Human shield row: Major Gogoi deserves a distinguished services medal, says Amrinder Singh

Congress Chief Minister of Punjab Amrinder Singh today defended Major Nitin Gogoi’s decision to use a civilian as a human shield in violence-hit Kashmir valley.

In an article written for The Indian Express, Amrinder Singh said that “he was simply reacting to a tough situation in a dangerous environment”.

He said that our jawans are exposed to these kinds of dangers every day, not only at the precarious borders but also within the ‘so-called protected confines’ of the country.

“Unfortunately, however, most of us fail to appreciate the gravity of such a situation, or deliberately choose to ignore the perils associated with it, for the army personnel, of course, but, and perhaps even more importantly, for the nation at large”, he wrote.

Punjab CM said that Gogoi was criticized by the human rights activists for choosing a path less trodden.

“Contrarian or not, my opinion on the Major Gogoi episode is clearly and unequivocally in favour of the officer, who only did what was absolutely correct, and possibly the only sane and logical course of action available to him, in the circumstances”, he said.

Amrinder Singh said that instead of patting his back, he was condemned for saving many lives of his men for whom he was responsible as their officer in charge.

The former army captain, who was recently elected as 26the Chief Minister of Punjab demand a distinguished services medal for the ‘daring officer’.

“Does an army officer not deserve a reward for saving lives? Or is it the destiny of all army personnel to sacrifice their lives, if not to the enemy at the border, then at the hands of the very civilians they are designated to protect? Quite frankly, I am unable to understand the logic-defying argument of the proponents of the school of thinking which treats a jawan’s life with a pinch of salt — as a dispensable commodity”, he said.

He demanded a ‘tooth for a tooth and a nail for a nail policy’ to tackle the situation in the strife-torn valley.

“Brutality and barbarism need to be tackled with an iron fist, which our armed forces can do only if they are freed of the “gentleman’s army” label they have been perforce carrying all these years”, He said.

The former army captain said that there should be a tougher national policy for dealing with inimical forces, operating from both within and outside Indian borders.

“Whether it is a matter of tackling the Kashmir strife or the issue of mending ties with Pakistan, the key lies in taking a few tough decisions to address tough situations. It is not an easy task, of course”, He wrote.

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