Dhumal takes ground row to PM

Last Updated: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 21:29

New Delhi: Upping the ante over the row with army over a piece of land in Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister P K Dhumal on Monday complained to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the "interference" and indiscipline" by the force.

Dhumal also met Defence Minister A K Antony as part of efforts to take control of Annandale ground even as Army Chief Gen V K Singh insisted that the 24-acre land in Shimla was the "only place" suitable for strategic purposes.

Gen Singh, however, sought to control damage over Western Command`s press statement that national security could not be ignored for "game and gimmicks" as he said it would be rectified. An inquiry was also ordered into the same.

Dhumal said he met the Prime Minister over "the way the army people are interfering" on the Annandale issue.
He alleged, "indiscipline is increasing and Army officers are making press statements. Indiscipline in central forces is an issue of serious concern."

Asked whether he would be going ahead with his threat of filing a defamation case, he said, "some press statement has been given (by the army). I have said if an unconditional apology is tendered it is fine, otherwise I am filing a defamation suit in the court."

Dhumal had yesterday threatened to sue the army, whose Western Command had contended that national security could not be ignored for "game and gimmicks".

He insisted today that "the allegations are without any basis... I don`t know why such a statement has been given. Now, let them face the result of giving such statements."

Later Dhumal met Antony and hoped that the action will be taken in the case.
PTI



First Published: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 21:29

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