Army, state government working in synergy: Omar | india | Hindustan Times
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Army, state government working in synergy: Omar

india Updated: Nov 12, 2013 19:18 IST
Tarun Upadhyay

Chief minister Omar Abdullah has said that the Indian army has a "close relationship" with the civilian administration in Jammu and Kashmir and both work in synergy.

"Civil-Military Liaison Conference (CMLC) is being held after four years, still there are not many outstanding issues. This clearly reflects that there is absolute synergy and regular contact at the operational level," said Omar Abdullah, who chaired the conference at Nagrota near here on Tuesday.

CMLC is organised to sort out differences and bring in more synergy between the state government and army.

Deputy chief minister Tara Chand, general officer commanding-in-chief (Northern Command) Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra and director general of police (DGP) Ashok Parsad also attended the conference.

Omar was appreciative of the army's role in difficult and inaccessible areas. Jammu and Kashmir has the highest presence of the Indian Army, which guards about the 800-km Line of control (LoC) and also the second tier of border along the Actual Line of Control (ALC).

The CM's statement came even though the army and he have had differences over revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

The CM on Tuesday also proposed to set up a high-level committee comprising army and state government officials for re-examining the short-term extension of firing ranges for army while also considering alternate locations.

The CM came up with the proposal in view of protests against army's decision to re-notify 11,200 hectares of forest land at Toasmaidan, Budgam district, for use as a firing range over the next 20 years.

"Most field firing ranges, a must for operational capability building of troops, are due for notification. While we have shifted our firing points to meet the needs of local population, we are willing to look at alternate sites if they are offered by the civilian government," said Lt Gen Chachra.

The GoC-in-C of northern command said that he had ordered a comprehensive audit of the army's land holdings and requirement in the state. He said that the army had vacated 12 buildings recently and another eight would be vacated shortly. "Security sit in the state has been controlled effectively due to proactive and concerted efforts of all security forces and civil administration," said Lt Gen Chachra.

The CM and Indian Army also have differences over the fallout that the USA's pull out from Afghanistan next year will have on the state. While the CM said it would not have any impact, Chachra had said they would watch the development seriously, saying that that there would be an increase in terrorism.