New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony today reportedly asked the armed forces to adopt a liberal approach to pleas for leave. Chairing a meeting to review cases of fratricides and suicides in the armed forces, Mr Antony asked the three chiefs of the armed forces to ensure that all leave applications are responded to immediately, according to reports.
Mr Antony directed the Ministry officials to talk to the Railways Ministry to ensure that jawans get confirmed reservations in trains while going on leave, Ministry officials said here.
"At the meeting, Defence Minister said the three Services should ensure that all the leave applications of jawans are responded to promptly by their officers-in-charge and adopt a liberal approach in this regard," they said.
Mr Antony will reportedly write to all states and union territories asking them to sensitise authorities to take prompt action to sort out issues involving those in the armed forces, say sources.
The Ministry of Defence will also ask all states to create district level grievance cells to look into problems of men and women in the armed forces, sources add.
Mr Antony has also reportedly asked the Defence Institute of Psychological Research or DIPR to conduct a study to find out causes of stress among officers in the armed forces.
The meeting comes after the Defence Minister told Parliament that a stand-off between officers and soldiers of an armoured unit had taken place on August 8 after the suicide of a jawan.
In the same written reply, the Minister had said over 25,000 soldiers had quit the force in the last three years pre-maturely.
According to the records, 62 people from the armed forces have committed suicide in 2012; 103 in 2011, 115 in 2010, 96 in 2009 and 123 in 2008.
(With inputs from PTI)