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Indian Army Swears Allegiance to Constitution, Says COAS

Indian Army

New Delhi: Weeks after the former Army Chief and now Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat kicked up a controversy on the Citizenship Law, his successor General Manoj Mukund Naravane on January 11 reaffirmed his force’s allegiance to the core values of the constitution and the values of the preamble which describes India as a secular, democratic republic.

“As the Army, we swear allegiance to the constitution of India… Justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined in the constitution should guide us,” he told the media ahead of Army Day.

General Naravane said the focus of training will be on preparing the Army for future wars which will be network-centric and complex. It is the “quality and not the quantity that will be our mantra on training for future warfare”, he said.

“Men behind the machine matter the most. We will make sure that our men get the best and we will look into all their aspirations, needs,” the Army Chief said.

On the Sino-Indian border he said the Indian Army is prepared to deal with challenges along the northern border.

Over the last years, there have been several incursions by Chinese soldiers, both in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. In 2017, the Chinese and Indian troops had a 10-week face-off at Doklam near Sikkim, as Indian soldiers crossed into the plateau to prevent Chinese road construction workers from extending a road to the strategic Jampheri ridge-line.

India considers the Doklam plateau an undisputed part of Bhutanese territory, while China considers it an extension of its Chumbi Valley, a wedge of land that lies in between Sikkim to the west and Bhutan to the east.

General Naravane who is the 28th Army Chief termed the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff a “very big step” towards integration of the three forces and said the Army will ensure its success. “Integration will also be within the Army and the integrated battle group is just one example of that. But I also want to assure everyone that in this process of integration we will take everyone along. Nobody will be left behind,” he said.

“Six Army Apache attack choppers would be given to an Army unit on the western borders from where there is a greater threat from armoured columns,” General Naravane said.