Akhnoor (Jammu), Jan 15: A day after the Union Government announced it is considering reducing the strength of security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, the Army today said that the present situation in the state does not allow cut down of troops and the decision should be reconsidered.
"Present situation in Kashmir does not allow cut down of troops and it should be reconsidered," General Officer Commanding in Chief Northern Command (GOC-in-C), Lt Gen K T Parnaik told reporters at the sidelines of an army function here today.
"The situation at present is not conducive for withdrawal of troops… It's a very dynamic process you have peace somewhere, you have instability somewhere else and this situation keeps on changing.
I don't think it is right time for us to think of troop reduction as of now," he said after attending an official function at Akhnoor.
Yesterday in Delhi, Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai had said that the Central Government is considering reducing the strength of security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir by 25 per cent as a confidence building measure.
The new Northern Command chief said that the Army was deployed in the state as per the requirements. "The army has not felt any need to cut down forces from the militancy hit state. If the home ministry wants to cut down police or paramilitary personnel, I would not say anything."
Replying a query regarding Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Gen Parnaik, "It is matter of perceptions. The state, central governments and army have different perceptions concerning the presence of army and AFSPA. All of them should sit together to discuss and find the way out."
The Northern Command chief added that AFSPA has given protection to the security forces and it should not be revoked.
"Committees have been constituted and they will decide what to do with it. Whereas my personal opinion is concerned, I think AFSPA is must as army is doing a tough job here in the state and while doing such a job, I think their protection is must."
"We are operating in a very difficult environment. We have not come here today. We are here for the years and have fought many wars in the state," the Northern Army Command chief said adding that if there is any organisation which is sincerely committed to the safety and security of the border and the people it is the Army.
Regarding the recent reports of Chinese incursion in Leh, he said, "There is difference of perception of the alignment of LAC- which is not specifically demarcated. Such incidents of transgression are not new, as it has happened earlier too".
The Indian Tibet Border Police (ITBP) and Army manning the LaC, he said, hold flag meetings with their counter parts (Chinese army) on the Line of Actual Control, whenever such incident of transgression takes place".
Responding to a question, the general said hoisting of national flag and law and order is a state subject and it is the responsibility of the state government and state police to maintain law and order.
"However, the way it has come up, if the situation worsens and law and order problems are created and the Army is called out to assist the civil administration, let me assure you we will take actions which are in the best interest of the state and the country," the General said.
In response to a question regarding the Army Chief's statement on the fairness of judicial system in Jammu and Kashmir and shifting of proceedings of Machil fake encounter case in which army personnel are alleged involved, the Northern Command Chief said that there are a legal provisions in all the cases whenever there is dual jurisdiction.
"Under the Army rule 184 the army can request the court to allow them to trial the offenders. There are numerous cases where we have sought to try our own people and deal with them. However, the final decision rest with the central government. Therefore, this request has been made. We (army) should wait for the central government to legislate and give a decision," he said.