New Delhi: The Center on Wednesday refuted in the Delhi High Court that INSAS (Indian small arms system) rifles were to blame for the death of soldiers in Naxal strikes in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.
The ministry of defense (MoD) told a division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath that “none of the court of inquiries conducted in the aftermath of the attacks blamed the indigenous rifles”.
Submitting a document before the bench, the ministry said INSAS rifles cannot be compared with other categories of weapons such as AK-47 assault rifles as both weapons had different features and were effective in different roles.
“The forces always use a combination of different weapons to meet the requirements in different theaters. It is precisely the reason that the elite forces like the National Security Guard are not using INSAS because their requirements are different from that of the army or other forces,” said the document.
It added that the 5.56 mm INSAS rifles were inducted into service in 1992-93 after extensive user trials and had undergone three cycles of upgradation.
The response of MoD was filed in response to a PIL filed by Lt. Colonel Deepak Malhotra (retd), who alleged that the government delayed the replacement of “these unreliable assault rifles” despite knowing for several years that they were of a “defective design and metallurgy”.
Questioning the effectiveness of the INSAS assault rifles, the PIL sought directions to the government to equip the soldiers of paramilitary forces – involved in counter- insurgency operations – with better rifles in a time-bound manner.
The defense ministry in 2012 replied in the Rajya Sabha that considering the technological developments, the plan was to replace the INSAS rifles with new assault rifles, the MoD said.
“Therefore, the ministry is in the process of procuring assault rifles through global route with the transfer of technology to Ordnance Factory Board. As such, the reply (in the Rajya Sabha) did not mention that the weapon was outdated or defective,” the ministry added.
Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past. Apart from various kinds of physical tortures, the mental tortures undergone by defenseless females are endless. Within the confinement of four-walls innumerable sins are still being committed which mostly go unreported. However, it was Nirbhaya’s rape incident in Delhi that was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India. Post-Nirbhaya incident, a lot many changes in the laws have been made. The safety and security of women have been prioritized, the nation-wide the whole police departments have been sensitized, to a greater extent the road transportation has been made women-friendly.
Thanks to the countless number of protests across the country condemning the six rapists. The people from all walks of life came together and relentlessly pressurized the government that the Nirbhaya convicts must be awarded capital punishment. Media’s contribution in the campaign is immeasurable. Alas, India’s judiciary is so annoyingly slow it has taken over 7 years to pronounce the death sentence.
However, now nothing could be so mind-blowing than the flood of condemnation against the comments by a veteran advocate and social activist Indira Jaising. Without a sense of guilt and potential backlash, she suggested that the convicts be “forgiven” by the parents. Jaising’s idea has clearly touched a raw nerve of the major population in the country. People’s anger is spilled well over social media. What is most noteworthy is the scathing condemnation directly from the horse mouth — the mother Asha Devi. A very bold lady, who determinedly fought for justice for so many years, thunders – “Who is Indira Jaising to give me such a suggestion? The whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims,” Asha Devi aptly further adds — “Can’t believe how Jaising even dared to suggest such this; I met her many times over the years in Supreme Court, “not once” she asked for my well-being and today she is speaking for convicts. Such people earn a livelihood by supporting rapists; hence rape incidents don’t stop,”
The latter comments by the Nirbhaya’s mother clearly hint the doubt at the “integrity” of the advocate Ms. Jaising. How on earth that one who has not spoken a word of sympathy in spite of many encounters in the court can reserves the right to suggest that which offends the distressed victim party. Asha Devi deserves a salute for her boldness. Yes, India Jaising is one of the advocates who knocked the door of the Chief Justice of India in the middle of the night in July 2015 in order to seek the mercy for the dreaded terrorist Yakub Menon.
Again, here is another bombshell to drop which many of us may have forgotten. Can we ever “forgive” for the shocking proposal in 2015 by Delhi Government to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine? Who has approved such bizarre ideas and which leaders are responsible? What kind of lesson should the citizens take from this?
I think the public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night. They had used the iron-rod to inflict deep injuries upon the girl which is unspeakable, which is very unpardonable. So, given the increasing cases of rapes and subsequent inhumane cruelty and cold-blooded killings, Capital punishment can be the only answer and “one of the deterrents”. Before the divine retribution, the hard rod of punishment should not be spared at all.
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali