Reacting over Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. Prem Kumar Dhumal’s threat to sue Indian Army over issuing statement against him, the Army made it clear that there is no conflict with the state and it never issued any statement which allegedly appeared in the section of media. Brig. A.K. Sharma of Western Command said this while briefing the media personnel today at the Annadale ground.
Justifying the need for keeping ground’s possession with the Army, Brig. Sharma said it was also important for carrying out relief operations in case of natural disasters in forward areas in the region. Brig. Sharma said that, “Considering the fact that this area falls under the high seismic zone and it has the history of flash floods, the army needs its possession.”
He also added that the armed forces were regularly conducting exercises, both operational and disaster management in addition to routine training, and it’s a mother helipad (important point for landing and operations of helicopters) from where both relief and rescue operations are carried out quickly and smoothly.
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Sunday threatened to file a defamation suit if the army will not apologize for alleging that the state government wanted to grab the Annadale ground on the behest of the land mafia.
“We have never issued any such statement” Mr. Sharma said, adding, “the army has nothing to say about the issues raised by the media (over the tussle between the government and the army over the ownership of the ground)”. He refuted the reports of differences between the army and the state.
On Mr. Dhumal’s assertion that the government is ready to provide alternate land in place of Annadale ground, the official said, “there is no other ground in the region that is of strategic significance from the national security perspective”.