The government has conveyed its concern to the top brass in the army over incidents of fracas between jawans and officers. It has comes in the backdrop of over five such incidents being reported in the army in the last three years.
The concern was expressed at the recently held Combined Commanders' Conference in New Delhi which was addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister A K Antony.
The top defence brass was told that the educational and the social background of the jawans have changed in the recent years and there was a need for the officers to handle them in proper manner, sources said.
A need for sensitising the officers regarding their dealings with the jawans was also felt, they said. There have been several such incidents since 2010 in which jawans and officers have clashed over one reason or the other.
Last month, an altercation during a boxing match led to a clash between officers and soldiers of an army unit in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, leaving three personnel including the second-in-command of the 10 Sikh Light Infantry unit injured.
Army chief Gen Bikram Singh, who is the colonel
of the regiment, while taking serious note of the incident, had ordered an expeditious court of inquiry and punishment to the guilty. The 10 Sikh LI is based in Delhi and was in Meerut's Dobhotua village for an exercise.
According to the army chief, there will be "zero tolerance" for such acts of indiscipline.
In similar incidents, on August 8, 2012, jawans had agitated against the commanding officer and certain functionaries of the 16th cavalry unit in Samba, while on May 10-11, 2012, a case of manhandling involving officers and other ranks of the 226 artillery unit took place at the Mahe field firing range in Leh.
On April 29, 2010, an altercation had taken place between an officer and a jawan of the 45th cavalry unit in Gurdaspur. The army has already taken steps against its personnel in these cases and more than 200 officers and jawans faced disciplinary or administrative action last year.
After the clashes, the army commanders were told to exercise zero tolerance in such cases and extend exemplary punishment to give "necessary preventive lessons" to the personnel.
In some of the cases, the army has completed its probe and more than 200 personnel have been handed down punishments for their alleged roles in the clashes.