NEW DELHI: The Defence Ministry is working on a new policy for using Army for civilian causes. The Defence Secretary has been directed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to look into the matter so that a controversy is avoided the next time. In fact, senior army officers also believe that using army for such an event as the world cultural festival sets a ‘wrong precedent’ but admit there is nothing illegal about it. At present, the Army can be requisitioned by either the Chief Secretary or the Director General of Police of a state.
It is not the first time that the Army has been involved in a private event. It had built two pontoon bridges for a Yanni concert behind the Taj Mahal on the banks of Yamuna in 1997, sources said. In the instant case, Delhi Minister Kapil Mishra had written to Parrikar seeking pontoon bridges of the Army. Defence sources said the decision to rope in the Army was taken keeping people’s safety in mind. “Lakhs of people are expected. There is a question of law and order and also fears of stampede. Permission has been granted to host the event,” sources said.