Army Says ‘Some’ Troops to be Withdrawn from Northeast

Indian Army

Kolkata: With violence coming down drastically, it has been decided to “withdraw” some troops by the Army from insurgency-affected states in the northeast and move them to barracks, Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan said in Kolkata on January 15.

He said the decision was taken in view of an improvement in the situation in the insurgency-hit states. “As far as the security situation in the insurgency-affected states is concerned, it is rather stable and all parameters concerning violence have come down drastically,” Lt General Chauhan told reporters in Kolkata after a wreath-laying ceremony on Army Day at Fort William, the Eastern Command headquarters.

He said at least two battalions have been withdrawn from eastern Assam in view of an improved situation there and sent to the barracks.

He said the situation in Nagaland and Manipur was “far better than what it was in 2018, 2017 or previous years.”

“Keeping the improved security situation in view, the Army has decided to withdraw some troops from the active counter-insurgency grid and move them to barracks,” he said.

With the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in force in disturbed areas of the northeastern states, the Army actively participates in internal security there, with powers to search premises and make arrests without warrants.

Section 4 of the AFSPA, which the Army terms as an “enabling Act”, also gives it the power to “use force, even to the extent of causing death”, destroy arms dumps, hideouts and to stop, search and seize any vehicle.

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