|We are the families of armed forces personnel living in various cantonmnents in India. With regard to the referred matter we would like to put forth the following points
1. The cantonments ( herein after referred to as cantts) are our homes for the duration and time of service of the member of our family serving the country in uniform. We take extreme pride and care in maintaining high standards of living within its premises.
2. Our children play in parks fearlessly, study in schools mostly located within the cantt premises and grow up in these cantts learning to be respectful of the environment and abide by the motto that cleanliness is next to godliness.
3. The soldiers who are posted to border areas can do their duties without any worry about their families back home because usually they are safe and secure in the Separate Family Accomodations in cantt areas.
4. Most family accomodations, parks, shopping complexes, movie theatres and other places where we avail of fauji amenities are not enclosed by boundaries in most cantt areas. Your order regarding the opening of roads will greatly affect the security of these places.
5. Each one of us has lived in cantts for several years and has never heard of events such as eve teasing, littering and other petty crimes. Your decision has lead to removal of all barricades and check posts and stoppage of all checking by sentries leaving us seriously vulnerable to such incidents.
6. Till date we could stay safely within the cantts knowing no matter what the dangerous nature of the jobs of our serving family member is, his/her family is secure in a cantt. The sense of safety and security was wiped away in an instant with your order to open cantt roads.
7. In today’s civilian society even the smallest apartment complex, mall, theatre has security guards put in place by the management. In your eyes we do not deserve even this minimum security that our civilian counterparts enjoy. With your order you have taken away the right of the armed forces personnel to protect his own home.
8. It is moot to bring to your notice once again that the attacks by terrorists on army camps have increased in recent times as we, the family members are seen as soft targets. Before your decision is defended on the grounds that cantts in sensitive areas will not be opened for public thoroughfare let us assert strongly that every single cantt is a sensitive area. Nothing stops an anti national element from attacking a unguarded soft target with open access anywhere in the country.
9. In the case of occurrence of such an incident as above mentioned PLEASE inform us who in your Government will take responsibility for the same. FURTHER, HOW YOU CAN ASSURE THAT SOLDIERS WILL NOT GO AMOK IF THEIR NEAR AND DEAR ONES ARE HARMED BY ANEs COURTESY SUCH ORDERS.
10. We have been extremely aggrieved by this decision to open all roads and the methodology that is being followed to implement the said order as it puts us in the path of mortal danger and affects our rights enshrined in the Constitution under Article 21. MORE PAINFUL IS THE FACT THAT ALL WAS DONE TO APPEASE THE VOTE BANK SQUATING ON LANDS ABUTTING THESE CANTTS. WE MAY NOT A COLLECTIVE VOTE BANK FOR ANY POLITICAL PARTY BUT FACT REMAINS OUR DEMOCRACY HAS SURVIVED SO LONG DUE TO SACRIFICES MADE BY OUR SOLDIERS AND SUPPORT EXTENDED BY US TO THEM TO CARRY ON ASSIGNED DUTIES.
11. Also kindly note that the State has a moral duty to ensure the minimum safety of families of armed forces personnel living within cantts while our men/women in the forces are gone for long hours, months or years protecting our country.
12. We proudly state that we are THE STRENGTHS BEHIND THE SOLDIERS the pillars on which our armed forces stand and we shall come forth and fight, adopting all legal recourses available to us, when our security, our safety and OUR WAY OF LIFE is threatened.
13. In light of the above mentioned points, please review your order regarding opening of roads in cantts and the methodology being used to enforce the said order and let this reversal be implemented with same electrifying speed as it was done to open it.
14. One would agree that even commercial places like malls are small offices have checks at their gates … the list is unending…. so it seems in the order of priority the armed forces of the nation don’t stand anywhere…… they should be on the road and live like second class citizens in the same nation where they are not able rather allowed to protect themselves….. it’s a black day for you as the supreme commander of armed forces…… who is so disconnected with its own forces. Even Hr managers speak to its employees as a routine…..have you ?
15. It’s not just about roads ….. it’s respect and dignity…. the incidents outside gates really show that your organisation which you head is not respected…… so why don’t you remove the army laws too which makes serving soldiers akin to bonded labor. These bonded labor at all levels don’t have the right to voice IIRC ….which has given the country a wrong opinion of the armed forces.