Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat today met Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and briefed him about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting came a day after Jaitley said Army officers were free to take decisions in a “war-like” zone, in comments which appeared to justify Major Leetul Gogoi’s action of tying a man to a jeep in Kashmir as a human shield to deter stone- pelting protesters. Sources said it was a “routine” meeting during which Gen Rawat apprised Jaitley of the security situation in the troubled state besides discussing some other issues. “Well, military solutions are to be provided by military officers. How a situation is to be dealt with when you are in a war-like zone. We should allow our army officers to take a decision.
“They don’t have to consult members of Parliament as to what they should do under such circumstances,” Jaitley had said yesterday, amid the raging controversy over Gogoi’s action as well as the Army chief’s commendation card to him. The Army’s decision to honour Gogoi which, according to it, was for his “sustained efforts” in counter-insurgency operations, has come in for criticism from some quarters. The meeting also came two days after Indian Army said it launched “punitive fire assaults” on Pakistani positions across the Line of Control, inflicting “some damage”. It had on Tuesday also released a video of the military action which showed some structures in a forested area crumbling in a heap under the impact of repeated shelling by the Indian Army.