The sad plight of 9 IRB

Considering it as a venue for mitigating unemployment problem, the 9 IRS was raised by the Centre to be deployed as and when called for. In June 2005, the services of 9 IRS were requisitioned in Chattisgarh in full strength. With the passage of time, the strength of 9 IRS dwindled because many have returned home as either discharged or as sick jawans owing to the climatic and hostile environments in a strange unaccustomed land. After the recent incident in which 11 Jawans became the fodder of land mines and almost equal number of jawans mortally wounded and maimed for life, the present strength of 9 IRS has been reduced to less than 600 jawans.

Aftermath the last landmine tragedy, the spouses of the jawans have submitted a representation to the Chief Minister of Nagaland on February 28, 2006, requesting him to withdraw 9 IRS from Chattisgarh as their husbands are subjected to extreme danger of facing the fate of the last unfortunate victims whose spouses have become widows untimely. The representation stated that”... it is the prerogative of the State Government to utilize the services of the IRS personnel’s of the State in a manner deem fit and proper by the Government”. In support of their contention, the representation stated that the deployment of 91RB in Chattisgarh does not merit any justification. The representation stated that to tackle the activities of Naxalites is, the law and order problem of the State of Chattisgarh because the maintenance of law and order problem being purely a State subject. Hence, the Government of Chattisgarh must be having its own trained elite forces and other Para-military agencies specifically meant to deal with the Naxalites who are expert in handling landmines whereas our Jawans have neither been trained nor equipped with the techniques to deal such an organisation.

The representation expressed that 91RS was deployed in Chattisgarh, not as special squat but as suicide squat in as much as untrained jawans were sent to gamble with their lives. The pertinent questions are, for whom the 91RB Jawans have laid down their lives? What moral right we have to poke our nose in other affairs when we similar have internal problem to deal with? Does it mean exchange of services in future with vindictive attitude against our people? Should the Government of Nagaland involve in Chattisgarh as deem fit? Should the Nagas say revenge? No the Naxalites did not kill our jawans in Nagaland but our jawans were sent to Chattisgarh to get blown off into bits. Judging from the latest killing of 13 people in a landmine, there is no guarantee that our more jawans will not be killed in the future. In the event, more of our jawans get killed in Chattisgarh, their spouses mostly in their twenties will be become widows prematurely. If that happens, who should be held responsible?

If the wives of the 9 IRB jawans have demanded for withdrawal of their husbands, they have done so, not because the portion of pays and salaries shared with their husbands for family maintenance is inadequate at home but because they have taken marriage vows not part with each other till death set them apart. Life is short and they do not want make it shorter for unworthy sacrifices.

To err is human. DAN Government is also manned by human beings. Those at the helms of affairs might have acted thoughtlessly. If so, they have witnessed their mistakes which have cost precious lives. They should realize their mistakes and take immediate remedial steps to prevent future human tragedies.

Huska Sumi, MLA, JD(U)