Expressing concern over the increasing vulnerability of Indian soldiers on the borders and in border states such as Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has called for total freedom to the Indian Army to tackle dangerous situations faced in the line of duty.
In a statement issued here on Monday, the Chief Minister, himself an ex Army man, came out in solidarity with the Indian soldiers being exposed to all kinds of risks and atrocities not only at the hands of enemy forces from across the border but sometimes also at the hands of civilians, as happened recently in Kashmir.
Reacting strongly to the reported mutilation of the bodies of two jawans by Pakistan Army following a ceasefire violation in Poonch area of Jammu and Kashmir, Amarinder urged the central government to send out a strong signal to such inimical forces against indulging in such atrocities and barbaric acts. He backed the Indian Army's warning of "appropriate response" for the "despicable act."
Such unprovoked acts of excessive violence cannot be tolerated or allowed to go unpunished, he said, adding that the Indian soldiers were not a dispensable commodity to be sacrificed at the altar of such uncivilised and savage assaults.
In a similar vein, Captain also came down heavily on those criticising the Indian Army action of tying a man to a jeep to protect its soldiers from the vicious attack unleashed by civilians during the recent elections in Kashmir. The civilians tried to take the law in their hands, he observed, adding that it was the duty of the Army officers to protect their jawans.
Coming out in defence of Major Gagoi, the army officer in the line of fire from various quarters, including a section of the media, over his 'human shield' action, Captain Amarinder said the officer was simply doing his duty. In a Facebook post, the Chief Minister further said that in "had I been in the same situation I would have carried out the same action."
In a message to his former comrades in arms, he said, "Regardless of your rank on retiring don't forget your past and that you belong to one of the finest armies in this world."
"Initiative is part of our training and curtailing it is killing the very essence of regimental soldiering," he further wrote, adding that " I hope and trust that Major Gagoi is suitably awarded for his decision and that all of us fully support his action."