Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said Friday that family of Sartaj, son of Dadri victim Mohammad Akhlaq, has been moved to an Air Force accommodation. Speaking on sidelines of a parade to mark Territorial Army’s 66th anniversary, he said it is well within the powers of Indian Air Force (IAF) to provide accommodation to a personnel’s family. Sartaj is a corporal in the technical wing of the IAF.
“It is a normal exercise to provide accommodation to our man. Whenever they are in need, we do it. It is our personnel’s family so we have provided accommodation on priority… He has been provided with an accommodation as per his entitlement, but out of turn, which is also permitted within the power of IAF,” he said.
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On the backdrop of Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha’s statement that IAF is planning to induct women officers in combat wings, he said a policy decision would soon be taken after studying the likely operational and training difficulties in the matter. “The procedure is on. I am still not aware as to why an in-principle approval should not be given. There could be some difficulties during training. Keeping all this mind, we will soon announce a policy. They have recommended women in combat role and there is no reason why we should not accept it,” he said.
Parrikar said he is in discussion with the IAF regarding induction of women in combat roles. “These days the work of defence forces is also to maintain security within the country, for instance, counter-insurgency. There is no problem in including them (women) in combat training in Air Force… But how to put them to use will be decided if there is a war,” he said. This is in contrast to his earlier statement when he had said, “Think of what can happen if a woman is taken as a prisoner in combat operation.”
Air chief Raha had said Thursday that IAF has mooted a proposal to induct women in combat role.