Prime Minister downplays Samba stand-off
‘Discussion On The Subject Not Good For Morale Of Army’
New Delhi, Aug 9: Even as Defence Minister A K Antony has asked for a full report into the death of a soldier and reports of resultant stand-off between officers and jawans in an army formation near Jammu, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has sought to downplay the episode. He described it as a “small incident” which was being blown out of proportion.
Dr Singh’s response came in the Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour after some CPI-M MPs referred to Wednesday’s incident. They described it as a breach of discipline in the military camp in the border district after a soldier had committed suicide.
The members were talking about the reported slogan-shouting by the jawans against officers after the suicide. CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said, “It’s a serious matter. Let the Defence Minister respond.”
As Defence Minister A K Antony was not present, the Prime Minister rose to respond and said, “I request the House not to have a discussion on the subject. This is a very small incident. This is a small incident, which is being blown out of proportion. It is not good for the morale of our armed forces.”
The members relented after the Prime Minister spoke. The incident was reportedly triggered when the soldier, Arun V, hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, shot himself with his service rifle in the camp of the 16th Light Cavalry at Samba Wednesday morning. He died on the spot.
Taking exception to the incident, Antony has sought a detailed report from Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh who is touring Western Command, under which the incident has taken place, sources said.
The army has ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) under a senior officer into the matter. The army CoI into the Nyoma incident, which was a much more serious breach of discipline and failure of command and control, has not yet been completed, sources said.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 9 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 9 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 10 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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