01/01/2017 11:48 AM IST | Updated 01/01/2017 12:10 PM IST

Will Not Hesitate To Use Force, Says New Army Chief General Bipin Rawat

He also played down the supersession controversy.

Indian Army

The Indian Army "will not hesitate to use force", General Bipin Rawat, who took over as the Chief of Indian Army, told reporters in New Delhi today.

Rawat was responding to questions on Kashmir and Pakistan's continued support to terror groups.

"We want peace and tranquility on the borders, but that doesn't mean we are weak. And we will not hesitate to use force," the General said.

India shares a 3,323 km border with Pakistan and over a 3,400 km border with China. There are disputed areas in both borders. Transgression by the Chinese People's Liberation Army is common along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). On other hand, terrorists continue to infiltrate the India-Pakistan border. About 140 terrorists have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir by the Army last year.

The Indian Army has lost 63 soldiers this year -- one of its highest casualties in recent years -- in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir. There were over 200 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC).

General Rawat, who superseded two senior most Generals -- Eastern Commander General Praveen Bakshi and Southern Army Commander PM Hafiz -- said both officers were competent officer.

"The supersession was the decision of the Government and I accept it with all humility," the General said."I have worked with both of them and respect them, and I hope we will be able to work together to strengthen the unity in the army," he said.

In an attempt to play down the controversy, the Chief of Army Staff said all arms of the military -- Armoured, Artillery Engineering, Signals -- were important and crucial. "I am conscious of my responsibility to the rank and file of our army, irrespective of arm or service," General Rawat said.

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