Prima facie ,it seems "encountering off" militants in the NE is the favoured method among troops stationed there for CI ops.There is no requirement of an additional input. I merely intended to seek your view/perception/opinion after reading the news piece. What, in your opinion, are salient features that come to fore in the article when we talk of this in terms of counter-insurgency campaigns and the challenges and tactics that are prevalent?
Thanks for providing a holistic view on what CI ops entails with requisite examples . I couldn't have asked for a better illuminating perspective.Excellent. You have exactly raised the issues that one needs to - after following the defense forces and topics related to it for considerable time.
Operations in grey areas are common in any counter insurgency as you have alluded to. There is no black and white in hard core CI operations. The very same 'innocent citizens of India' who are peaceful farmers in the day time, become gun toting anti national elements at convenience. So what is the way forward? The armed forces have tried to bring them to book and followed the rule of law - but that law relies on evidence. What evidence can be presented to nail a conviction when the firefight occurs for fraction of minutes and the attackers disappear? Only the SFs involved in the operation actually have seen the faces of the attackers who roam around at will unarmed in broad day light knowing that this lacunae in law allows them to get away each and every time. In the meanwhile, the inability of the Local Law Enforcement Agencies and the Paramilitary forces in neutralizing them in spite of knowing their identity not only allows them to masquerade as superhumans, but also create a 'legend' for them, thereby creating fear of them in others. So how does one fight them?
The answer lies in what is called 'fake encounters' by those who are keyboard warriors and self acclaimed guardians of our conscience as their collective behinds are being kept safe by the very same soldiers who they attack day in and out.
Coming back to the officer in question. Who knows what motivated him? Being in Corps of Intelligence of Indian Army, his hands can not be clean, heck, no Intelligence Corps operative or for that matter, from any intelligence services, can claim to have clean hands. Pertinent to note, he is a Lt Col after more than two decades of service whereas his peers may have become a full Colonel at 16 years or 18 years of service. So, difficult to fathom the reason, but disgruntled?
Neutralization of the militant without recourse to Court of Law, is the most effective and permanent solution. If one takes a look at Machchil Encounter, wherein the CO and Officer-NCOs concerned were found guilty of fake encounter, one can see that there are mechanisms for internal checks and balances to ensure that doubt as to the intent of those killed are reasonable and not merely odd. In Machchil too, the men were reportedly willing to cross the LC into POK to acquire arms training. Only the CO and the unit made a mistake in not on-boarding the hierarchy in neutralizing them and paid the price. (This is from what I have heard on ground from both civilians and official grapevine and purely my opinion) The political pressure to make an example was so high and since the Army's hierarchy was out of loop of the actions of the Unit, the CO paid the price.