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Avoid collateral damage, human rights violations: Army chief

india Updated: Jan 18, 2014 19:42 IST
Tarun Upadhyay
Tarun Upadhyay
Hindustan Times

Army chief General Bikram Singh has said the Army should avoid collateral damage during counter-insurgency operations and ensure that there are no human rights violations.

"There is a need to avoid collateral damage. The Army should also ensure that dignity and rights of the people are upheld," the Army chief said in his address at the ninth biennial conference of the Rashtriya Rifles at Nagrota, Jammu, on Saturday.

Addressing officers on the conclusion of the two-day conference, Gen Singh said the RR should continue its operations to marginalise terrorists.

"The force should continue its counter-insurgency operations, but no harm should be done to the general public, and it must abide by the law of the land," said the general.

RR is the main counter-insurgency force in the state, with total strength of 75,000 personnel. However, 40% of the troops are away at any point, and as such, its effective strength is about 50,000 personnel, including reserve strength.

The Army chief also outlined the present and future security dynamics of the region, adding that even as the force had carried out operations to quell terrorism in the state, it had also undertaken people-friendly activities, and was thus able to win over the hearts of the people.

GoC-in-C northern command Lt General Sanjeev Chachra in his closing remarks thanked the state administration, Jammu and Kashmir police and other agencies for their support and cooperation.
Rich tributes were also paid to the martyrs of Rashtriya Rifles.

The Army has been trying to ensure that there are no human rights violations, and has prosecuted 124 personnel in this regard till last year. Last December, the Army ordered court martial of six personnel, including two officers, in the 2010 Machail fake encounter in which three people had died.

The conference conducted at Nagrota under the aegis of Rashtriya Rifles directorate and Northern Command was attended by RR commanders and other senior officers of the Northern Command.