Army Chief in combat mode, says no role in leak

Last Updated: Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 12:05

New Delhi: Facing demands for his
dismissal, Army Chief Gen V K Singh today said the leak of his
letter to the Prime Minister presenting a grim picture of the
force`s defence preparedness should be treated as "high
treason" and the source of leakage dealt with "ruthlessly."

The assertion by the General to trace the source of the
leak came even as Defence sources said that Intelligence
Bureau has been asked to inquire into leakage of the letter to
the media.

As tensions between him and the government escalated
over the leak of his official letter to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, Gen Singh hit back saying a "cynical approach"
to tarnish his reputation should stop.

In a brief statement released by Army Headquarters, Gen
Singh, who is currently in Jammu and Kashmir, further said his
official communication with the Prime Minister and Defence
Minister is "privileged" communication.

"The leakage of the letter should be treated as high
treason. Cynical approach to tarnish my reputation should
stop. Sources of the leakage should be found and dealt with
ruthlessly," said Singh, who is due to retire on May 31.

Singh`s leaked letter led to demands by SP, JD(U) and
RJD for his dismissal yesterday even as Government and
Opposition were agreed his concerns should not have come out
in the open.

There was a strong demand to launch a probe how the
letter was leaked to the media. It was also felt that the Army
Chief should have first raised his concerns on the risk to the
country`s security directly with the Defence Minister. The
General was also accused of breach of discipline.

The media leak of the letter came on top of an acrimony
between the Army Chief and the government since early this
week over his media interview in which he had claimed that he
was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore by a retired Lt Gen for
swinging a sub-standard defence deal.

"I have made serious note of the observations. After
consulting the Prime Minister and colleagues, we will take
appropriate action," Antony said in Rajya Sabha yesterday
after members expressed serious concerns over issues of
national security.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 11:32

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