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Trampling militants’ bodies: Strict disciplinary action initiated against soldiers: Defence Ministry to NHRC

The Ministry of Defence in a written reply to the national human rights commission (NHRC) has stated that “strict disciplinary action” has been taken against the army personnel who trampled the bodies of slain militants killed in Nowgam, Srinagar last year.

On 14th of September, Lakshkar-e-Toiba commander, Abu Ismail and his associate, Abu Qasim was killed by government forces on the outskirts of Srinagar at Aaribagh, Nowgam. Immediately after the killing, a video showing army personnel trampling the bodies of the slain militants went viral on the internet.

On 20th September, a Shimla based activist, Sunil Mohan Jetley filed a petition with NHRC. “Some soldiers of Indian army disrespectfully trampled over the bodies of slain militants by resting their feet on the militants’ chest and inhumanly dragged them with ropes tied to their legs,” Jetley stated in the petition, adding that when such videos go viral, “the youth in Kashmir get disturbed and then they take up arms.”

In their reply to the NHRC, the ministry of defence states that a joint operation along with the Jammu and Kashmir Police was carried out by the Indian army on 14th September, 2017, which resulted in neutralization of two foreign militants. “The slain militants were not only responsible for death of many security force personnel in the valley, but also involved in the killing of numerous civilians,” the reply reads. “After being identified on culmination of the operation, the soldiers gave in to their emotions and stepped onto the dead bodies of the slain militants. However, such acts are unacceptable to the army.”

“Taking immediate cognizance of the incident, the individuals involved were identified and disciplinary action was initiated against the soldiers,” the reply sent to NHRC states. “This act of indiscipline of manhandling the bodies of the slain militants is an isolated incident and is unacceptable keeping in view the rich tradition of Indian army.”

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