Do’s and Don’ts of the Army While Providing Aid

Last updated on Jun 15, 2022

The Supreme Court has listed guidelines for the armed forces while providing aid to the civil authority.

What should the army do?

  • Maintain communication with the civil authorities if possible by telephone or radio.
  • Get the permission or an official order from the Magistrate to provide aid.
  • Minimize the force and injury to any person or property.
  • These guidelines must be followed when open firing is required:
    • Give a warning in a local language that firing will take place.
    • Attract attention before firing by a bugle or other means.
    • The armed forces should be distributed in fire units with specified Commanders.
    • Control fire by issuing personal orders.
    • Note the number of rounds fired.
    • Aim at the front of the crowd rioting or inciting to riot, not at the crowd behind. Aim low and shoot for effect.
    • Light Machine Gun and Medium Gun should be kept in reserve.
    • Once the object has been achieved, cease fire immediately.
  • Immediate steps should be taken to secure any wounds or injuries
  • Maintain cordial relations with civilian authorities and paramilitary forces by ensuring high standard of discipline.

What shouldn’t the army do?

The guidelines for the armed forces also include what they should not do or refrain from doing. These are:

  • Excessive force, or hand to hand struggle with the mob should not be done.
  • No one should be ill-treated, in particular, women and children.
  • There should be no harassment of civilians or torture by the armed forces.
  • No communal bias should be present while dealing with the civilians.
  • Armed forces should not meddle in civilian administration affairs.
  • There should be no surrender or loss of weapons.
  • Presents, donations and rewards should not be accepted.

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