Cloak of Invisibility
 With police-CRPF ready for the bigger role, the army should go back to the LC
 Joint JKP-CRPF training for anti-riot duties

What seemed a customary visit by the new chief of army staff, General Bikram Singh to the Northern Command (Jammu and Kashmir) could well have implications for army’s professionalism and the nation. One third of the 1.3 million (13 lakh) army is in the Northern Command, with an equal number preparing for a turn-around. Since 1990, when the army got sucked into counter-terror and subsequently counter-insurgency operations, it has been traditional for all army chiefs after assuming the top post in South Block, to make their maiden visit to this operationally most sensitive command - one that has disputed borders with both Pakistan and China. Given the recent spats between the army and the state government, the army
chief would be required to give his early opinion to the government on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Should it be applicable to the whole state of Jammu and Kashmir as the army under General V.K. Singh had concluded, or is there room for flexibility to accommodate other viewpoints?

Before General Bikram Singh succumbs to the traditional lobby within the army, he needs to consider a few important issues. Foremost being whether it is wise for the army to continue operating among the people. This over two-decade involvement has been singularly responsible for the moral debasement, degradation of ethics and values and incontrovertible corruption within the army. There are recent reports of Maj. Gen. V.K. Sharma of Northern Command accepting gratification from civil contractors for supplying sub-human food to troops and a colonel caught red-handed taking a bribe, for jobs at the hallowed National Defence Academy (NDA).
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