Saturday, June 12, 2010

Army will not fight Naxals, says Cabinet Committee on Security

Vishwa Mohan, TNN, Jun 12, 2010, 01.13am IST
NEW DELHI: The Army will not be used in a "combat role" in the ongoing anti-Naxal battle. The Centre and states will, instead, recruit ex-servicemen — including retired sappers for de-mining exercises — on contractual basis to fill the gap and will focus on strengthening paramilitary and police personnel through intensive training and recruitment programmes. Role of armed forces will only be limited to "training".

The Cabinet Committee on Security, which met under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, took these decisions. It expected states to lead the charge against Maoists with the Centre mainly helping them with additional "security assistance" in terms of paramilitary personnel and "more funds" for modernisation of police forces and pursuing "development programmes". The committee, which analysed the proposals and counter-proposals of both the home and defence ministries before arriving at the decisions, also decided to meet again soon to give final shape to the strategy.

"CCS will also invite chief ministers of Naxal-affected states. Their views will help the Centre in finetuning the strategy," a top government official said.

Although the CCS meeting remained inconclusive in terms of giving final shape to the strategy and earmarking additional funds, it addressed major concerns of both defence and home ministries on major issues. "Since it was decided not to expand the role of armed forces at all beyond training, the focus was mainly on looking at alternatives to address the need of home ministry as well as states," the official said.

As the armed forces do not want to be dragged into yet another internal security duty beyond their existing roles in J&K and N-E states, the CCS allowed home ministry to fill the gap by recruiting ex-servicemen in a big way.

"While a couple of states are already doing this, remaining ones will also be asked to recruit retired armed force personnel for de-mining exercises and other security duties on minimum three years contract," the official said.
The committee decided that the Centre would provide adequate funds to states for this purpose as well as for recruiting regular police personnel and increasing number of police stations in Naxal-hit districts.

Since the defence ministry argued that IAF could not spare a more helicopters to ferry troops, the CCS explored the option of hiring choppers from Pawan Hans for emergency duties including evacuation of injured personnel.
Army will not fight Naxals, says Cabinet Committee on Security

Letter to Editor
Dear Veterans,
1. Please refer to above news item
2. In this connection Letter to Editor click here.
With Kind Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

Veteran Voice
Maoism in India cannot be viewed from the angle of a few more jobs for some ex servicemen. Indian soldier remains a soldiers even in retirement (hopefully) - disciplined(?), apolitical and patriotic. Ethically never to turn their training for war into mercernaries for hire.
Maoists are Indians. Indian Army soldiers should not be asked to turn their guns on them. Its a political mess, created for politicians future and multicorporations benefit. It had been researched that one tree in the jungle, as a natural process, shed enough leaves and dead wood to take care of one tribal familiy's need of fire wood for a year. The politician wants to cut that tree and hand over the place to a business house. Think about that tree in all its economic, social and humanitarian nuances.
We live in a land where at the end of a 10 percent GDP spectrum you have a Mukesh Ambani presenting a 1000 crore aeroplane to his wife on her birthday and on the other a tribal digging for edible roots for sustenance.
K Khorana
PS: Excuse me. I am not a 'commie'! They would prove worse than all political parties put together.

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