Thursday, April 8, 2010

CRPF personnel killed in Chhattisgarh due to lack of proper training: Army Chief

New Delhi, Apr 8(ANI): Chief of Army Staff General Vijay Kumar Singh on Thursday said that the Chhattisgarh Maoist ambush in which at least 75 security personnel were killed, had some internal shortcomings.

He also said the 62nd Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), involved in the incident, had not been trained by the Army.

Addressing the media after honouring the gallantry award winners here, General Singh said: “We have trained almost 39,000 people from the police and the CRPF. This training is a package that we give to them, and it is same type of training, which our (Army) people get.”

“So all those people, who have been trained, I would like to place on record, the 62nd Battalion [of the CRPF], which had this incident, was not trained by the Army. They have not come to us for training and they were not trained by the Army,” he added.

General Singh highlighted that the Army can provide better assistance in terms of training to the security personnel only if they come to them as a “homogeneous entity”.

“In training there are problem areas because at times we don’t get homogeneous entity for training, when I say homogeneous it means if there is a company it does not come to us as a company, which happens in the Army,” General Singh said.

“In the Army, we do the training of a complete lot that comes from officer to the man down below. So, the performance is that much better,” he added.

The Army Chief further said that the Home Ministry has not asked them for any help on the ground.

“The aid that is being given is in terms of training and advice. This is the type of thing that is going on and the other assistance that they want, I’m quite sure that can be decided mutually with the Ministry of Home and the Ministry of Defence,” he said.

He also said that the Army has suggested certain measures to the Home Ministry over the issue of training of the security personnel.

“I think we will try and see what more we can do for them. I’m sure once they are implemented, things will be better,” General Singh added.

General Singh insisted that it is difficult for him to say if the Army will be deployed in the Maoist affected states.

“It’s a decision that the country’s leaders have to take. We will work according to the decision they take after considering all the issues,” he said.

When asked about his views over Army’s involvement in the anti-Naxal operations in the 1970’s, the Army Chief said: “We were involved in 1969 to better part of 1970 and certain parts of 1971 in the West Bengal. Circumstances were different and for certain things the assistance was given, provided in consultation with the political leaders.”

“They have to decide according to what is required and like I said earlier, when you employ the Army, it has implications. There are lots of things that you have to do and in terms of what you want as end result,” he added. (ANI)

GJM chief to meet Chidambaram on Gorkhaland issue

Bagdogra (West Bengal), Apr 9 (ANI): The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief, Bimal Gurung, is scheduled to meet Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram here today.

Gurung, who is leading the party for the first time, arrived here along with party General Secretary Roshan Giri and leaders Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Amar Lama and Amar Rai

Gurung''s visit is significant as he has chosen to stay away from the ongoing tripartite talks to resolve the political impasse in the Darjeeling hills arising from the GJM''s demand for a "Gorkhaland" State.

Five rounds of discussions have so far been held.

The Gorkhas have been demanding a separate state, to be carved out of West Bengal, to protect their culture and heritage.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is estimated to be around a million. (ANI)

Dantewada attack: I take full responsibility, the buck stops with me, says Chidambaram

New Delhi, Apr 9 (ANI): Accepting moral responsibility for Tuesday’s Maoist attack in Dantewada district, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said the buck stops with him in so far as the incident is concerned.

“Since last few days, many (media) have been asking where the buck stops? I would like to say to all of them, that the buck stops at my desk,” Chidambaram said while addressing the Valour Day celebration of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Expressing his pain and anguish over some of the irresponsible statements being made against him, he said: “I assume full responsibility for what happened in Dantewada.”

Chidambaram said that he had even told Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, about this.

“Even when I briefed the Prime Minister on my return from Dantewada, I took full responsibility for the incident,” he said.

He said the government would take every action to keep the morale of the forces high.

“I think, I know my responsibility very well. My duty is to facilitate, to create a well paid, well fed, well trained, well equipped force to guard the integrity of the country,” Chidambaram said adding “I am doing my best in my capacity to make it possible.”

Chidambaram expressed shock over reports in a section of media that security forces were misbehaving with tribal women, while carrying out anti- Naxal operations.

“Some papers have written that CRPF men kill tribal people and rape women. Those who wrote such words have no heart and no concern,” he said.

“I ask everyone if you cannot go and report from the spot, please do not disrespect jawans, do not insult the valour and sacrifice of brave men,” Chidambaram said.

Chidambaram also denied reports of 62nd CRPF battalion failing to retaliate when ambushed.

“In the very same page, it was published that Naxalites looted, 42 AK 47 rifles, INSAS rifles, mortars and other ammunition. Our intelligence reports says eight Naxalites were killed in the incident,” Chidambaram said.

He also expressed unhappiness over the poor coverage of the sacrifices made by the men in uniform, and said, such things pain him a lot.

“Valour must be celebrated, bravery must be saluted, I salute those who all laid down their lives,” Chidambaram said.

He said the sacrifice and bravery of the men would inspire the coming generations.

“The valour, the bravery, the courage deserved to be remembered forever and ever,” Chidambaram said.

“It will continue to inspire many generations to come,” he added. (ANI)

Chhattisgarh massacre: Chidambaram offered to resign, PM rejects

New Delhi, Apr 9 (ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had reportedly offered his resignation after Tuesday’s Maoist attack in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh, but the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, rejected it and asked him to stay on.

According to a private news channel, Chidambaram offered to quit as a section of the Congress party became very critical of his way of functioning.

It was also reported that Chidambaram had written a letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and offered to put in his papers.

Chidambaram’s handling of the Maoist crisis was also criticized the media.

After his visit to Dantewada, Chidambaram briefed the Prime Minister and took full responsibility for Tuesday’s incident in which 76 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed.

Earlier in the day, addressing a CRPF Valour Day function, Chidambaram said: "I salute the CRPF, I promise that government will always stand by you. Where does the buck stop after Dantewada? The buck stops at my desk.

“I accept full responsibility of what happened in Dantewada. I told this to the Prime Minister as well,” he added. (ANI)