Is Army throwing its officers to the wolves?

Is Army throwing its officers to the wolves?

By V. Mahalingam | 18 June, 2016
The recent arrest of Colonel Jasjit Singh indicates yet another occurence of an Army official being illegally arrested.

An exposé by a TV channel and The Sunday Guardian uncovered the truth that the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Mumbai withheld information on the Malegaon blasts case from the Army to arrest Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit. This was contrary to the advice of the Army’s legal experts suggesting the need for an FIR or reasonable evidence to allow the arrest of the officer. The Army gave in and handed over the officer to the ATS, ignoring the relevance of his intelligence work in the context. He was deceitfully moved from the AEC Training College, Panchmarhi to Mumbai, without revealing to him his destination or the purpose of his move. Was the Army in collusion with the ATS? His whereabouts between 29 October and 4 November 2008 are untraceable. He was possibly detained illegally and tortured in custody, as alleged. The Army forgot about the officer after his arrest and remained a mute spectator to his incarceration, unmindful of the evidences of its own officers suggesting that the investigations were flawed and possibly motivated. Has the agony and misery to his wife and children besides the loss of eight years of freedom to the officer irked anyone’s conscious? What has happened to the Army’s ethos and values?

Has the Army learnt any lessons from the incident? If the recent arrest of Colonel Jasjit Singh, the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Aizawl based 39 Assam Rifles (39AR) in Mizoram is anything to go by, they have not.

The officer and eight other ranks were arrested on 5 May 2016 by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) for their alleged role in a highway robbery of gold smuggled from Myanmar. The incident came to light for the first time when the driver of the vehicle, Lalnunfela, filed an FIR at the Aizawl police station on 21 April 2016, four months after the incident, alleging that his vehicle was waylaid by armed men from 39 AR on 14 December 2015, who decamped with 52 gold bars worth Rs 14.5 crore.

The SIT also arrested a government-supplier, Bulaki Chand Baid and a former Mizoram Students’ Association leader, Lalmuanawma Mathipi. A counter FIR filed by them labelled the FIR false, which revealed the relationship between Mathipi and Lalmingthangi, a woman heading a smuggler gang with whom the former was working earlier. Has anyone seen the gold? Undoubtedly the alleged robbery on the night of 14 December was the result of a fallout between the two. Or were the smugglers at the receiving end trying to cheat the owner by blaming the Assam Rifles for the loss of the gold?

Curiously, the proceedings of the first press conference held in the office of Mizoram Home Minister, R. Lalzirliana, in the presence of senior police officers on 11 May 2016, the only official account on the subject, were taken off the web after a short period.

It transpires that on the night of the incident the CO was out at Silchar. Prior to his departure, based on information, he had nominated a team to carry out an operation for a possible arms consignment at a time and place to be signalled by Rifleman Pachhunga who was to receive the intelligence input. The party was sent for the task but returned on 15 December 2015 without any seizure. The matter was reported to the higher headquarters as per the laid down procedure.

The police considered it vital to arrest the colonel but did not find it basic to arrest or interrogate the driver and his accomplices, who had acknowledged bringing in smuggled gold, or impound the vehicle that allegedly carried the gold. Were they let off to save the bigger fish or to situate evidences and witnesses appropriately?

The modalities of the arrest of the officer are intriguing. He was served a notice under Section 41A of the CrPC by the SIT asking him to appear before it at 1000 hours on 5 May 2016. Without disclosing this fact to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Aizawl, the very same SIT obtained an arrest warrant against him on 4 May 2016. A notice under Section 41A is issued only when the arrest of a person is not required and the section forbids the arrest of the individual if he complies with the notice. The officer was thus illegally arrested.

Anticipating trouble, Colonel Jasjit Singh applied for anticipatory bail on 5 May 2016. During the course of the hearing, the SIT produced in the court an order of the 23 Sector AR dated 5 May 2016, suspending the officer from duty. While the suspension order was available with the SIT and the media at the time of the hearing, the officer was handed the order only after his arrest at the court premises. Was the Army colluding with the civil police? Was this meant to dilute the effect of Section 45 CrPC on the arrest of the officer without the Central Government’s sanction?

The officer was granted conditional bail on 31 May 2016. Obviously, the search of the officer’s house had not yielded any result and credible evidence for continued detention was not produced. Did the harassment end there? The officer, who was staying with his family, was attached to a minor unit and was asked to vacate his house without giving any alternate accommodation, thus throwing his wife and children virtually to the streets. Is this the Army’s brotherhood all about?

Precedence has been set by allowing the civil police to arrest a CO and that too based on an FIR filed by a smuggler four months after the incident. The officer’s house was allowed to be searched. Has anyone thought the effect this act will have on the troops and the psyche of the COs of Army units operating in insurgency areas in the future? A smuggler’s words seem to have convinced the Army more than that of its own CO. Has anyone seen the gold or was there any claimant for the alleged loot? Is there any evidence? If indeed the Army had any information on the complicity of the officer in the incident why did it not act but allowed the civil police to arrest the officer and his men? Why were the provisions in the Army Act to initiate disciplinary action against such crimes committed by service personnel ignored? The provisions of CrPC Section 45, which prevents the arrest of any member of the armed forces for anything done in the discharge of his official duties, without obtaining the consent of the Central government too has been blatantly flouted. Was the Army surrendering its powers to investigate and prosecute its own troops to the civil police?

Mizoram shares borders with two neighbouring countries and three states and is a hub of smuggling activities. 39 AR, during the one year command of Colonel Jasjit Singh in Mizoram, had captured over 16 automatic weapons, including AK 47s, a huge quantity of detonators, US $48,000, Myanmar currency worth 42 lakh and other war like stores. Was the arrest of the officer a reprisal action? Has anyone cared to investigate the source and the destination of these smuggling activities? Has any action been taken against any of these gangs, their leadership and the conspirators? Needless to say, this is how weapons, drugs and money get smuggled and transported into our states from neighbouring countries to ignite crimes and insurgencies. Are these activities possible without the connivance of the police and nexuses between police, politicians and smugglers? Why have we failed to probe these relationships and activities?  A military man cannot wade through these webs of nexuses. This is a fit case for investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI). If Colonel Jasjit Singh is involved in the pillage he must be punished. If not, all those who had implicated the officer in a false case including those in the Army should be taken to task so that such impertinences are mercilessly brought to an end.

Senior officers in the Army hierarchy, who had failed to investigate and apply their mind in the matter before allowing the civil police to arrest the officer, must be made to pay. CBI investigations must aim at unearthing various links in the chain and prosecute those who are involved in these activities.

Brigadier V. Mahalingam (Retired) is a former Army officer.


There are 70 Comments

Totally agree with the Brig. Soldiers have to be treated differently, as they have a very strong system for disciplining errant behaviour which is more stern than the civil. Most arrests of soldiers & officers are due to either political pressure or the police trying to show its inferiority complex as the defence forces get more respect from the citizens than them. Wish the RM and Defence Chiefs put things right at the earliest.

If a low ranking babu is arrested, the policemen maintain a respectful distance from his presence. But in case of Col Jasjit Singh, the commanding officer of an Assam Rifles unit, these thugs in khaki were holding him by his arms, even though he is in uniform. I have never seen a more humiliating act being inflicted on a fauji. This is a new low that the rank and file of the Indian Army is being subjected to. Shame on the bunch of sniveling cowards that the netas and ministers are, and their IPS henchmen. What was the sandal shod parrikar doing.

In dealing with Col Jasjit's alleged involvement, why has the Army not learnt from that of Lt Col Purohit? As the PRO and Spokesperson of the Army with three consecutive Army Chiefs, it has been my experience that Army tends to go into a shell when such incidents occur. Additionally its personnel, guilty or not, are treated as pariahs and with contempt. What if Col Jasjit, though accused at present, comes out clean? Will the senior officers in the chain be held responsible and accountable? In that eventuality, how will Col Jasjit be compensated, if at all? Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, the Eastern Army Commander presently, the senior most officer in Col Jasjit's theater of command (region of responsibility) carries a reputation to be a very mature officer. What has compelled him into silence? Are there any political pressures? Any other considerations? Surprisingly there is also no word from Gen VK Singh, once himself 'a victim of political forces' and now the lone representative of the Indian Army in the union cabinet . It is no body's case that if found guilty, an accused should be punished severly, but until that happens, why deprive him and also his family of what is due to him, especially in such a sensitive region known to be the safe haven for anti-national elements in different camouflages of respectability? God forbid, if Col Jasjit is silenced off by those involved in smuggling of arms, ammunition, gold and currency, who will be responsible? No usual words of compassion or being apologetic would be any solace to the family and the Army fraternity. Such cases, involving civilians, and anti-national elements (the 'enemy' within), besides the alleged involvement of service personnel, are best dealt by the CBI and not the local police, so that the investigations are not influenced and the guilty punished. Wonder why the Army has not recommended this till now? The present Army Chief, Gen Suhag, who before his present appointment was the Army Commander of the Eastern Command knows the mechanics and intrigues of illicit activities of the region, will do well not to abandon his officers serving in that region and also protect the national security interests, irrespective of all pulls and pressures, if any.

It is time for the IG AR, the DIG Sector to come clean on the circumstances based on which the Commanding Officer of 39 AR was put through the shame of being arrested and taken to jail and thereafter released on bail. Did the Sector Hq conduct a C of I and prima facie find him accused or it and the IG AR succumb to the political pressure for them to find a scape goat???? If the local media and the national media felt it important to brand the Colonel as a Smuggler, why are they shying away from digging in the muck further up and trying not to find the real truth??? Statements of IG AR & DIG Sector will dispel the doubts. Will they answer is a million dollar qustion.

Unfortunately in a bid to subjugate the Army we now have impotent people moving up. Is it worth having an army led by such impotent people. If they cant defend their command will they be able to defend the Nation?

Are we as Armed forces falling into abyss of indifference towards our troops. Imagine if we're turning apathetic towards an officer, what would be the condition of valiant men below the rank of officers,who may have been subjected to inhuman treatment by their own country men in the police custody. The achievements of the Commanding Officer and the unit under his command would surely have ruffled the Political and Police hierarchy in the area. As the links go deeper with prevalence of smuggling in the area, with International ramifications every one closes ranks to protect themselves. But here it appears that a wild shot in the dark by a nexus of anti national and anti social elements had triggered a very compliant, immature and hasty reaction by the local Army and Assam Rifles authorities. That there has been no status statement nor any reactive input in the media by the Army authorities despite mischievous and malafide planted media inputs by interested parties goes on to show the contempt of the present dispensation in Army towards its own troops. Camaraderie that one was proud of in olive green is no more. The military authorities today seem to act with glee when given a chance to harass the families of their own. Sad very sad. Our PM and RM must wake up to this reality before it's too late since it appears that Army’s hierarchy is in a limbo marking time.

Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help. Your comments are Very well worded sir. Cheers.

It is a matter of shame that Army hierarchy failed to check the arrest of their officer of the rank of Col,CO of Assam Rifle bn.They should have first done internal inquiry to find out the facts and if there was No charge than not allowed such demoralizing action by local police.It appears a clear case of civil-mil poor relation and coordination.All should pay for the suffering of Col and his family and demoralizing effect on the officers and jawans of the Army.

The inability of higher military hierarchy to take a stand to prevent arrest and harassment of CO of AR Bn and thereby ensure morale of officers and troops reflects the falling esprit de corps.... it shows officers do not trust their own ...a very sad state of affairs. The day is not far when military officers and men will get trampled by civilian authorities for fraudulent and trivial conspiracies

It seems to be a fit case of Army not trying the Officer first before handing over the case to Civil Authorities. The powers vested with Armed Forces in such instances are not exercised properly and it seems to be out if convenience that the case has been handed over without proper enquiry and procedures laid down in the organisation. Hope to see the uniformed superiors rise to the occasion and take appropriate action with powers vested rather than allowing someone to fend for himself. If the Officer indeed was guilty, he wouldn't have committed such acts without the superiors coming to know about it and moreover with own Intelligence Unit in place.

Very rightly said Sirs. The higher echelons expect servitude only. Professional conduct is not welcome; most of the people at higher levels succumb to the temptation of post retirement appointments, and blindly obey the dictats if the Political class.

It's not so easy to violate the army laws an army personnel cannot violate laws when he knows the rules at the back of his hand. It's always been that politician break the rules and innocent people like Col jasjit Singh are arrested to show somekind of arrest done to prove the working of the police. Where is the gold found, how do you know the exact value of the gold , why only 52 bars why wouldn't he rob more if he had to do so , no one is catching Daud as his arrest will naked many politicians so police is just showing its effort to catch but really can't do much about it. I totally feel it's just an issue blown out of proportion. Hope justice is given to colonel Jasjit Singh.

Who will join the army , the army consists of more than 90 percent of Sikhs who have given always their lives for the country , with all this nonsense who is going to send their sons to the borders when their lives and rights are not secured , where is the involvement of the central government , why hasn't the government spoken or intruded yet in this case, how dare without any evidence his wife and children were thrown out when the man has served the army since 20 years, was his track record not considered, will he get his lost pride back , will his parents who were put to shame will get their health back because of the negligence of the police we need justice as this could happen with anyone of us tomorrow?

Senior officer's of our Army who failed to properly handle the issue and stand by a brother officer in difficult times must pay for this and should be held accountable. But who will make them pay.

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Yes,ofcourse. Today comredrie is almost non existent in the Army. Where are the Sr officers who are inclined to follow those three sentences etched on LAST STEP of the Chetwood hall? Generals are looking fwd to be governers/ambassadors or perhaps an NO tickets from the ruling otherwise the opposition parties. No one cares their cold these days. Examples are there to see today in parliament or as was done in OROP negotiations. If it serve them, today's Sr commanders will throw their comd to wolves and to all. See the way services are humiliated and continued being humilated in every aspect of life, pay commission etc. If one chief puts up his point and designs if not met and if other chiefs follow suit, I don't think the babudom and spineless political masters would have been kept in their place. Alas,where are the chiefs like Thimmaiah.....

Frankly what bothered me most was their lack of style. I learned early that class is universally admired. Almost any fault, sin or crime is considered more leniently if there's a touch of class involved. In both these cases the whole drama was a clear cut played out drama script to take revenge and teach a lesson to the Colonels - this was actually an assault on the Army and its unity and NAUKARI fit "seniors" played along with the gamers. Shocking. How could army just let their own officer be taken down like this. Today it these colonels - tomoro there will be others. We must look after our own and punish them to improve if wrong within the system but not treat them as toilet paper and throw them to the wolves. The professional arena always demands intense commitment. One has to be a high achiever; nobody can deny that, everyone must continue to work on projects without letting up and not be ready to brook any interference. Though welcome suggestions and criticism. We must set very high standards not just for subordinates but also for own self. This uncompromising attitude though , alienates supporters sometimes,but being frank is always better than being falsely sweet coz by being frank in life, we may get lot of true enemies but surely no untrue friends. The seniors must MUST be a shield for their juniors and not just concentrate for their own NAUkari !!! What has happened was shameful in purohits case. Its an open secret how politics was played and a false case registered to please politicians. That case will go into the history of Indian army as one of the worst false case played out to demean the army and its officer. Rissala advise to the Colonel in both cases is - be strong and brave. These are ups and down of life. Politicians are interfering too much into the selection process and ensure that only officers who are spineless and without balls reach the top so that noone ever dares to make a stand against any wrong. Noone likes officers with a spine. Senior officers do not care for or look after their juniors or like to take a stand. This is that breed of people who want perfect children and if a specially abled child is born to them. They shall abandon their child - sad state of affairs. Col Purohit needs to be awarded and rewarded immediately and the system must repent and ensure another col purohit foes not happen. And as far as Col Jasjit is concerned - time will tell. But sure he has been caught in the politics and chess games of the high and mighty. May god give them and their families tons of strength and sense to those of our army generals who have forgotten the basic ethos of the army ------- service before self and taking care of their youngsters. Facebook - Rissalapolo किसी  के  दिल  में क्या  छुपा  है  बस  ये  खुदा ही  जानता  है,, दिल  अगर  बे  नक़ाब  होते  तो  सोचो  कितने  फसाद  होते,, थी  ख़ामोशी  फितरत  हमारी  तभी  तो   बरसों  भी  निभा  गई,, अगर  हमारे  मुंह  में  भी  जवाब  होते  तो  सोचो  कितने  फसाद  होते,, हम  अच्छे  थे  पर  लोगों  की  नज़र  में सदा  रहे  बुरे,, कहीं  हम  सच   में  खराब  होते  तो  सोचो  कितने  फसाद  होते||

Only people to be blamed are the spineless seniors. Higher the rank weaker the spine

Politicians & police authority are happy to neutralize the immunity enjoyed by armed forces personnel against arrest. The immunity is not meant to give undue advantage to the armed forces. It is to ensure better & faster actions against the defaulter. Now actually allowing armed forces personnel to be taken in police custody will open the opportunities of culprits getting escort free or the innocent suffering without any fault of theirs. The complete system is going for a a six. Concerned senior level officers must take up case with civil authorities to let services handle cases involving armed forces personnel. It clearly shows that nowadays the senior officers of the armed forces are no more of the calibre to take firm stand for the correct cause. Very sad state of affairs.

Disgraceful... Both on the Army and the Police and the local authorities. Armed forces is one of the last standing Institutions that have a lot of respect in this country... It should take a more stern stand and stand up for the sheer high handedness shown by the police in both the cases.. Coming from a Armed forces family.. It pains to see these episodes of Army not standing up for its soldiers.

In my 36 years of Army Service including handling of DV cases it is a shame that we gave in without following basic processses for the arrest of an Army Officer, even if this officer was at fault. His Bosses' personal assets need a in depth probe which perhaps will bring about their direct involvement in these smuggling of Arms Ammunition or Gold. They ought to be part of it and thats why they fired the Guns on his shoulders to save themselves by compromising all Rules in this Border Area. Wonder how Bosses at higher echelons kept quite.

Everyone knows how corrupt and incompetent our police babus and netas are. Yet these guys band together thick as thieves and look adter each other. Banding together and close team work so that people know each other intimately in the heat of battle is an army ethos. The same however does not come to fore when needed. Shameful. Evidently as per this article investigations were shoddy and outcome predecided.

Agree Sir. But unfortunately even the media seems to be sleeping over this arrest. A pillar of democracy which is a potent weapons should be exploited to hilt to bring the transparency.

Indeed the way an Commanding Office or for that any officer is discarded brings down the moral of the Forces. This will lead to less commitment as far as policing of the border is concerned, who wants dishonor, and keep the troops inside the barracks. However, such cases must be investigated thoroughly and if involvement is established stringent punishment must be given as per the law of the land. The arrest was not warranted, at least the manner in which it was carried out. The Army could have initiated it's own inquiry and attached the officer, so that he was not able to tamper the evidences. The dilution of camaraderie and brotherhood will effect the time tested fabric of the services and is not good for the Nation.

The time has come to introspect. Ask the question to ourselves - will the Indian Army and Navy survive the next war. Air force still might manage a bit longer. Who will listen to the orders of faulty leadership, who to save their asses, pushes their juniors ahead. SHAMEFUL , where is the OLQ of the SSBs gone.

Sorry to say Army has become worst organisation as it's senior officer don't stand up to their officer n men. This chief is subservient to Bsbus n police. He demoralized Army.shame on him

Army should never tolerate indiscipline and corruption. The Tiger of an unit is responsible to ensure this. When operating in CI ops, rules and procedures are laid down and it's most intriguing how Army allowed violation of these procedures before the arrest of the commanding officer who is responsible to ensure discipline, prevent corruption and maintain the decorum of Indian Army. This apart the treatment met out to the family of the officer before being proved guilty is terrifying. The officer is liable for punishment if found guilty and not otherwise. May the case be dealt with impartially and justice provided to the victims.

. What was the driver doing for 4 months .Did he not know the next day? Why the driver was not questioned.? What was he doing with 52 Gold bars ? Who is the owner of the Gold bars? Where was the gold bars being taken and why? Why a counter FIR by Mizoram Student Union leader? What has happened to that FIR. Has any one been arrested in that case? Why was the the the Home Minister's press conference was taken off the web? These are serious questions the CBI has to find an answer . Will the DG AR, Army Chief , Defence Minister wake up?

I think time has come to read the Constitution so that such dastardly acts are not made on Military men.

I agree in toto with brigadiers view. The Army should trust its own officers and stand by them till proved otherwise instead of leaving them I lurch. It's laying a bad precedence and it will be most unsought after job. The morale with which the men fight will in the boots.

No doubt ARMY has gone in hands of hijads senior lot who can't take stand and only want to be governor of states!!

Very well brought out by brig Mahalingam. What ever may be the truth is the case, the Army has failed to be fair to its officer. It just can't throw out its people to the wolves waiting outside; it should have known that the army people working in an insurgency area are prone to allegations of rape and molestation, smuggling, custodial deaths, etc, often by spread by insurgents themselves that are then lapped up by the media with out doing home work

An honest piece which makes us sit up to say that such a wonderful Org now infested with cowards and selfish people who have blindly accepted highhanded of vested interests! Where the Loyalty to the Org gone? Kudos to respected Mallu.

Top Brass of elite IA is only bothered about their growth & elevation. Brig Mahslingam has rightly pen down the agony undergone by colonel & family of IA. Accolades to Brig sahab..we were not digesting the media report's of col involvement in so called smuggling of gold. Till date no evidence has been established by police against alleged crine that too after the full support of Army bosses. Now passing the buck to CUB as they are afraid of getting bad name & defamation . Going through the media inputs it seems that DIG AR Mizoram was more keen to get his CO arrested. Higher bosses were either kept in dark or they were looking for some sensation to add brownie points to annual appraisals. Pitty on inhuman senior officers who donot care for their subordinates & their family..There is judiciary & constitution to punish the colonel & jawans if they are guilty, vindictive attitude towsrds own staff is a big shame. Army. Politicians & police are all one as they share the booty looted, wake up Generals, you can't protect your own officers & families..we have sincere doubt how will you protect nation and people of nation. Disheartening COMMANDER. Brig Mahalingam well done

There is always a different side to each incident. All of us seem to have made up our minds that the army has not been fair to the colonel. Then why did he apply for anticipatory bail? Did he know that he will be arrested? Why was he in uniform in the first place? The army does not insist on this And how many such examples have we seen happening where officers are being thrown to wolves? Lets not be alarmists and denounce a good organization

Trust me I am not a regular blogger, critic or writer but in this case of Gold robbery (Virtual) I have been in touch with the news since the arrest has happened which amazed me till today that nothing has been recovered so far and not expected in the future. Col. Singh is just a scapegoat targeted by the local Mizoram smugglers there and some local politicians. Everybody is saving their asses to being fired and got Col. Jasjit Singh hooked in this case. Being an Army man it is easy to bring in the limelight to divert the concentration from smuggling trade which is new in practice as it was before from Manipur. The so called FIR is on the wordings from that driver who is into this practice since his young age. Is our judiciary system allows to consider the statement of already culprit person? As I am not into the law profession. After his arrest there was again smuggling of gold was happened in addition to arms and ammunition. His family is also on road side and disturbed and trying to recover from this trauma. This type of injustice happened to Col. Singh has left many open points towards linking of Smugglers with politicians, Policing and the concerned offices. The title of the article is rightly nailed into the system “Is Army throwing its officers to the wolves”?

Very well said Brig. This is nothing new as the Army always disowned their officers and men whenever the civil administration raised an issue. This is primarily for two reasons; one, the senior officers want to play it safe and project themselves as impartial and clean; two, once the case is handed over, their own responsibilities are unloaded and they become free of any bother. A very unethical and dangerous trend that exposes the emptiness of rhetoric like brotherhood, camaraderie, esprit-de- corps etc. There are instances where Army and civil officers were jointly involved in alleged corruptions; the Army goes ballistic and retire their officers without pension and the Civilian officer taking his next, next and next promotions till superannuation and going home with full pension.

I know a person who confirmed that the case is being handed over to CBI. What if the allegations are proved? Would we start de-riding the CBI ? The law must prevail beyond narrow feelings of sympathy. Let facts come out...I am sure the police, judiciary and the Army have considered the case, investigated in detail and taken the best course

The case was handled poorly at all levels. What to talk of police, media and Army authorities; even Whatsapp groups of civillians and ex servicemen pronounced Col Jasjit guilty. It is sad that people are in a hurry to damage the image of Indian defence forces. Era of Information Warfare has begun, we need to be extremely cautious when reputation of a brother officer is involved. Sorry to learn that Colonel's family was evicted post haste. Please stop all this.

Brig Mahalingam's article appears to allude to certain versions whilst concealing some very relevant details of the case. The police arrested Col Jasjit Singh, erstwhile Commanding Officer of 39 Assam Rifles on 05 May 16, after a thorough investigation of over two months. According to sources, the incident came to light to the Police only in Feb 16, when one Lalmangaiha was apprehended selling two gold bars in the local Aizawl market. After that, the police carried out detailed investigation and established a link to the gold having been taken by some personnel of 39 Assam Rifles. As per police investigation, the incident happened on 19 Dec 15 and approx 10 personnel of CO’s QRT were involved. Intriguingly the CO, who was away on TD, started at 3 am from Silchar back to his location. As per police sources, no plausible explanation for this was forthcoming. The police did approach Army for CO 39 Assam Rifles' co-op in the investigation; however the CO in his wisdom refused, and instead applied for anticipatory bail. He was cautioned not to proceed in uniform to the court premises, but he did so, wherein-after he was arrested by the Police since his anticipatory bail was rejected. It is learnt that all jawans allegedly involved had confessed on video to the Sector Cdr about these facts of the incident but later have refuted. Incidently, the officer continues to retain the govt accommodation allotted to him

Dear Sir, Thank you very much for your comments. If you go through the article carefully, it is not about whether the officer is guilty or not. The individual officer could well be guilty and that is not the issue. I had contended in the article towards the end that the officer must be punished if found guilty. The issue is about the Army permitting the officer to be arrested by civil police and sending him to civil jail in contravention of the provisions of the Army Act, an act of the Parliament. Even a Sepoy sentenced to one year imprisonment is sent to Military Prison and not civil jail. Incidentally, as per newspaper reports, allegedly one jawan was trying to sell a gold bar which turned out to be copper. The attempt to sell gold bar has not been confirmed. If it is correct, the civil police ought to have brought the matter to the notice of the CO, the case investigated and the individual punished summarily or if serious enough by a Court Martial.

Sir I actually laughed after reading your comment. Made for a good read after dinner! I have been following this case for a while on media because I have lived in the Aizawl area. The kind of details that you added, either appear to be false or may be sir you are part of the investigating team. That area is full of criminals and smugglers and on the complaint of a smuggler a CO was defamed and jailed. A CO who fought for our country was treated like a criminal because a smuggler claimed his gold was STOLEN...seriously!

This one is the key line in your post Vishal "A CO who fought for our country was treated like a criminal because a smuggler claimed his gold was STOLEN...seriously!" 100 Likes :)

Dear Venkat I don't know who, Sir. Either you are naive or holding a brief for someone (because you seem to have been fed with apparently half truths which are not in public domain) . Otherwise it appears strange for you to put forward points out of the purview of the article. In case you are holding a brief for someone, then I would not like to comment. But in case your response is due to naivety or lack of knowledge then you may like to ponder over the following facts that are in public domain. Firstly you state that Police arrested Col Jasjit after 2 mths of investigation ...FIR lodged on 21 Apr Offr arrested on 5 May..if police have been investigating case 2 mths prior to lodging FIR so by now they must be having concrete evidences against offr.Secondly lalmangaiha apprehended with 2 gold bars - as per news report both bars were tested fake..bronze..Thirdly you state that incident happened on 19 Dec- till dt everyone was talking it as 14 that's what has come in public domain. Fourthly on the issue of Involvement of CO QRT- CO was away on official duty to silchar with his per info in public domain and started back at 0300h on 15 Dec from Silchar so how can offr be present for alleged crime on 14 ni. Fifthly about co-op by offr appears to be a far fetched false propaganda as the officer has been kept in maximum permissible police and judicial custody without any outcome and it appears that immaturity of the services has also prompted them to falsify facts. It would be interesting to see the Purported video recording which you seem to be well aware of as well as the reaction of same witnesses when they are not in the clutches of Interrogators and have the protection of law with them. Sir no amount of justification to the alleged involvement of officer in the crime can stand the scrutiny of impropriety done by the Army hierarchy with the indifferent or apparently deliberate efforts without understanding the ramifications in the long run as brought out in the article.

Gone are the days when anything wrong done to a military man was promptly reacted by the senior officers, who took the initiative to thwart it. They most of time are lame watchers. Is it loss of guts, empathy, solidarity, or what???????

Poor show of faulty state administration comprising 3rd degree looters be IAS IPS Political thugs including cheaters smugglers presstitutes .Honest Army Officers are always at the receiving ends. They will hardly get justice.

Ram Jane ( God knows).

Do Army Offers have senior officers answerable for their conduct or they are motherless children in the care of fathers inebriated with style and status more than the whisky they can hold. Brigadier Sir, it would be interesting to hear the version of the higher Command.

These arrest seem to be illegal. As Brig has pointed out, their cases should have been handled with caution. Arresting them like hooligans and criminals, till they were convicted by the court of law, is unjustified as per the privilege given to defence service personnel. Serving general officers should think on this issue, in addition to all serving and retired defence personnel. It has been distressful. As per wife of Col Purohit, Col Purohit was tortured by Hemant Karkare, Mumbai ATS. These are painful incdents. Law should take it's own course in a constitutional manner.

Very well written, Brig Mahalingam sir. The Army Hierarchy's response (and silence!)on the matter is intriguing to say the least. Perhaps the Army Establishment has taken a call to wash its hands off the Colonel who hitherto was seemingly doing a good job operationally. While they may have their reason(s) for their stance, it surely will not go down well with the Officers and men across the board and will impinge on the morale of the Army as such. I fully agree that if the Col is guilty, he ought to be given exemplary punishment, but humiliating him even before the guilt is proved is not done at all. And if his wife has also been ill treated by evicting her from the accommodation, it is downright mean of the authorities concerned. Hope the higher ups including the RM take note of this. The Indian Armed Forces are the last bastion and such incidents will only serve to dent their image which certainly does not augur well for the country.


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