Saturday, August 22, 2009

Army offers help for tackling Naxalism

PATNA: The Bihar Regimental Centre (BRC) on Friday held a civil-military liaison conference on its campus at Danapur Cantonment.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar and General Officer in Command, Central Command, Lt Gen J K Mohanty discussed various matters related to welfare of Army personnel and general development in Bihar at the meet held after a gap of 11 years.

The Army officials at the meet said that the Army would extend all possible help to Bihar government in tackling Naxalism and natural calamities and added it is ready to raise a separate battalion of territorial Army to maintain an ecological balance across the state. Lt Gen Mohanty said that Army could play an important role in curbing growing menace of ultra forces in the state. He, however, ruled out any possibility of setting up any more Army stations near Bihar-Nepal border now.

Describing this meet as significant, an Army official of Danapur said that the chief minister assured to extend all possible help to the Army in carrying out welfare work for the jawans and ex-servicemen belonging to Bihar Regiment. The state government agreed to allot the required land to the Army to complete its various ambitious projects in the state. The Army was satisfied with the assurance of the state government to transfer land to it for building Sainik schools at Nalanda and Gopalganj. The state government would also help to the Army to build various polyclinics across the state to provide better health care to Army personnel.

The Army also sought enhancement in grant of ex gratia to victims of the counter insurgency operation. The Army demanded a little hike in the monthly salary of special auxiliary police (SAP) from the present Rs 10,000 per month so that they get attracted to serve the state police.

Chief secretary Anup Mukherjee, principal secretary, home, Afzal Amanullah, DGP Anand Shankar, revenue and land reforms commissioner C Ashokvardhan were among the senior state government officials attending the meet. The government assured that the Army could get adequate land at Gaya where an Army station is already located, to carry out its welfare work.

The Army is currently in need of about 10 acres of land to construct houses for jawans under the Centrally-sponsored Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO). Among other issues which came up for discussion included internal security, felicitation of Gallantry Award winners at the Independence Day and Republic Day functions in Bihar and problem caused by the national highway (NH) road passing through the Cantonment area, an Army spokesperson said.

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