By Zaheerul Hassan
On June 3, 2010 “Times of India” really gave me shock when I was going through the news on internet while sitting in my room in a relaxing mood. I started feeling pity on that force where its subordinates and families are not even safe from their seniors and are not having confidence over them. According to “Times of India”, Lt Gen A K Nanda, the Engineer-in-Chief, was asked to put in his papers by Army Chief Gen V K Singh after a complaint that he molested the wife of a Colonel who was his technical secretary during a visit to Israel.
Lt Gen Nanda has already put in his papers, the sources said. He is the senior-most Army officer to face such action over charge of sexual misconduct. Nanda and his team had gone to Israel along with their families. As per newspaper the complaint was filed by the wife of Nanda`s technical secretary to Army Chief`s wife and the President of the Army Wives Welfare Association Bharti Singh, who promptly put it up before Gen Singh. After an inquiry into the episode, Singh is believed to have asked Nanda last week to put in his papers and leave. Nanda had only about a year ago taken over as the Engineer-in-Chief and had earlier served as the Director General of the Border Roads Organisation. Nanda`s technical secretary, who had expressed his displeasure and unwillingness to work under Nanda, has been posted to Bhopal.
I deliberately copied the news from the paper as it is, so that my Indian comrades should not take it as a part of propaganda. I have already written number of articles on the corruption of Indian army and also suggested to the new Indian Army Chief in my article NEW INDIAN CHIEF: General, The Command is a Challenge to carry out detailed surgery of rouged Indian Army to make her healthy internally as he himself is also determined to do so. Anyhow sacking of morally corrupt Lt General probably reflects that new Chief has made up his mind to put his under command force back on the right track. There are reports that Lt Gen A K Nanda during his posting at hard areas. In short pity on Indian Army where sexual cases are on increase. According to the credible sources Indian Chief has also tasked intelligence agency to identify all black sheep of the force. But at the same time there are numbers of officers and soldiers present in the force claiming that new chef is too believe in favouritism.
Officers have grouped themselves into Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Research Analysis wing (RAW) because of prevailing panic among the serving officers. There are some officer those believes that Lt Gen Ak Nanda has been trapped and punished because of his difference with the present chief and having connection with RAW. Thus the tug of war between two agencies has also created panic and demoralizing effects in all ranks of Indian Army.
Lt Col R S Johar (Retd) Jalandhar stated that he was shocked to read this news since he happened to know this officer for
more than 35 years. Lt Gen A K Nanda according to best of his knowledge was one of the most disciplined officers with an impeccable service record. He further stressed that he still doesn’t know whether the General has been framed or it’s a one time blemish. However Neerja Nanda, wife of Lt General A K Nanda, dismissed the allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against her husband and vouched for his character.
The confidence of the soldiers over their leadership has totally been shattered because of their mall practices, raping women, involvement in sex scandals, becoming party to land mafia groups and involvement in financial embezzlements. In fact continues deployment of soldiers of on the frontiers in hard areas made the soldiers highly immoral. The provision of wine and use of drugs further aggravate the problems where soldiers forget time being whether they are soldiers or otherwise.
The feeling of respect of seniors in Indian soldiers is diminishing day by day once they find out the immoral stories and acts of theirs leaders. According to the old timers the materialistic approach drastically changed the culture of some of the Armed forces. In this context, the Indian Armed forces are on the top of the list. The corruption in officer’s lot has converted it into rogue armed forces, which really shattered the soldiers’ confidence over their commanders.
Unfortunately, in most of the cases officers (including senior officers) are involved in the cases of sexual harassments, bribe, selling military secrets, terrorizing, kidnapping, sabotaged activities against minorities, abduction of scientists, smuggling of enriched uranium and other nuke equipments. Indian defence analysts have got astonished to know now that too after 10 years of Kargil war, that the stink of corruption in purchases of arms and ammunition worth Rs 1,762 crore appears to have been a false alarm. After years of investigation, the ministry of defence has said that it has now agreed to close most of the cases except two — Thermally Guided Munition (TGM) purchases worth Rs 151 crore and aluminum caskets for Rs 6.55 crore ? in which CBI had registered FIRs more than four years ago.
Actually , young lot of Indian married officers hesitate in attending family functions with their wives since in most of the functions seniors officers found losing their senses due to excessive drink. Few years back a senior Indian Air force officer assaulted the wife of a junior subordinate officer (the name of the officer has not been mentioned to conceal the identity).
It is worth mentioning here that Lt General Nanda is not the only culprits who found involved in such type of corruption cases.
There are number of pending cases in which the officers especially lady officers asked inquires against their bosses or comrades for sexual harassment. As per media 45 cases of sexual harassment have been reported during the last seven years. Indian armed forces are men dominated forces and never liked to see flourishing of females in the forces. In a case of female recruitment, on September 18, 2009 while addressing of Delhi High Court, Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanium has submitted before Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul that the granting of permanent commission to women officers on short service commission in the Indian Army is not possible.
It is strange to listen that Indian government herself is promoting prostitution profession in the lady troops deployed in border areas. Earlier on April 10 2007 CNN revealed in a report that Twenty-three-years old Smriti and 26-years-old Suhag are Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constables on duty in strife-torn Kashmir found involved in prostitution profession. Another victim of sexual harassment is that in July 2008 Captain Poonam Kaur of the Army Supply Corps (ASC) alleged her three colleague officers for mentally and sexually harassment. She also narrated that she had been confined illegally when she resisted their advances. On her complaint, the army authorities constituted a court of inquiry whereby all three officers denied the allegations.
Indian Ministry of Defence reported that it filed 17 rape cases against army personnel whereas media reported 20 cases of rapes from 2003-2004 and by adding 50 % per annum will make this figure 80 till December, 2008.
There are reports that till to-date only two or three rape cases have been concluded so far in a guilty verdict. In the remaining cases, the investigations are still in process or terminated because of tremendous pressure on the presidents of the court of inquiries, investigating officers or on the eye witnesses.
As per Indian press, one Serving Lt General Sahni, One Lt General (Retired) S K Dahiya, four Major Generals, two Brigadiers and eight officers are being charred for various irregularities in relation to procurement of “certain items of dry rations” for soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir. Concluding, I must acknowledge that new Indian Army Chief is bit serious in elimination of corruption despite facing antagonism from others.