The Army has issued showcause notices asking why administrative punishment not be awarded to several Army officers involved in training of Gentlemen Cadets (GCs) at Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun, including a Battalion Commander of the rank of Colonel. The Army has also taken disciplinary action against six Foreign GCs from Tajikistan and four Indian GCs following an altercation between the two groups.
The Indian Express has accessed documents pertaining to three incidents, which took place in IMA on February 24, March 2 and March 3 this year. The Army held a Court of Inquiry into the incidents and the conduct of the officers of the Cariappa Battalion and Hajipir Company have been found wanting.
Accordingly, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Central Command, Lt Gen Yogendra Dimri, has issued show cause notices to the officers concerned for the award of ‘Censure’ which is an administrative punishment recorded in the official records of officers.
The Cariappa Battalion Commander, an officer of the rank of Colonel, has been blamed for several inadequacies and omissions. These include displaying “lack of sensitivity and comprehension regarding the ramifications and long term effects” of the three incidents. Sources say the officer has denied the charges against him in the Court of Inquiry and said that he was being unfairly blamed for the unruly conduct of the Tajik cadets.
The Colonel has also been blamed for “inadequate understanding of the traditions, customs, traits, psyche and emotional make up of Tajikistan GCs”. The officer has also been blamed for wrongly reporting to the Court of Inquiry that iron rods, wooden planks, sticks and stones were used by the Tajiks on march 3 to assault their Indian counterparts though the same was not corroborated by any eyewitness or evidence.
The Battalion Commander has also been blamed for falling short of timely appreciation of the situation and prompt intervention. In addition he has been blamed for failing to ensure connect between GCs, Directing Staff body, permanent staff, including adequate means of communication between the cadets in Company premises and the Directing Staff body and non-availability of phone numbers.
The clash between the cadets had led to the Ambassador of Tajikistan and its Defence Attache visiting the IMA and a Court of Inquiry was ordered by Army’s Central Command headquarters on March 10.
Sources in IMA say that 21 Foreign GCs from various battalions attacked Indian cadets on March 3 following simmering tension and altercation of earlier days in which a Tajik GC was assaulted and had to be taken to the Section Hospital for treatment. The Foreign GCs are alleged to have attacked the Indian GCs even after they were addressed by the Commandant of IMA on March 2.
Responding to a query by The Indian Express, an Army spokesperson said, “The IMA at Dehradun stands tall amongst its peers and has a rich legacy since its raising in 1932. It commands great respect across the world for its stellar training standards, discipline benchmarks”.
“On 3 March, 2021, an act of indiscipline was reported wherein a scuffle occurred between few Gentlemen Cadets at the Academy. The authorities took severe note of this breach of discipline and an inquiry was promptly instituted. Since the incident involved certain Gentlemen Cadets from a friendly foreign country, the process was progressed ensuring uniform policy yardsticks for all trainees. Associated facts and pinpointed culpability on those involved were clearly established,” said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson said that after requisite vetting and approval, “strict disciplinary actions have been taken against six foreign Gentlemen Cadets and four Indian Gentlemen Cadets for violating instructions concerning discipline” in the IMA.
“The disciplinary actions are well considered and proportionate to the act of indiscipline by these Gentlemen Cadets. Almost every fourth Gentlemen Cadet under training at the Indian Military Academy hails from a friendly foreign country and the Academy does not distinguish any functional aspect based on nationalities. This is even more so when discipline of trainees and ethos of the Academy are concerned, as is the norm in any military training establishment of world standing,” the officer said.
Courtesy – Indian Expres