Kashmir: There has been another face off between army officers and jawans, this time in Samba in Jammu and Kashmir. The trouble began after a soldier committed suicide over being denied leave.
Army sources have blamed the incident on shortage of officers. While 20 officers are needed per unit, only nine are available as of now.
The incident even forced a comment from no less than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Parliament.
A jawan in a tank regiment in Samba committed suicide followed by what appeared to be mutiny by other jawans.
"I request the honourable house not to have discussion on this subject. This is a small incident which is blown out of proportion. This is not good for the morale of the armed forces," said the Prime Minister.
His comment related to the suicide by the jawan in a tank regiment in Samba followed by what appeared to be mutiny by other jawans.
A court of inquiry will determine whether there was a failure of leadership in the regiment. It will also examine the conduct of its officers vis-a-vis the men.
And for this purpose, the officers have been segregated from the men.
Around 50 to 55 jawans were upset at the death of their colleague and it lead to an emotional outburst.
The incident comes on the heels of a mutiny by jawans of an artillery unit in Ladakh three months ago, and a number of incidents when jawans have turned their guns on their officers.
Retired army officers say such incidents suggest that the gap between an officer and a jawan is growing wider. Paradoxically, this is happening at a time when more officers come from rural or semi-rural backgrounds.
The education gap has narrowed but old instincts and attitudes have not, resulting in anger and resentment boiling over.