India: Shady Military Missions & Unnecessary Glorification of the Armed Forces

Credit: Awaaznation.com

by Gaurav Tyagi 10 April 2019

Professor Ram Gopal Yadav an Indian politician belonging to the Samajwadi Party and a member of Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) said on March 21st that the Pulwama terror attack on CRPF (Central Reserve Police Personnel) on 14th February was an act carried out by Modi government.

According to Professor Yadav Modi government “killed” security personnel to serve its political interests during the forthcoming Lok Sabha (National Parliamentary) elections due to be held in seven phases from 11th April-19th May.

He said; “Once there is a new government, we will get this investigated. Many big names will come out”

Modi government’s subsequent attack a few days later by dispatching IAF (Indian Air Force) fighter jets into Pakistan to destroy a JEM (Jaish-e-Mohammed) terror camp remains an operation shrouded in mystery.

The President of BJP (India’s political party in power), Amit Shah claimed that 250 Pakistani terrorists were killed in that attack.

The International media’s take on this event;

London-based Jane’s Defence Weekly, which tracks the defense industry said; “a lot of intelligence sources say those camps in Pakistan had been cleaned out.  This is more political symbolism than anything else. Mr. Modi had to show some demonstrable action on India’s part, ahead of elections.”

According to Washington Post; “Initial reports from local police officials and residents who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed that a strike took place in a mountainous area a few miles outside town, but they said they saw no signs of mass casualties.”

Daily Telegraph reported; “Villagers in the area told Reuters they heard four loud bangs in the early hours of Tuesday but reported only one person wounded by shrapnel. “We saw trees fallen down and one house damaged and four craters where the bombs had fallen,” said Mohammad Ajmal, a 25-year-old who visited the site.

As per The Guardian; “The attack was celebrated in India, but it was unclear whether anything significant had been struck by the fighter jets, or whether the operation had been carefully calibrated to ease popular anger over the 14 February suicide bombing without drawing a major Pakistani reprisal.”

Gulf News stated; “From what villagers could see, the Indian attack had missed its target as the bombs dropped exploded about a kilometre away from the madrasa. Fida Hussain Shah, a 46 year-old farmer, said he and other villagers had found pieces of Indian ordnance that had splintered pine trees on the hill but the only casualty was a man sleeping in his house when shrapnel broke the windows.”

Pakistan retaliated the very next day by sending its Air Force jets into Indian air-space on 27th February. Indian fighter planes engaged them.

India’s statement that its air force shot down one of Pakistan’s US-built F-16 aircraft during this aerial confrontation appears untrue, according to a report by Washington DC-based Foreign Policy magazine, which cited two US defense officials.

A US count of Pakistan’s F-16 jets revealed none to be missing, the US officials told Foreign Policy, undercutting India’s position that its air force shot down a Pakistan Air Force jet in a clash that led to the loss of a Soviet-era Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison.

The Indian pilot after bailing out of his fighter jet was captured by the Pakistani authorities. He was subsequently released by Pakistan largely due to international intervention.

Modi government therefore ended with ‘egg on its face’ from this episode.

BJP has initiated a narrative in India wherein, anyone who questions Indian armed forces is branded as an anti-national traitor.

There have been several incidents of Indian Army Personnel being charged with sexual offences while on UN (United Nations) peacekeeping operations in the African continent.

The author spent many years in Roorkee. This small town in Uttarakhand province has a big army cantonment.

There is an army training center next to Ganeshpur Bridge over Ganges Canal. In the mornings and afternoons school girls use this route for bicycling to and from their school.

Hundreds of Indian army personnel daily harass these school girls by making nasty comments and obscene gestures at them.

The Canteen Stores Department (CSD) is a solely owned Government of India Enterprise under Ministry of Defence and has its depot in all major military bases operated by the Indian Armed Forces. They sell a wide variety of products like household provisions, kitchen appliances, alcoholic drinks, cars, sports equipment etc.

There have been numerous corruption scandals of Indian army personnel illegally selling the products procured from these CSD’s in the market.

Corruption is an endemic phenomenon cutting across all Indian government departments. Defense forces are not immune to it. Modi government hasn’t been able to tackle this menace.

BJP is indulging in shady military adventures as well as unnecessary glorification of the Indian defense forces to seek votes in the forthcoming Indian parliamentary elections. No institution or individual is beyond questioning in a democratic set-up.

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