'Army be used as last resort in internal strife'

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New Delhi, Feb 23: General Deepak Kapoor has expressed serious concern over the repeated use of the Army to handle internal insurgencies and communal disturbances, saying it undermined the ''deterrence effect'' of the troops.

''The Army must only be used as a last resort and for a minimal period,'' he said in an interview here. The Army Chief said whenever the troops were called out for counter-insurgency operations in the country, it does happen at the expense of the training done for a war against an enemy. He expressed serious concern that repeated use of the Army in internal situation could undermine its ''deterrence'' effect.

''That (calling out the Army) should happen once the civilian authority has utilised all other resources at its disposal. The fact is that first and foremost the Army must only be used as a last resort for any such contingencies.'' ''Secondly, it should be used for a minimal period so that its deterrence effect stays and thereafter the Army should be withdrawn,'' the Army Chief said in the interview to CNN-IBN for its Devil's Advocate programme, to be telecast tomorrow night.


UNI

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