Sujay Mehdudia

NEW DELHI: Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Friday came out strongly against the practice of using the armed forces for sundry jobs in States.

“We do not encourage that the armed forces should be used as an extension of the para-military forces to deal with law and order problems,” Mr. Antony said on the sidelines of a function got up for the release of the new Defence Procurement Procedure.

As a policy, the armed forces should be kept away from policing duties, as they have to play a vital role in safeguarding the country’s long borders, he said.

Asserting that the States were best equipped to deal with ordinary law and order problems, he said: “And if they are not, they always have the option of calling in the para-military forces. Calling in the armed forces should only be done under extraordinary situations,” he said.