Lucknow: The Indian Army is alert to security issues on the Sino-Indian border and is prepared for the security and defence of the nation, a top commander said on Wednesday.

Referring to China as a 'competitor', Lt. Gen. Anil Chait, the new head of the Lucknow-based Central Command, said at his first press conference that the command was 'aware of the security issues on the border and would like to assure the people that the Indian Army was prepared for the security and defence of the nation'.

When asked if the army was also ready to take on Maoist guerillas, he said that in case they were asked to do so, 'the army was alert and ready to do what was expected of it'.

However, 'such a situation has not arisen', he said.

He said the charter to fight Maoists lay with the home ministry and the army was at the periphery, socially networking and rehabilitating alienated people.

On the command's role during emergencies and natural calamities, Chait said 200 columns always were ready to provide assistance to the state governments in rescue operations.

Referring to last month's incident of pilgrims getting stranded in Kedarnath due to heavy snowfall, he said the armymen reached the spot within four hours.

The Central Command, which covers Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, is celebrating its golden jubilee.


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