Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, has greeted the army chief’s decision to honor a major, who had allegedly tried a Kashmiri man to a jeep to use him as a human shield, as upholding the highest traditions of the Army. Earlier, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh told Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had thepotential” to become the Prime Minister of the country.

The Congress chief minister has stripped out at those asking for the officer’s court-martial, saying they clearly had no inkling of the way the army works and the traditions which continue to make it a unique institution rooted in a distinctive culture of valor and courage.

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An army field, who was in the eye of a storm for supposedly trying a Kashmiri man to a jeep to use him as a human shield, has been awarded the Army chief’s commendation card.

Amarinder

The Army cannot be assumed to negotiate peace without first getting the upper hand against terrorists and other elements bent upon disrupting India’s stability

Strengthening the development, army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said the officer had been granted the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation (COAS) card for “sustained efforts in CI (counter-insurgency) operations.” Sustained efforts imply that the officer has been recognized for work done by him over a period.

Asked if the recognition was related to the jeep incident, Col Anand told HT,

“I reiterate he has been awarded for his sustained efforts.”

Responding to media reports on the military chief’s decision, Amarinder, in a statement, said the officer had exemplified a high level of presence of mind and daring, two important attributes of a good army officer. “It is good that the military has stood by the young officer despite criticism in several quarters of his action. You cannot let the army contract with such stone pelting mobs with one hand tied behind their backs,” told the chief minister, who was the first to call for an award for the daring officer.

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The CM said it was necessary to send out a strong signal in support of the major to show that the Indian Army was neither weak nor were our officers underdogs. He repeated that to ensure peace and stability in Kashmir, and, in fact, at the border, it was important to give the Indian Army a free hand. “The Army cannot be supposed to negotiate peace without first getting the upper hand against terrorists and other elements bent upon disrupting India’s stability,” he added.