The perils of prolonged army deployment for counter-insurgency operations were in evidence in Assam last week. An army team, throwing all established norms to the winds, tried to raid a village leading to the death of seven innocent villagers. A civilian driver, a major and a jawan were also killed in the raid. It’s now being alleged that the army team was on an extortion drive.
The army’s version, however, is that the team, headed by Maj R.A.S. Tabah of 10 Assam Regiment, was misled by a person of “doubtful integrity” into the village where militants were about to target a schoolmaster as part of their extortion drive. According to the army, the villagers mistook the army team in mufti for militants, overpowered them, killing the major and the jawan.