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Himachal CM to voice opposition to shifting of ARTRAC

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Shimla, Feb 14 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Thursday said he opposed the reported move of the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) from the state capital to outside the state and will raise the issue with the Centre.

"The government will make every effort to ensure that the ARTRAC is not shifted out of Shimla. We will raise the matter strongly with the Centre," Thakur informed the state Assembly.

"A delegation of army officers, serving and retired, met me on Wednesday and expressed their concern over it. I personally feel that ARTRAC should not be shifted out of Shimla," he said.

"Defence has its own internal strategies, but I personally feel that the prestigious institution should remain in Shimla.

"I will take it up with the Defence Ministry also. The government will send its concern in writing to the Centre. The ARTRAC should not be shifted out in any situation."

Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri cited media reports to say that there was a move to shift the ARTRAC from Shimla.

Thakur said that there was no official communication for shifting the ARTRAC that has been based in Shimla since March 1993 after it was moved from Mhow in Madhya Pradesh. It houses several British-era buildings.

He said Himachal Pradesh is small but has a big contribution in defending the borders of the country, which cannot be ignored.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who came to Dharamsala recently, had also recognised the continued contribution of Himachal soldiers in defence," he said.


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