Army creates new wing to handle human rights issues

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New Delhi, Jan 1 (PTI) The Army has created a new wing under a Major General to handle human rights issues with an aim to bring more transparency and probity in the functioning of the 1.3-million strong force, official sources said on Friday.

Major General Gautam Chauhan has taken charge as Additional Director General (Human Rights) in the Army headquarters in Delhi on Thursday, they said.

The new ADG (Human Rights) will function under the Vice Chief of Army Staff.

The creation of the human rights wing is in line with a decision taken by the Army to ensure transparency and probity in conducting anti-militancy operations.

There have been allegations of violations of human rights by armed forces in conducting such operations in some areas in the Northeastern region and Jammu and Kashmir.

The Army is in the process of implementing a mega reform process.

Last month, the defence ministry has approved the creation of a new post of deputy chief for military operations and strategic planning in the Army as part of the reform process.

The Army headquarters had instituted four studies with an overall aim to enhance the operational and functional efficiency of the force, optimise budget expenditure, facilitate modernisation, and address aspirations.

The recommendation to create the new posts was made as a result of the studies.

The first study on 're-organisation and right-sizing of the Indian Army' was focused on the operational structures to make the force efficient and future-ready by taking into account the operational situation on western and northern borders, officials said.

The second study was on 're-organisation of the Army headquarters' with an aim to bring in 'integration and preclude the redundancies'.

The third study was on 'cadre review of officers' and its focus was to recommend how to carry out reorganisation and restructuring to meet the aspirations of the officers' cadre.

The fourth study on 'review of terms of engagement of rank and file' was aimed at harnessing the higher life expectancy and ensuring a younger profile of key commands and motivation of the personnel. PTI MPB SMN SMN