‘Army working to normalise, ensure stability’, says Army Gen Manoj Pande on Manipur violence

Gen Pande said situation in eastern Ladakh is stable but sensitive

Manoj Pande Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande | Sanjay Ahlawat

Army Chief General Manoj Pande said the Army is working to normalise the situation and ensure stability in Manipur. Gen Pande said the Assam Rifles and all units have displayed a lot of restraint.

Addressing a press conference ahead of Army Day, Gen Pande said, “The Northeast has witnessed positive developments in the last year because of the proactive policies of the government. The violence parameters have overall come down. Manipur witnessed violence in May last year, but with the combined efforts by the state administration, Army and Assam Rifles, they have been able to stabilise the situation. We are working to normalise the situation and ensure stability." 

Pande added, “The Assam Rifles and all our units have displayed a lot of restraint. Sometimes when there is a provocation, no collateral damage, and no casualties to civilians took place because of actions on our part. The challenge is weapons that are still missing as only 30 pc of weapons have been recovered. I want to highlight we have soldiers from both communities who sleep, eat and live together. They function without any issues at all."

Gen Manoj Pande said the situation along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh is "stable" but "sensitive", and asserted that Indian troops are maintaining a "high state" of preparedness to deal with any challenge.

Addressing a press conference ahead of Army Day, Gen Pande also said that both India and China continue to hold talks at military and diplomatic levels to find a resolution to the remaining issues.

“Our operational preparedness continues to be at a high level,” he said, noting that the Indian Army is maintaining adequate reserves to confront any security challenge in the region.

Indian and Chinese troops are locked in an over three-year confrontation in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh even as the two sides completed disengagement from several areas following extensive diplomatic and military talks.

On the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Gen Pande said the ceasefire understanding with Pakistan is holding along the Line of Control (LoC) though there have been infiltration attempts. “We are foiling infiltration attempts along the LoC,” he said.

Gen Pande said there has been a drop in overall incidents of violence in Jammu and Kashmir but such incidents have increased in Rajouri-Poonch sector. “Terror infra continues to thrive across the border,” he said in an apparent reference to Pakistan's support to various terrorist groups.

“This is an area where our adversary is active in abetting terrorism,” he said referring to the Rajouri-Poonch sector.

Asked about talks between Bhutan and China to resolve their boundary dispute, Gen Pande suggested the developments having bearing on India's security are being monitored. “We have robust military engagement with Bhutan and closely monitoring developments,” he said.

The Army Chief described the situation along the Indo-Myanmar border as a matter of concern. “We are closely watching developments there,” he said.

He also said that integration of Agniveers into the Army is moving forward well. The Army Chief also said that 2024 will be a year of technology adoption for the Indian Army as part of overall modernisation of the force.

-with PTI inputs.



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