Sunday, May 13, 2012


I received the following letter on e-mail from Col SK Aggarwal, a former JAG officer and a friend since many years. I am re-producing it verbatim so that readers of this blog get an idea as to how service officers feel about this incident. (Pic courtesy

 "The clash which took place in 226 Field Regiment in Laddakh is a very serious matter which is being downplayed by Army as usual. Senior Army Officers in command will never learn a lesson from history. Thank GOD it was not an Infantry Battlion equipped with arms and ammunition. Otherwise many dead bodies would have been lying in the field to be air lifted.

The Commanding Officer Col Prasad Kadam and the Bty Cdr behaved immaturely considering themselves to be above law. If Sahayak had misbehaved with his wife, he should have placed the soldier under arrest, reported to CO and subjected to trial. He had no right to collectively beat him. It is nothing but collective insubordination and the unit should be disbanded .

All those involved in the offences should be attached to other units out of 3 Inf Div and subjected to trial by Court Martial. It is a classic case of command failure up the channel. Court of Inquiry is an eye wash and will suppress the truth and only some soldiers will be tried and awarded punishment and case closed. Thereafter Army Chief and Commanders will forget the case. They have forgotten how four officers including CO Col Sahota were killed in 8 JAT in 1986 and the case of Mutiny in GR Bn involving Maj Kukrety. 45 Armoured Regt clashes case involving a number of officers and others has still not been taken to logical conclusion even after more than one year. It still at the stage of recording of Summary of Evidence.

Such incidents are taking place because Officers are arrogant and COs are behaving like dictators. When matter is brought to the notice of Senior Commanders, they take no action. With rise in education standard of soldiers and changing socio-economic conditions. officers training system needs to be modified.

Colonial thinking has no place in today's Army. Unless the Army Officers change their mind set and misuse of manpower is stopped at all levels, such incidents will continue to happen. The morale of soldiers is lowest today and discontentment level is very high. The incident of 226 Field Regiment should be taken seriously and the unit should be disbanded without any exception. It is a wake call to Chief of the Army Staff and Ministry of Defence. Case should be thoroughly investigated and all guilty be accounted for. Those found guilty after trial should be subjected to exemplary punishment. Discipline cannot be compromised. With this incident image of Army has nose dived for which GOC 3 INF DIV onwards are collectively responsible and accountable."
 E-9/504/GH 79
MOB. 09815558983


  1. Hi Aman,

    Firstly, you should post your own article on your blog. Secondly, I agree to disagree with the views expressed by the senior officer. What has actually happened on the ground? is known only to those officers and men who were present at the location.
    It is a case of indiscipline and it can happen in any regiment/batallion of fighting arms or even from the supporting arms.To pass a sweeping judgement on the incident happened, sitting in the air conditioned room is most unfortunate and not appreciated from a Senior Officer.The army has dealt with these type of cases in the past and severe punishment were given to the guilty.Let the Operational Commander handle the situation as per the provisions of the Army Law and it should not become a media trial, which generally happens in the civil street. Thirdly to state that all CO's are dictators is a an irresponsible statement made by such a senior officer. You can not put all the Commanding officers in the same category. If there is a lapse on the part of an officer, whether senior/junior or other ranks, they will be dealt with as per the provisions of the Military Laws. The Army is competent to handle these matters.
    It is unfortunate that, officers with no operational experience and from the supporting arms criticize about the Army Operations,discipline and conduct of personnel in the operational areas after their retirement.
    Finally, Army authorities should take strong action against the guilty and give deterrent punishment to avoid this type of incident in future.

  2. I agree this is a very serious incident and the unit should be disbanded. Perhaps there something in the training of officers that is amiss. As for the soldiers there are no bad soldiers only those that train and lead them.

    As a very old WW2 Indian officer IC806 I am 89 - 2nd Punjab who served in the Arakan, Kohima and the Burma campaign I am dismayed at the arrogance of some of our officers today. What were the wives doing at the firing range anyway.

    Please do not blame it on a colonial attitude from the past (that we must be rid off) which inflicts our bad officers.

    I first served in British Indian Aramy, an Indian army officered mostly by foreigners from Sandhurst.

    I was the only Indian officer in my regiment at that time (emergency commissioned) the rest were British. All the officers treated the Jawans with great respect, with their welfare and comfort constantly in our minds.

    Insulting any subordinate was out of the question and we would impose discipline and punishment in a just and professional manner.

    Indian Officers were often from the landowning classes. The British officers from another culture. It was not in the nature of an officer to be insulting or to take away a subordinates dignity. These were professional soldiers we commanded, not our servants or colonial subjects or peasants from the countryside.

    Being an officer in the great British Indian Army taught me to be a gentleman. To insult a soldier was to diminish oneself, a conduct most unbecomeing. We were very fond of the men under our command,we respected them, and we felt in no way they were less then us only less educated, the men knew this too and we received a great deal of respect and affection even though the discipline was harsh along with constant discomfort, where we lived outdoors for months constantly on the move.

    Perhaps that was why officers from far away England could lead and motivate native troops in India. The men had complete trust in us, they would follow us anywhere as indeed they did fighting the Japanese all the way in the jungles to Rangoon.

  3. There was no sahayak involved. This whole email is bogus.

  4. only 8 offrs against a sanctioned str of 24? will one imagine the stress he goes under? no- u cant

    1. Stress is alien to Defence Officers today because serving in Armed forces with very high perk, no responsibility has become picnic for them. That's why Officer's wife was present at firing range. As for Govt. Sanction, It is unduly inflated to do more mauj masti. And by the What the more than 8 officers will do for a mere 220 soldiers.

  5. the statement that "if it was an infantry battalion equipped with arms and ammunition" shows the amount of knowledge the author has about the army and its if he meant to say that artillery units do no keep Small arms at all??

  6. heights of immaturity, a jag branch officer lecturing about the command of unit. sir soldier will not fight and ask question on all orders by field commanders if we start following your ideas. just do a job in which you are good at. yes everything was a mess in nyoma on that night , and for a kind knowledge to you all, one innocent chap roasted alive on the very next day in that location. and the real story will never come out, as nobody is interested in it. the ladies should thank the unknown hero who saved them from gang rape. yes army at all level behaved like a matured bunch and prosecuted all those who were involved. but i am still amazed why unit is not disbanded. the only real lesson learnt is to start regimentation in artillery as the unit below officer rank behaved as a unit and officers were isolated during that incident.......... ... ... an to all intellectuals pl dont tarnish the image of army with your half cook ideas and experience..