Ex-armymen yet to be engaged in Naxal fight

The proposal mooted by the sixth Central Pay Commission in 2008 had later been endorsed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence. But neither the Defence nor the Home Ministry did anything in the last three years to take it forward despite facing an acute shortage of police and paramilitary forces to check Naxal menace in various parts of the country.

The House panel had earlier asked the government to develop an appropriate mechanism for inducting retiring Army personnel as a distinct force on the lines of the Central Paramilitary Forces, which would have led to substantial financial saving in recruiting and training the new soldiers.

According to the committee, instead of addressing the matter, the (Defence) ministry has simply stated that there is no proposal for inducting retiring armed forces personnel as a distinct force for civil duties.

In its latest report tabled in the Parliament last week, the committee asked the ministry to reconsider the issue of creating a separate force with people who were recruited through the short-service commission and retire after seven to 17 years.

At the moment, the Army's involvement in anti-Naxal operations limits to providing strategic advices and arranging training for the police and paramilitary officers.

Both the Army and Air Force are also involved in providing helicopters for logistics support and ferrying police and paramilitary personnel inside the Red corridor of central India.

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