Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has won the support of citizens with his statement on closure of Cantonment roads in sync with popular public opinion.
Local people from Secunderabad Cantonment area are showering praises on him, both online and offline. The statement by the Chief puts to rest all doubt that it was only a decision taken by the ministry concerned. General Bipin Rawat said: “If we find that a road is being planned for a particular civilian area, should we close it and think we are above everyone else. What we did earlier was from about 5 pm to 7 pm we would close a particular road for walking. Now, if a civilian who wants to pass through that area is not allowed… he gets irritated.”
To elaborate, he gave the case of Pune Cantt, where the shortest route to a communal graveyard (Kabristan) heads through the Cantonment. “We have closed this road. So the civilians have to take a long detour to reach the Kabristan. Now, while a person waits at the road to reach the Kabristan, he can see someone bringing groceries for an officer and being allowed to move on the road, but he himself will not be allowed . You are irritating people by closing roads. If you have to manage security, then manage it. Right now, you have a false sense of security when you feel that you are secured in a closed environment… We can’t put civilians away. People will start becoming hostile because they will think that the Army feels above everyone else,” he told.
Secunderabad Cantonment, where still 14 roads are closed despite all the orders, residents are hopeful that at least this time, Local Military authority will take up the issue seriously and open the roads, as the word now came from the Army Chief. Pankaj sethi, a resident of Yapral tweeted: “ Hats off to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) for his clear headed explanation on the Cantonment Road closure issue. Sir, you have won the hearts of the long suffering public. Reopen the roads immediately. #CanttRaods4All.”
C.S. Chandrashekar, Secretary for Federation for North-Eastern Colonies of Secunderabad said: “We are happy to hear that COAS gave a clear statement. We hope now at least, the Local Military Authority and General Officer Commanding in-Chief would open the roads which were illegally closed. Still, if orders are not followed, it would send wrong information of disobedience to their superiors, which would not be a good situation for the Nation.”