'Army can't be deployed against Naxals'
Government on Monday rules out deployment of Army to contain rising Naxal violence in the country, saying the forces' hands were already full.Updated: Feb 04, 2008 18:06 IST
Government on Monday ruled out deployment of Army to contain rising Naxal violence in the country, saying the forces' hands were already full.
"I am totally opposed to Army being moved against Naxal elements", Defence Minister AK Antony said, adding "Army cannot be used against everything....The forces are already coming in aid of civil authorities".
"Army should be called in only as a last resort", the Minister said in reply to questions on the sidelines of a Defence Financial Controllers' conference in New Delhi.
However, Antony said the forces would not shy away in containing the menace and were already providing logistic support and training to police forces of Naxal-affected states.
"Taking on the Naxalites is the role of the police forces and whenever need arises para-military forces can be deployed", the Defence Minister said.
On recurring mishaps involving naval warships and submarines, Antony said "naval authorities had been asked to take necessary precautions to ensure that accidents do not happen as weapon platform come at a premium price tag".
He described the deaths of sailors on board the Navy's latest acquisition INS Jalashwa as "tragic and sad".
"Though preliminary reports suggest that the deaths occurred due to gas leaks", the Minister said investigations were on to unravel the cause of the mishap.