TODAY -
No civilian should be targeted under any circumstances:Brig Anand (Retd)
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, June 26 2009: no civilian should be targeted under any circumstances.

Firing upon unarmed people who are not taking part in the conflict is gross violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights Law (HRL).

This was pointed out by Brig MB Anand, VSM (Retd.) during a one day seminar on Human Rights organised specially for the commanders of Army and Central Para Military Forces and media by Red Shield Division at Leimakhong today.

Speaking elaborately on the topic of IHL and HRL, Brig Anand (Retd) said, all men in uniform, specially the commanding officers must be aware of the IHL and HRL.

He called upon all commanders to be conversant with these laws and disseminate them among the subordinates and make them follow the laws properly.

He also said, right to life and human dignity are inviolable rights.

The seminar of which the aim was to project a people friendly image of the security forces and put across the nuances of this important issue to the public was inaugurated by Major General Shakti Gurung, VSM, GOC 57 Mountain Division at Leimakhong this morning.

It was the first ever Human Rights seminar to be held under the jurisdiction of the Dimapur based Headquarters 3 Corps.

In his keynote address, the GOC said that the idea of Human Rights is not alien to us, as it is ingrained in our history, culture, customs and traditions.

The present constitution of India provides for every citizen a wide array of freedom and rights, which essence, are guiding principles of human freedom, rights and dignity.

GOC Maj Gen Shakti Gurung highlighted the Chief of the Army Staff ten commandments for troops operating in Counter Insurgency operations:-
(a) Remember that people you are dealing with are your own countrymen.

All your conduct must be dictated by this one significant consideration.
(b) Operations must be people friendly, using minimum force and avoiding collateral damage-restraint must be the key.
(c) Good intelligence is the key to success�the thrust of your operations must be intelligence based and must include the militant leadership.
(d) Be compassionate, help the people and win their hearts and minds.

Employ all resources under your command to improve heir living conditions.
(e) No operations without police rep.

No operations against women cadres under any circumstances without Mahila Police.

Operations against women insurgents be preferably carried out by police.
(f) Be truthful, honest and maintain highest standards of integrity, honour, discipline, courage and sacrifice.
(g) Sustain physical and moral strength, mental robustness and motivation.
(h) Train hard, be vigilant and maintain highest standards of military professionalism.
(j) Synergise your actions with the civil administration and other Security Forces.
(k) Uphold 'dharma' and take pride in your country and the army.

The seminar was conducted in three sessions.

The first session on the theme "International Laws, Philosophy and Guiding Principles of Human Rights" was moderated by Brig GS Dhillon.

Lt Col Ravi Bhusan spoke on the basic Philosophy of Human Rights.

The second session on the theme "Human Rights and Legal Aspects" was chaired by Brig Rajeev Pant.

Member of Manipur Human Rights Commission, Lt Col RK Rajendra (Retd) spoke on "Torture, Custodial Death and Fake Encounter Killings" .

Col MS Dhaliwal, Col Rakesh and Col MP Celestine, SM spoke on Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorists Operations and the Army, AFSPA, Legal Aspects, etc.

The third session "Role of Media with Special Reference to North East States" was chaired by Brig Anil Chalihal.

Editor of Imphal Free Press, Pradeep Phanjoubam spoke on "Role of Media".

PRO, PIB (Defence Wing) Col Rajesh Mishra spoke on "Armed Forces-Media Relations".

CO, 22 AR, Senapati District, Col SB Rana spoke on "Role of Army and Media in CI Environment".

In his concluding remarks the General Officer Commanding thanked the participants for their whole hearted participation.

He mentioned that Security Forces actions within the mandate of AFSPA must remain within the fundamentals of 'Good Faith,' 'Impartiality' and respect for 'Law of Land.' Hence, in pursuit of military success, the need for 'People Friendly Operations cannot be over emphasised.

He further added that the media needs to take balanced viw and espouse the cause of the Security Forces in the correct perspective.

The deliberation during the seminar which were very useful will be conveyed to all the units of 57 Mountain Division so as to educate rank and file regarding the important aspect of Human Rights.


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