An officer or a thug?
Two army officers—majors, to boot—are arrested by police after being accused of molesting a woman at a new year’s eve party. That’s bad enough. What followed was worse. Soldiers in uniform, led by another army officer—a lieutenant colonel this time—barged into the police station, brandished weapons and sprung their colleagues from jail. Scenes from Pakistan, you would think. Shockingly, it happened in Kolkata.
The comparison with Pakistan, though, stops at this point, as it should. The Kolkata Police are not letting this be. And within hours Defence Minister A K Anthony and the Army headquarters have instructed the Eastern Command to institute a staff court of inquiry. Whether they are held accountable for their actions under civil or military law is largely a matter of procedure—they must be tried swiftly and handed down exemplary punishments if found guilty.