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Security forces are not villains all the time, says decorated officer

By Raju Das
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SHILLONG, June 24 - Soldiers have a �liability to die for the country,� but this liability cannot be passed on to civilians, decorated Indian Army officer Col DPK Pillai (retired) said here on Friday.

Col Pillai won the Shaurya Chakra for putting his life at risk during counter-insurgency operations in Manipur years ago by first saving the lives of two children.

The soldier was hit with three bullets and lay bleeding, but allowed two children, who were injured in the crossfire, to be airlifted first to the hospital.

Col Pillai recalling the incident said, during a seminar at the Assam Rifles headquarters, that he did what was required of a soldier. He said there are several other untold stories of the armed forces where soldiers refused to use strong arm tactics against militants fearing collateral damage.

�I have batch-mates who have refused to use rocket launchers during counter-insurgency operations and some have lost their lives while implementing their decision,� Col Pillai said.

Stating that the armed forces are made to be villains by �vested interest groups,� he said these groups �make a lot of money� out of the status quo between the armed forces and the insurgents. Col Pillai said that it is time the armed forces tell the world about these stories so that security forces are not viewed as villains all the time.

He said there were 198 army men convicted and punished for Human Rights violation during army operations under the Armed Force (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

�In a democratic country like India, army men are also subjected to judicial review and persons found violating the law of the land are punished,� he said.

The retired Colonel further said that the National Security policy is not clear and have no sunset clauses. �There must be mid-term reviews between the army and the government,� he added.

Stating that the armed forces are called in to restore law and order, Col Pillai is of the view that laws like AFSPA should be lifted once law and order is restored.

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Security forces are not villains all the time, says decorated officer

SHILLONG, June 24 - Soldiers have a �liability to die for the country,� but this liability cannot be passed on to civilians, decorated Indian Army officer Col DPK Pillai (retired) said here on Friday.

Col Pillai won the Shaurya Chakra for putting his life at risk during counter-insurgency operations in Manipur years ago by first saving the lives of two children.

The soldier was hit with three bullets and lay bleeding, but allowed two children, who were injured in the crossfire, to be airlifted first to the hospital.

Col Pillai recalling the incident said, during a seminar at the Assam Rifles headquarters, that he did what was required of a soldier. He said there are several other untold stories of the armed forces where soldiers refused to use strong arm tactics against militants fearing collateral damage.

�I have batch-mates who have refused to use rocket launchers during counter-insurgency operations and some have lost their lives while implementing their decision,� Col Pillai said.

Stating that the armed forces are made to be villains by �vested interest groups,� he said these groups �make a lot of money� out of the status quo between the armed forces and the insurgents. Col Pillai said that it is time the armed forces tell the world about these stories so that security forces are not viewed as villains all the time.

He said there were 198 army men convicted and punished for Human Rights violation during army operations under the Armed Force (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

�In a democratic country like India, army men are also subjected to judicial review and persons found violating the law of the land are punished,� he said.

The retired Colonel further said that the National Security policy is not clear and have no sunset clauses. �There must be mid-term reviews between the army and the government,� he added.

Stating that the armed forces are called in to restore law and order, Col Pillai is of the view that laws like AFSPA should be lifted once law and order is restored.