At a time when civil and police administration were struggling hard to contain violence by Sikhs protesting over the killing of one of their youths in various parts of Jammu region, a senior Army officer in the border town of Poonch successfully persuaded the demonstrators to hold a peaceful protest to convey their sentiments.
As Poonch was observing a bandh on Saturday to protest the killing, Brigadier N S Brar, Commander of Poonch-based 93 Brigade, reached the bus stand in the afternoon where local Sikh leaders were making fiery speeches against the state government and police. In uniform and accompanied by bodyguards, he climbed to the stage and took the mike to address the protesters.
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“I have come here (on my own) and no one has sent me,” he said. “I have come here risking my own job as after this if anything wrong happens here, newspapers tomorrow will carry the news that Commander Sahib was a Sikh, he came here and incited the crowd,” he added.
“Convey your sentiments while keeping your emotions under control. Everything can be conveyed; there is a way to convey it, but it is not necessary that these shall be conveyed through wrong means,” he said in apparent reference to incidents of violence.
“Whatever you want to convey, convey it in such a manner that anyone sitting at the helm of affairs is unable to twist things,” the Brigadier added and left the venue.