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Gajraj Corps / IV Corps

Gajraj Corps, deployed in Assam, has time and again used its limited resources to bring a ray of hope in the lives of the local residents who have been ravaged by the meance of militancy. One of the important areas where the Gajraj (King Elephant) corps has made considerable efforts, is in the area of providing vocational training to the youth in order to make them self-sufficient, socially and economically. In this direction, various vocational training camps are being organised by Army at various locations in the state, so as to benefit the unemployed youth directly.

The Northeast region has a huge Army presence and the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 has been in force almost across the region. The Act gives unrestricted powers to the Army to carry out operations once an area is declared disturbed. Even a non-commissioned officer has the right to shoot-to-kill based on mere suspicion that it is necessary to do so in order to "maintain public order".

As a first step, 7004 EME battalion at Tezpur, under the aegis of Gajraj Corps, conducted a vocational training camp where 55 boys were given training in repair of domestic appliances, carpentry, painting, banner-making, welding, sewing and upholstry, in addition to hands-on training on computers.

The troops of 2 Mountain Division operating under Gajraj Corps have been organising medical camps in remote areas. One such camp was conducted in Kachijangaon near Kakopathar in Tinsukia District. A team of three Army doctors, including a dentist and lady doctor and 10 nursing staff treated the patients.

Heavy floods is an annual feature of the state. As usual, troops of the Red Horns Division under Gajraj Corps swung into action to help the flood victims. They rescued more than 3,800 people from drowning. Tens of thousands of food packets were distributed. Medical camps were also conducted during this time. Seventy per cent of the bridges constructed by Army in the entire country during floods last year were in Assam alone.

In addition, the corps has also undertaken a plethora of projects for water supply, improvement of roads, construction of vocational training centres and community halls. Notable amongst the water supply projects are the ones taken up at Uttarnikashi, Sanova, Kajalgaon and Darrangamela.

The corps has also set up a computer lab at Kokrajaha and conducted training programmes for women. It also organised a career counselling lecture for the aspirants who desire to choose Army as their career.

Operation Sahyog, another unique operation taken up by the corps has been providing healing touch to the families suffering from the debilitating effects of militancy. The corps has been motivating surrendered militants to take up some profession for livelihood. It has also been providing training to the surrenderees whoever needs it. These efforts have been yielding good results and normalcy is being restored in the state, thanks to Gajraj Corps.

Mrs Jasbir Mohinder Singh, President, AWWA inaugurated a Sainik Institute at Corps Operating Signal Regiment, Gajraj Corps. The institute has a wide variety of indoor and outdoor games, a library and a well-equipped gymnasium. Centrally located, with a seating capacity of approximately 450, the institute has been set up under the guidance of the Station Commander, Brig Brajesh Kumar.

Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen Mohinder Singh, GOC, Gajraj Corps said that the institute was set up to provide better facilities to the jawans and their families and also to provide a platform for healthy interaction amongst them. He said that this was an effort to nurture creativity of the children of the jawans. This was the second such establishment in the chain of Sainik Institutes in 4 Corps Zone Military Stations. The first institute was established at Misamari Cantt. Interacting with the families, the President, Gajraj AWWA emphasised the need for optimal utilisation of the facilities at the institute.

A strategic and operations group meeting was held at the HQ Gajraj Corps, Tezpur. The meeting was chaired by Mr PK Datta, Chief Secretary, Government of Assam, and attended by heads of Intelligence agencies operating in Assam. The operations group meeting was presided over by Lt Gen Mohinder Singh, GOC, Gajraj Corps. The meeting reviewed the security situation in the state, especially the security cover extended to oil installations, railway tracks and other vital points. It stressed the importance of civil-defence cooperation and measures required to rejuvenate it. It was decided in the meeting that wearing of Army uniforms by unauthorised agencies and civilians should be dealt with severely. Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen Mohinder Singh highlighted the changing trends of insurgency in North-East and the stellar achievements of security forces. He thanked the government functionaries for their constant support in curbing insurgency and hoped that peace would prevail in Assam soon. Mr PK Dutta thanked the GOC, Gajraj Corps for hosting the meet. He complimented the security forces for their achievements and assured them of all help and cooperation from the government.

Lt Gen GS Sihota, GOC-in-C, Southern Command made a two-day visit to Gajraj Corps. He was received at the airport by Lt Gen Mohinder Singh, GOC, Gajraj Corps and Air Cmde PK Barbora, AOC, Air Force Station, Tezpur. Lt Gen Sihota, who is the Senior Colonel Commandant of Regiment of Artillery and Colonel Commandant of Army Aviation, visited some Artillery and Army Aviation units deployed in Gajraj Corps during his visit.

The Raksha Mantri Shri George Fernandes arrived at Tezpur on a two day visit to Gajraj Corps in November 2003. The Raksha Mantri was received at the airport by Maj Gen Deepak Kapoor, SM, VSM, Chief of Staff, Gajraj Corps and Air Commodore Abhay Gupta, VSM, AOC, Air Force Station, Tezpur.

The Raksha Mantri was briefed in detail about the state of militancy, development projects under Op Samaritan and other activities of the Gajraj Corps. The Raksha Mantri complimented Gajraj Corps on its stellar performance and said that the nation was proud of its men in uniform, who have always lived up to its expectations.

Later, the Raksha Mantri had a cup of tea and interacted informally with the troops. The troops were very happy to meet their Raksha Mantri, who is immensely popular with them. He made enquires about their profession and the families, and promised to make all efforts for their welfare. He appreciated the selfless sacrifice and hardships of these young men, and encouraged them to carry on with the same enthusiasm. The Raksha Mantri left for Kolkata in the evening. Insurgents are "our own people" so treat them with "kindness and selfcontrol" and use "as little force as possible" - these are some of the instructions the Army gave to its men in the Northeast in 2007. Faced with recurring allegations of violation of human rights, the Army's 4 Corps framed a set of "golden rules" for its personnel engaged in counterinsurgency operations in Assam and other Northeast states. Titled Sainikon ke liye dhyan dene yogya baten (Issues to be kept in mind by soldiers), the booklet says it has to be carried by every jawan all the time and followed "word by word". The 28-page rulebook opens with the 10-point chapter "Instructions from the Army chief". It tells jawans that the people they are working with are "our own people", so "when carrying out operations, behave with kindness, apply as minimum a force as possible and keep yourself under control".

"The personnel have been working in a peculiar situation in the region," said Lt-Gen R K Chhabra, who heads the Tezpur-based 4 Corps. "While they are trained to tackle enemy forces, what they have been made to do in counterinsurgency situations is to handle our own people." There are special instructions on how to conduct oneself in a situation that involves women: "Please do not act without the presence of women police personnel," even when dealing with the women among militants. And when it comes to applying force, the jawans have been particularly told not to use abusive language or assault people in front of women and children. "When raiding and searching houses, please do not throw household items here and there, do not break them or seize any item without a seizure list," goes one rule.

The Army has been target of ceaseless allegations of abusive conduct, especially in Manipur, Assam and Nagaland. Among the charges jawans face are rape, molestation, and theft. The new rules also cover how the forces interact with the media. One of the 11 separate instructions asks officers to take the media into confidence and says it is the commanding officer's personal responsibility to give the right kind of information.

In 2009 the Indian Army made plans to raise two new divisions in the north-east with 56 Mountain Division at Zakhama, coming under III Corps, and 71 Mountain Division at Missa Mari, coming under IV Corps. The 56th and the 71 mountain divisions, comprising over 30,000 troops, were to bolster the eastern front's defenses.

IV Corps / Gajraj Corps
Tezpur, Assam 2638'N9248'E

U/I Artillery BDE
U/I Location ____'N____'E

2 Mountain Division
Dibrugarh 2730'N9500'E

5 Mountain Division
U/I Location ____'N____'E

21 Mountain Division
Rangia 2628'N9138'E

71 Mountain Division
Missa Mari ____'N____'E

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Page last modified: 25-07-2016 11:26:20 ZULU