On 13th September, when a photograph of security personnel’s dragging a dead body of a JeM militant (suspected of booby trap) with a rope tied to its feet surfaced in social media, the Kashmir Valley was bound to spark.
Soon after debates in news channels, statements from serving/retd generals, HR activists etc. started doing the rounds on electronic/social media. Not to forget ISI spun into action to feast on this piece of news corroborated by Indian media houses. Some called it a “norm”, “standard operating procedure” while others called it “barbaric”. There were thankfully a few sensible ones who said that such things could have been avoided.
The successful elimination of terrorists which comes at a heavy cost soon turned into a hot TV debate and only much later was it understood that working on the assumption that the bodies of militants are often booby-trapped, such measures are taken for the safety of own security personnel’s.
What irks me is that is it not irresponsible on journalists/media to post such sensitive pictures for mere TRPs/twitter likes with inadequate knowledge or understanding of the dynamics of combat drills in high conflict zones?
We get names, places, anguished Facebook posts, wonky articles full of statistics on crime rates and risk, Twitter arguments without having any visceral sense of what physically happens in a combat zone.
Without any bias, I do agree that the body could have been put in a wrap, plastic or body bag, and carried on a stretcher. But do we know the situation on the ground? Are we facing the enemy bullet? Who are we to investigate a combat scenario and give our expert comments? Also, do these enemies of the nation really need to be empathized with? One must realize that every 100 gm of additional weight degrades combat potential.
I suggest Khurram Parvez to first rehearse carrying an injured person or a dead body over mountains, across nalas, through jungles, minefields, ambush areas etc. In fact, volunteers from Human Rights Organisations and Media sharing social responsibilities like this would be much appreciated. Only cashing in one real-time operational pictures which are scenario based merely reflects your immaturity.
Let us first know the risks involved in handling dead bodies of militant which would help us understand things better before we recklessly pass our judgment.
Militants are seen using innovative techniques to conceal booby traps
Not very long ago, a brave officer Lieutenant Colonel E K Niranjan, a 32-year-old bomb expert with the National Security Guard was killed while defusing a grenade during the terror attack at the Pathankot IAF base. An experienced and brilliant counter-IED officer was lost to a deadly booby trap as the terrorists had used an innovative technique to conceal a grenade in his pocket.
Risk of getting infected with highly infectious diseases
Next, we must understand that a bullet-ridden body is a reservoir of dangerous bacteria and viruses. For people handling dead bodies, there is a risk of getting infected with a highly infectious disease. The infectious agents responsible for these diseases last for varying periods after death. The risk of an infection being passed on is highest if the skin is broken or punctured as in the case of militants usually. Some infections can be passed on in blood or in body fluids (such as saliva) that can become mixed with blood. These are known as blood-borne viruses (BBVs). Blood and other body fluids from dead bodies of militants are considered potentially infectious for Hepatitis, HIV, HBV, and other bloodborne pathogens.
Therefore concern that dead bodies are infectious can be considered a “natural” reaction by security personnel’s wanting to protect themselves from a disease.
Need for procuring advanced equipment
There is an urgent requirement to procure globally-used advance bomb detection and disposal equipment’s to minimize risks involved in such operations.
Procuring sophisticated electronic stethoscopes to detect timers using oscillating waves, advanced ‘hook and line’ set to defuse bombs, telescopic manipulators to provide greater safety to the bomb crew by maximizing the standoff distance would certainly enable the security personnel’s and at the same time give lesser chances for propaganda to our adversaries.
Media should act more responsibly
Media Houses irresponsible reporting often causes an outrage in the valley. This makes the job of the adversaries even easier. Pak Army/ISI are desperate for such trigger points and uses it as a tool for deliberate provocation to further inflame passions in the Valley. There is no denying that such acts further enrage the youth in the conflict area and create a gap with the homeland. Therefore, responsible reporting is the key to avoid such situations in the future.
An open letter by a soldiers friend, a must read for all those who empathize with the terrorists, this surely would melt your hearts away:
My Coursemate, my Sutta Pal, Barrack-Type and Punishment-Type Wish I could turn back the clock for you, Moron! I would have ensured that instead of CDSE you would have cleared your Civil Services Exam. Your daughter would have had a father to watch her grow up. Your wife would have had a husband to grow old with. And you would never have had to fight to get a decent pension (Not that you would have needed one – everyone knows the price of a Babu’s signature). I wish that you had not been a warrior, a leader of men and a guardian of an ungrateful nation. I wish you had been a pen-pushing Babu who charged you just for doing his job. I wish that you had not been an Officer And A Gentleman earning a hardship allowance of Rs.32000 in Siachen. Instead, you should have been a blood-sucking Babu earning Rs.72000 hardship allowance for enjoying the salubrious climes of Shillong or Guwahati. Or I wish that you had been a Corporate Honcho, who earns thrice your salary for doing one-fourth of what you do. I wish that you had been an AAM AADMI for whom nothing matters beyond the next increment, the next mobile phone or the next vehicle that he is going to buy. I wish that you had been anything except what you chose to become – A Real Man, A Professional Soldier, A Leader Of Men, A True Son Of This Ungrateful Nation, Sworn to protect it at all cost. I Wish…I Wish… But You Are No Longer There…. So I can only pray that in your next life, you decide to do something worthwhile. Something… Anything…. Just Don’t Repeat The Mistakes You Made In This One.. R.I.P Brother… We’ll Meet In The Afterlife”
17 Sep 18/Monday Written by Afsana