Army to train cops fighting naxals

Published on May 28, 2015 01:07:22 AM

Ruling out use of army to fight Maoists in Bastar, the Union Minister for Defence Manohar Parrikar said on Wednesday that the army, however, would readily offer training and logistic support to the paramilitary forces deployed in the naxal-infested zones of Chhattisgarh. The army would not be engaged in combating the ultras as it happened to be purely an internal issue.

“There is no foreign element involved in this problem. Therefore, let the Home Ministry tackle it in its way. However, if needed, the army will provide essential support from training to logistics,” said Parrikar while talking to media.

On Congress scion Rahul Gandhi’s ‘suit-boot ki Sarkar’ jibe, Parrikar said dressing style could not become parameter to assess performance of the government. “A person (read Rahul Gandhi) spends 56 days in Thailand. Did anyone ask him what he wore during that period? See, all these jibe least bothers us,” said Parrikar.

He further said that as a Defence Minister, his priority was to increase strength of the forces and ensure manufacture of a majority of the advanced defence-related items in India. He said he had also assured CM Raman Singh of talking to PM Narendra Modi pertaining for establishment of defence-related industries in State.

On one-rank-one-pension scheme, he said the Centre was seriously mulling to implement it and would soon come up with concrete framework. However, he said, the process would take some time. Parrikar, who visited the State for the first time after becoming Defence Minister, said when BJP-led NDA government came to power, the country’s economy was in shambles, development halted as everything went topsy-turvy.

He pointed that the pace of Atal Bihari-government’s ambitious Golden Quadrilateral road network project too slowed down because the UPA government didn’t show conviction to complete it. He alleged that the Congress-led UPA government brought the land acquisition bill only when it faced resistance from the people whose lands it had acquired in bulk and handed over to the private players to develop special economic zones.

The army would not be engaged in combating the ultras as it happened to be purely an internal issue.

- Manohar Parrikar,

Union Minister for Defence