Army arranges special train to ferry personnel to formations along Pak, China borders

NEW DELHI: Around 950 Army personnel on Friday left for Jammu from Bengaluru on a special train for their deployment in various field formations along the border with Pakistan, military officials said.

Another train is set to operate from Bengaluru on Saturday to take another group of Army personnel to the North Eastern region for their deployment in forward posts along the border with China, they said.

The trains were arranged following approval from the Union Home Ministry and the Railways to facilitate deployment of the personnel at various frontline field formations along the borders with the two countries, official sources said.

The Railways has suspended all its passenger trains till May 3 in sync with the nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The Army personnel are returning to field formations after completing professional courses at Army training establishments at Bengaluru, Belgaum and Secundrabad, the sources said.

The sources said all personnel have undergone mandatory quarantine period and are medically fit, adding the train is scheduled to reach Jammu on April 20.

All laid down measures recommended by competent authorities to insulate the personnel were taken including sanitising the bogies of the train, the sources said.

The second train to ferry army personnel to units deployed in the Northeastern region will go to Guwahati via New Jalpaiguri.

The Indian Army has taken a series of measures to insulate its 13 lakh personnel from the coronavirus pandemic.

India went under a total shutdown of 21 days from March 25 to April 14 to fight the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extending the lockdown till May 3.

The Indian Army on Thursday directed all its military establishments, cantonments, formation headquarters and field units to totally restrict movement of forces till April 19 in view of the government’s fresh lockdown related guidelines.

The order also mentioned that offices in Army headquarters, command headquarters and formation headquarters would start functioning with 50 per cent manpower from April 19 to May 3.

It said all training activities and temporary duties will remain suspended till May 3, adding directions on actions to be taken post the lockdown period will be issued on receipt of fresh orders from the government.

Last month, Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane issued instructions to insulate the 13 lakh strong Army from the coronavirus pandemic.

Gen Naravane also conveyed to the families of the soldiers guarding India’s borders with Pakistan and China that the Army is taking care of its personnel serving the country in this difficult time. (AGENCIES)

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