Army Says Pune Police Registered Ill Motivated FIR Against Officers Based On Complaint From Disgruntled Soldier Involved In Sale Of Military Quota Liquor

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Mubarak Ansari
Pune, 24th February 2022: A day after Pune city police registered a case against two serving Colonels and five jawans of the Indian Army for allegedly torturing a Jawan (ambulance assistant) for allegedly selling military quota liquor to civilians, the Army termed the FIR as ‘ill motivated’ and the complainant Jawan as ‘disgruntled soldier’ involved in ‘corrupt practices’.
Based on the complaint from the Jawan filed in November last year, Khadki police station yesterday registered the case for offences under sections 323, 324, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
As per the FIR, the incident took place around 8.30 pm on 6th July 2021. “I was on my way to the Range Hills Gol Market near Military Hospital (MH) when the accused officers took me away and beat me. I was falsely accused of the illegal sale of liquor from the military canteen (CSD) of MH. I was confined for 20 days illegally and beaten mercilessly. One officer hit me with an iron rod injuring my left knee and left arm. I was also given death threats which caused mental as well as physical harassment. My family was not informed about my confinement”, he told police.
Investigation officer Assistant Police Inspector Prema Patil did not respond to calls for her comments.
According to defence officials, a court of inquiry was concluded against the Jawan on 29th October 2021 and disciplinary action was initiated against him as he was found blameworthy on many occasions. “This was informed to the police officer in February this year after she wrote to the Southern Command. The Jawan had filed a complaint with police in November 2021 as an afterthought after the court of inquiry concluded”, an official told Punekar News.
Today, the Pune-headquartered Southern Command of the Army issued a press release stating that the complainant Jawan was involved in corrupt practices.
The press release states, “On 06 July 2021, Naik rank Jawan was caught by Military Police red-handed while attempting to sell Military quota liquor meant for defence service personnel in the civil market. Following the legislated procedures, after preliminary questioning by Military Police, he was duly handed over to his parent unit in Khadki on the same day, after getting his medical examination cleared in Command Hospital, Pune, in a medically fit condition.
When investigated further, the Jawan was found involved in corruption and malpractices by his parent unit. An independent senior officer led inquiry found him guilty of serious corruption charges.
As an afterthought, the Jawan had submitted a complaint in Police Station Khadki on 16 November 2021 alleging torture by army officials. The Investigation Officer of the PS Khadki was then apprised of the factual position of the case, including the fact that few of the officials named in the complaint were on leave and not present on duty. Allegations were also levelled against the officer who was not even posted at the time of the alleged incident.
The Army maintains a zero-tolerance policy to indiscipline cases and has always been known for providing fair and just trials in all its cases. Military officials handling the case paid due diligence in investigation and handled the case as per the legislated procedures. It is iterated and clarified that at no point, the Jawan was manhandled and held in illegal detention. All the allegations levelled in FIR are frivolous and with malafide intent to derail the ongoing judicial process against the individual.”

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