New Delhi: Chief of Army Staff General Vijay Kumar Singh on Thursday said that the Chhattisgarh Maoist ambush in which at least 75 security personnel were killed, had some internal shortcomings.
He also said the 62nd Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), involved in the incident, had not been trained by the Army.
Addressing the media after honouring the gallantry award winners here, General Singh said: “We have trained almost 39,000 people from the police and the CRPF. This training is a package that we give to them, and it is same type of training, which our (Army) people get.”
“So all those people, who have been trained, I would like to place on record, the 62nd Battalion [of the CRPF], which had this incident, was not trained by the Army. They have not come to us for training and they were not trained by the Army,” he added.
General Singh highlighted that the Army can provide better assistance in terms of training to the security personnel only if they come to them as a “homogeneous entity”.
“In training there are problem areas because at times we don’t get homogeneous entity for training, when I say homogeneous it means if there is a company it does not come to us as a company, which happens in the Army,” General Singh said.
“In the Army, we do the training of a complete lot that comes from officer to the man down below. So, the performance is that much better,” he added.
The Army Chief further said that the Home Ministry has not asked them for any help on the ground.
“The aid that is being given is in terms of training and advice. This is the type of thing that is going on and the other assistance that they want, I’m quite sure that can be decided mutually with the Ministry of Home and the Ministry of Defence,” he said.
He also said that the Army has suggested certain measures to the Home Ministry over the issue of training of the security personnel.
“I think we will try and see what more we can do for them. I’m sure once they are implemented, things will be better,” General Singh added.
General Singh insisted that it is difficult for him to say if the Army will be deployed in the Maoist affected states.
“It’s a decision that the country’s leaders have to take. We will work according to the decision they take after considering all the issues,” he said.
When asked about his views over Army’s involvement in the anti-Naxal operations in the 1970’s, the Army Chief said: “We were involved in 1969 to better part of 1970 and certain parts of 1971 in the West Bengal. Circumstances were different and for certain things the assistance was given, provided in consultation with the political leaders.”
“They have to decide according to what is required and like I said earlier, when you employ the Army, it has implications. There are lots of things that you have to do and in terms of what you want as end result,” he added.