We will use force if necessary, says new army chief Gen. Rawat

New Delhi: General Bipin Rawat, the Indian Army’s new chief, on Sunday said that the nation wants peace and tranquillity but if necessary “will not hesitate to use force”.

“Our country and our army wants peace and tranquillity but this does not mean we are weak. We are capable in every manner and if necessary, we will not hesitate to use force”, he said.

He added that “there will be no change in the vision and thrust area of the army”.

General Rawat, who assumed office of the army chief on the New Year’s Day, was speaking after inspecting the guard of honour presented to him at South Block.

Replying to a question on him superseding two Lt. Generals, Gen. Rawat said: “It was government’s decision. I respect the superseded officers. In past, we have worked together and I can speak with confidence that we continue to work together to strengthen the army.”

In a rare decision ignoring the tradition of nominating the senior most Lt. General as the Chief of the Army Staff, the government selected Gen. Rawat over Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi and Lt. Gen. P.M. Hariz.

Earlier in the day, Gen. Rawat paid homage to the martyred men of the Indian armed forces at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate here. He assumed the charge of the army chief on retirement of Gen. Dalbir Singh on December 31.