Army would be guided by principle of justice: Naravane

Army would be guided by principle of justice: Naravane

Chief of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane. (Credit: PTI)

 Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane on Saturday asserted that the 1.3 million strong force would be guided by the principle of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

“Be it the officers or the men - our allegiance would be for the Constitution. It translates into the core values of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined into the preamble of Indian Constitution,” Gen Naravane said in his maiden press in the run-up to the Army Day.

The new Army Chief's statement comes weeks after his predecessor Gen Bipin Rawat flared up a row on his comments on how students are led to violent protests.

"Leaders are not those who lead people in inappropriate directions as we have witnessed in some universities and colleges, where a large number of college students were sent as large groups to carry out arson in our cities and towns,” Gen Rawat had stated at a function.

Even though he did not mention the Citizenship Amendment Act, the remarks came at a time when protests against the controversial legislation were at its peak. Several Congress leaders like Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Digvijaya Singh, Manish Tewari and Brajesh Kalappa reminded Gen Rawat that his remarks were not acceptable in a constitutional democracy.

Asked whether Indian Army has any plan to capture Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the Army Chief quoted a 1994 resolution that noted that the entire Jammu and Kashmir (as it was before August 15, 1947) was an integral part of India.

“If the Parliament wishes that some of the areas should come back and if we get any direction (from the government) then we will definitely initiate action,” he said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah inside and outside the Parliament had repeatedly stated that POK was an integral part of India and a call on the government decided to bring it back would be taken at an appropriate time. Even Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, a former Foreign Secretary and one of India's top diplomats, maintained that India would have physical jurisdiction over the POK one day.

Gen Naravane said that the reforms undertaken by Gen Rawat to restructure the forces would continue as the Army was awaiting the Defence Ministry's decision on restructuring the Army headquarters and creating the first set of 'integrated battle groups” out of Yol-based 9 Corps.

With the IAF set to fly 22 Apache helicopters (17 have come to the IAF till December) and Army to receive another six Apache for its own needs, Gen Naravane said a time would come in the future when all the air assets have to be integrated and creation of the office of Chief of Defence Staff was a big step towards such an integration.

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