Army Chief's brief visit to state boosts up soldiers' morale
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, June 23 2009: The Chief of Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor was in Manipur today for a first-hand review of the security situation in the state.

The visit comes at a time when the Army, in conjunction with other forces, is conducting stepped up operations against a number of banned underground outfits in the North Eastern Region.

Accompanied by his wife, Mrs Kirti Kapoor, President of Central Army Wives' Welfare Association (AWWA), General Kapoor was received at Kangla helipad in the heart of Imphal city in the morning by Lieutenant General V K Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, General Officer Commanding in Chief, Eastern Command, Mrs Bharti Singh, President, Family Welfare Organisation Eastern Command, Lieutenant General R K Loomba, AVSM, General Officer Commanding, HQ 3 Corps and Major General A K Choudhary, AVSM, SM, VSM, IG AR (South).

Chief of Army Staff Gen Deepak Kapoor (2nd from L), on landing at a helipad, being receive by Army commanders

Soon after their arrival, General Kapoor and top brass of Indian army drove straight to Assam Rifles complex at Mantripukhuri where he was briefed by Major General Choudhary" on the security situation in Manipur".

"Later, the Army Chief met Manipur Governor Gurbachan Jagat", says Colonel Pradhant Wangkhede, PRO, Assam Rifles when contacted.

The Army chief also lauded the efforts of the soldiers in fighting terrorism in the state and asked them to continue the good work in a professional manner and provide all possible assistance to the populace in the true traditions of the Army and the Assam Rifles, army sources said.

General Kapoor during his sojourn, also visited Leimakhong Army headquarters, around 20 km north of Imphal along with GOC Eastern Caommand and GOC 3 Corps.

The visit of an Army Chief to an Insurgency hit state like Manipur is the first of it's kind in the last three years.

When General J J Singh (Retd) who is now Governor of Arunachal Pradesh,was the Chief of Army Staff, had visited Singhat, a remote village, about 100 km south of Imphal in Manipur's Churachandpur district near Indo-Myanmar border to inaugurate a model village on August 9, 2006 .

According to Colonel Rajesh Mishra, PRO, Defence Wing, the Army Chief was on a routine tour to some North Eastern states after he assumed office as the Chief of Indian army.

"To take stock of the prevailing situation, the Chief was here for sometime to interact with the soldiers", Col Mishra said.

Later General Kapoor left for 3 Corps headquarters in Nagaland's Dimapur in the afternoon.

It is learnt that the General is likely to review the entire security situation of violence hit Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

He may also oversee the violence in Assam's North Cachar Hills district.

However it couldn't be confirmed officially.

Mention may be made here that three Zeliangrong Naga bodies have sought Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's intervention in restoring peace and normalcy in the violence-torn NC Hills district.

Meanwhile, a press release issued by the PIB (Defence Wing) here stated that the Chief of the Army Staff, Gen Deepak Kapoor, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC visited 57 Mountain Division at Leimakhong today.

The Chief and Chairperson, Family Welfare Organisation (FWO) were received by Maj Gen Shakti Gurung, VSM, GOC of the Division and Mrs Madhu Gurung, Chairperson Red Shield FWO at the helipad.

Gen Kapoor went on to the Div Headquarters while Mrs Kirti Kapoor proceeded to DISHA.

The Chief reviewed the security arrangements in the state and was briefed by Maj Gen Shakti Gurung.

Remarking on the landmark operations conducted by the Division in the last one year, the Chief expressed his appreciation for a job well done.

He said, the effect of these successful operations was reflected directly and positively during the recent elections held in the state which were conducted without any incidence of violence.

Gen Kapoor also commented on the synergy which has been achieved between all the Security Forces operating in the state-especially the Manipur Police and the troops of 57 Mountain Division.

He said, synergy in all spheres is what all commanders dream of but was seldom seen.

The synergy reflected in all the operations being conducted in the state is the result of the direct interaction between the leaders at the top level of these organisations which has led to the tangible results achieved in the recent months, the press release quoted the Army Chief as saying.

He complimented Maj Gen Shakti Gurung, DGP of Manipur, Mr Joykumar Singh, IPS, Mr Rakesh, IAS, Chief Secretary of Manipur and Mr D S Poonia, Additional Chief Secretary for the same.

Gen Kapoor said that the GOC in conjunction with the civil administration of Assam must continue to be proactive in the NC Hills to achieve a favorable environment for normal day to day activities to be conducted.

In the end, the Chief met some of the troops who had taken part in Op Summer Storm and felicitated them.

Mrs Kirti Kapoor, Chairperson Family Welfare Organisation (FWO) was welcomed by Mrs Madhu Gurung at the DISHA Boys Hostel where she was briefed and then taken on a guided tour of the Hostel by Col Pankaj Saxena, CO, 165 Infantry Battalion (TA) (H&H).

Mrs Kapoor was impressed by the grooming and confidence displayed by the boys during their interaction with her.

She stated that she has had the privilege of visiting other institutes and hostels set up by the Army in various parts of the country - but the standards achieved by the staff of DISHA in grooming and nurturing these young minds towards self reliance and becoming young men of substance in such a short time frame, was indeed worthy of praise and emulation by others.

Mrs Kapoor spent time with the young children and interacted with them over a cup of tea - to learn what their young minds dreamt of and how the FWO could help them in achieving the same in the days ahead.

The Chairperson FWO then visited the "HEALTH ANGELS" - an initiative by Red Shield Division of the Indian Army and the brainchild of Mrs Madhu Gurung, which is an earnest endeavour to imbibe basic health awareness and maternity training amongst literate village folk to empower them and enable their knowledge and skill to percolate down to the grass root level and benefit the population of rural villages from which they come and where no medical aid is available.

The citizens of Manipur will recollect that Mrs Madhu Gurung, had inaugurated the training cadre for 15 local girls at 357 Field Hospital on 25 May 2009 .

The programme has caught the eyes of all and Mrs Kirti Kapoor, on her arrival from Delhi went to the training center to interact with these girls who have volunteered to be trained as "Health Angels" by the Army.

While interacting with these girls, Mrs Kirti Kapoor emphasized the role that these girls were expected to play in the upliftment of health in their respective villages in the days ahead.

She said that this was a unique programme, the first of its kind in the country - and reflects on the involvement of the ladies of the Army in the development of remote areas.

She said that human health especially that of women in these remote areas was a source of major concern for the Army.

These women who shoulder the burden of handling their homes, health of their families and the economy of the state, need to be educated on the aspects of taking care of themselves for the betterment of their families and this is where the "Health Angels" would play a major role in the days ahead.

Mrs Kapoor expressed her happiness with the manner in which the cadre and training of the girls was progressing and she wished the girls the very best in all their endeavours in the days ahead.

She assured them that the Army would always be there to support them in their venture and she would look forward to hearing about the progress of these girls in the days ahead.

After a short halt at Leimakhong, the Chief departed for Rangapahar Military Station.

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