New Delhi: Stung by Union Minister Jairam Ramesh`s protest, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh on Monday said he will ensure that there is no inconvenience to anybody when his convoy moves.
"As far as not respecting the traffic sense and rules are concerned, I have passed very clear orders that our Military Police should not be anywhere," he said at a press conference here.
"I respect the law of the land and I respect the position of any minister. It has to be done in a democracy. I know my place, therefore I will ensure that when my convoy moves, it does not cause any inconvenience to anybody," he added.
His comments came days after Ramesh, Rural Development Minister, was stuck in a jam here when traffic was stopped by Military Police for the movement of the Army Chief`s convoy. An agitated Ramesh then shot off a protest letter to Defence Minister A K Antony. The Army Chief also called him to apologise.
"I called him up as a soldier, I regretted that I caused inconvenience to him," he said.
The Army chief noted that policing is a state subject, the local police should control the traffic.
"The traffic will be managed by civil police, it is their right, their job. Let them prioritise the traffic movement. If they need to give priority to somebody, may be somebody much below the chief, so be it," Gen Singh said.
Referring to Ramesh`s remarks on `lal batti` (red beacon) culture and security convoys, the Army chief explained that since he is a `Z plus` security protectee, a particular number of vehicles have to move in his convoy.
"We are a democracy and I respect the democratic norms. The road sense got to be followed. We got to respect the sensitivities of our countrymen," he added.
The Rural Development Minister had said he would write to Antony about Military Police taking over Delhi Police`s duty and clearing the routes for service chiefs when they move around the national capital.