Reiterating its strong defence of Major Leetul Gogoi, the Army officer at the centre of a controversy over tying an alleged stone-pelter to a jeep to rescue trapped polling staff and local police in Budgam, the government said military officers should be allowed to take decisions in war-like areas.
"Well, military solutions are to be provided by military officers, not through comments of politicians. How a situation is to be dealt with when you are in a war-like zone, we should allow our Army officers to take a decision. They don't have to consult MPs on what they should do under these circumstances," defence minister Arun Jaitley told the media on Wednesday. He was responding to a query on the unrest in Kashmir and the view that a proper solution did not appear to be emerging.
Not only are the minister’s remarks signalling a shift to a tougher stance on dealing with insurgency in the valley, it is also reiterating the more muscular approach India has adopted since last September in its dealings with Pakistan.
His remarks came a day after Opposition parties in the Valley criticised the Army decision to award a commendation certificate to Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, who, on April 9, ordered troops to tie a Kashmiri man to a jeep bonnet as a shield against stone-pelters.