Indian Army

Army may have to be deployed on ‘war basis’: Former commander

Reacting to the developing situation across the country with regard to the spread of coronavirus, former Northern and Central Army Commander, Lt Gen H S Panag has said that he expects the Army will have to be deployed extensively across the country “on war basis” to ensure an effective lockdown and to organise a systematic fight against the pandemic.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Lt Gen Panag said a voluntary lockdown is never fully effective nor can it be expected to be so. “Total lockdown cannot happen. How is it possible when you say that essential services will be available? When Stage 3 (of spread of the virus on society) manifests itself we can only expect isolation to flatten the curve oReacting to the developing situation across the country with regard to the spread of coronavirus, former Northern and Central Army Commander, Lt Gen H S Panag has said that he expects the Army will have to be deployed extensively across the country f the spread of the disease,” he said.

Lt Gen Panag said while the Army may not have plans to deal with such a pandemic ready beforehand, it would have reacted to the situation and charted out a blueprint by now. “We do have plans for flood deployment and aid to civil for law and order prepared well in advance but since there has not been any such epidemic for last 100 years in the country there would not have been readymade plans,” he said.

The former Army Commander said that due to its organisational abilities and the wherewithal and manpower, Army would have to be pressed in not only to help create more isolation shelters but also for potential law and order disturbances like looting etc which may occur within the country due to a prolonged clampdown.

“We have to ensure that people come out less. We should not prepare to tackle phase 3 where we need ventilators and other medical gear. We will have to go in for large scale isolation.

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