PUNE: If the civil administration decides to use the army "for protection and killing an insurgency network", the army should be allowed to control it by "firing straight", defence minister Manohar Parrikar said here on Saturday. "I don't want to train the army to use lathis," he added.
The issue has come to the fore because of a recent judgment about the Northeast+ , he said, referring to the Supreme Court lashing out over the long deployment of the armed forces and the imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which seeks to grants army personnel legal immunity for their actions, in Manipur.
"We can't lose people. So, wherever the army is used, the powers will have to be there, otherwise don't use the army. In fact, I will be very happy if we don't use the army anywhere in the country, other than disaster management," he said.
Earlier in the day, asked by reporters to comment on the Kashmir situation+ , Parrikar, who was inaugurating a new building for the office of the principal director of defence estates, said the question should be directed at the home minister as the defence ministry is not directly involved in maintaining law and order in the state.
Referring to videos on social media showing Indian army men purportedly indulging in brutality, Parrikar said these were morphed and asserted that the Indian Army is not a brutal force. "We don't kill for the sake of it. Kabhi kabhi galti hota hai. Indian army is capable of killing, but it is not a brutal army."