officers and even captured armory of the Regiment. On getting information about the unfortunate incident, Commanding Officer of the Regiment, Colonel Kadam swung into action and immediately reached the spot. When enquired by him, the jawans denied the version of the Major and said that there was no incident of any molestation. Gauging the mood of the agitating soldiers, the CO shouted at the Major for his reluctance to provide medical treatment to the injured jawan. This infuriated the Major and his officer colleagues, who refused to budge from their stand and even abused and assaulted the CO, sources said, adding the injured CO was later shifted to Base Hospital at Leh. Due to scuffle with the CO, the situation turned ugly with jawans turning out of control and started beating the Major rank officers with whatever thing coming in their hands. Sensing the gravity of the situation, all the five Major rank officers rushed to safety under the cover of darkness. As if there was free for all situation, the group of agitated soldiers started looking for the officers. Two of them, later, came in the hands of soldiers, who gave the former severe thrashings. On getting information from some other officers about the incident, local police rushed to the Regiment and rescued the officers. It was only with the intervention of local police that the situation was brought under control in the camp during late in the night. The other three Majors kept on hiding throughout night in order to save themselves from the angry and agitated soldiers. Police also informed senior officers of the Leh-based 14 Corps about the unfortunate incident in the 226 Field Regiment Unit and General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Third Infantry Division Major General A L Chowhan rushed to Nyoma. The night long tension in the Field Regiment Unit and revolt by the soldiers came to an end in the morning after the GOC assured the jawans, who had captured the armory, that action would be taken against the erring officers, reports said. Superintendent of Police (SP), Leh, Vivek Gupta, who too rushed to Nyoma last night after getting information about the incident and camped there along with heavy reinforcements, returned to District Headquarter this evening as the situation was completely under control and every jawan and officer was in their respective position. 'Though the jawans had armory under their control yet no withdrawal of weapons has been resorted to', report said, adding 'the injured officers and jawans have also been provided treatment in the Army hospital'. Meanwhile, Army Spokes- person Colonel Jagdeep Dahiya told in New Delhi that Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the incident. 'The situation is under control and a Court of Inquiry has been ordered', he said, adding 'a minor scuffle took place between the officers and troops on the night of May 10 and 11 and a few minor injuries were suffered by the personnel'. The inquiry order came after the Defence Ministry, while taking the happening in the strategically positioned base very seriously, sought a detailed report from the Leh-based 14 Corps on the incident.