Newly-appointed Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday interacted with the press and spoke about complaints in the army, ceasefire violations with Pakistan army and surgical strikes. With a number of security personnel, including one from the Army, raising grievances through social media, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat Thursday asked his men to directly communicate to him through the “suggestion cum grievance” boxes that will be set up across the formations.
His remarks came a day after an army jawan posted a video on social media criticising the use of soldiers as ‘sahayaks’ of the officers. Gen Rawat described social media as a “two-sided” weapon which can be used favourably but can also be detrimental. He also spoke on defence strategies along enemy lines and suggested that necessary “surgical strikes” operations may happen when required.
Here is what he said at the press conference:
* “This press conference, which is held on eve of the Army Day, is very relevant to us, as I would like to reach every jawan through you (media). We are one team and we work as one force to ensure India is secure and peaceful.”
* “Through the media, I wish to reach out to the rank and file of the Army. Whatever complaint they should have, they can address it through the excellent grievance redressal mechanism we have.”
* “We have to be concerned about proxy war and terror that are affecting secular fabric of our nation.”
* “The situation in Jammu and Kashmir had been brought under control with synergised efforts of security forces.’”
* “Ceasefire violations have come down. However, if the numbers go up, the army will opt for such surgical strike measures.”
* “There is a saying that offence is the best defence. We are committed to peace and tranquillity and to keep it there has to be an element of offence in our defence.”
* “If Lt Gen P Bakshi comes to me with formal information, I will help him and probe, Gen Rawat on Eastern Commander’s accusation that people within the army were maligning him.”