Human Rights and Armed Forces in Low Intensity Conflicts

K S Sheoran

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The employment of the armed forces during low intensity conflicts has undergone a sea change, with a transformation in the modus operandi of insurgents/terrorists. It must be understood that while various Acts provide legal protection to the armed forces in the discharge of their duties, they do not give them a licence to violate human rights in any way. Largely, the basic instinct and reaction of a soldier in most situations is to protect human rights and uphold the dignity of the people. The concept of ‘Iron Fist and Velvet Glove’ promulgated in 2005 underscores the importance of human rights, which centres on ‘Truth, Justice and Transparency’. To ensure that the requisite deterrence prevails amongst the security forces on the subject of human rights, it is imperative that the fundamental stance of the Army entailing ‘Zero Tolerance’ is reiterated to one and all from time-to-time. This is undertaken along with the reiteration of basic Army values, which are Izzat, Imandari and Wafadari (Honour, Integrity and Loyalty). This also mandates commanders at all levels to expeditiously investigate alleged violations to mete out speedy justice. This book critically analyses the entire gamut of issues pertaining to human rights and employment of armed forces in low intensity conflicts from a practitioner’s experience.

K S Sheoran Col K S Sheoran is presently serving as Col GS HR, Headquarters Northern Command. He was commissioned in the KUMAON Regiment in 1980. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, and the Staff College, Camberley, UK. He was part of the Indian Peacekeeping Force in Sri Lanka and has served in operations in J&K and the northeast. He has served as an instructor at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. He has been the Col GS of a Mountain Division deployed in CI/CT ops, and the Col GS of Faculty of Studies at Army War College, Mhow. Col Sheoran has also served in the Military Operations Directorate, and at the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone.



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