Typing Test


The EDI building is not an easy one to assault to carry out an intervention operation. The CRPF was brave in attempting it but after suffering casualties decided to hand over to the Army's Victor Force which looks after South Kashmir. The Army has a couple of Special Forces teams dedicated to the two RR Force HQ. Given the circumstances, the nature of objective and the fact that it would be a matter of time before flash mobs moved in to upset the Army and CRPF's equilibrium the Army decided to use the Special Forces teams to carry out intervention operations. I can say with complete assurance that if I was in the position of Major Gen Arvind Datta (GOC Victor Force) my decision would have been the same. I write with the experience of also having been the Colonel General Staff of Victor Force during the heyday of militancy. The Special Forces teams did a professional job of it. Two officer casualties that they suffered, along with a L/Nk, is drawing the ire of many and forcing comparison with Pathankot where the NSG also suffered a fatal officer casualty; to add to this is the death of some Commanding Officers in the last one year. All this has resulted in allegations of lack of professionalism. This is the Last Mile effect playing out on perception. I know it is a clichéd argument but it is worth repeating that the Indian Army's officer cadre leads from the front, even beyond the professional needs. Not many may know that when Special Forces teams operate in such operations they are officer intensive. A squad may have buddy pairs of officers and JCOs or even two officers. A troop may have as many as five officers for a specific operation where the entire unit is not involved. This is the way Special Forces function in counter terror operations where small teams with high efficiency are formed for specific tasks. Coming to the operation itself, there have been many allegations that intervention was unnecessary and that the building should have been brought down using explosives. In the mind's eye of all those making these allegations, including veterans, there is this usual picture of a typical Kashmiri house made of brick and cement and perhaps even mud, along with an attached cowshed. This wasn't the case here. To wire up and lay the explosives for bringing down the cement and concrete five floor building would have taken fairly long. In the bargain the flash mobs would have created a major problem. These are the issues impinging on minds of senior officers and their advisers and decisions have then to be taken. The factors are hardly evident to those who may never have had the chance of going through such loops of decision making under stress. In the final word, let me state clearly that fatal casualties are most regrettable but they will take place in such operations where Indian Army officers will always lead from the front. That is their ethos; it is a part of their DNA. Citizens of India must empathize with the travails that their warriors undergo in keeping them safe and express concern about casualties just as they have done in this instance. However, they must also be aware that in the peculiar security situation of the Last Mile there will be occasions when the last post will have to be played quite often. Those who have the honor and privilege of donning the Indian Army's uniform and embellishments are fully aware of it. It is a measure of their patriotism, their energy and their professionalism that they never flinch from their duties to the Nation. As a last word I cannot let go a negative comment by a Joint Secretary about the current Army Chief having to repeatedly attend wreath laying ceremonies and funerals of warriors who are martyred in such operations. This gentleman has poked fun at a Chief who is in sync with his men and their sacrifices. He should be put through the exercise of one exposure for just a 48 hour high octane operation in the Valley. I guarantee you he will never return with the seat of his p