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Ex-Army chief VK Singh hits back, calls destabilisation allegation ‘most absurd’

Last Updated: Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 23:27

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: A day after a huge controversy erupted over allegations that an intelligence unit set up in 2010 by retired General VK Singh misused secret funds to try and topple the Omar Abdullah government in Jammu and Kashmir, the former Army chief said that anyone who says that the unit in question — Technical Services Division (TSD) — is a private army doesn`t know anything about the armed forces.

"Anyone who says that this (TSD) is a private army, doesn`t know anything about the armed forces," General Singh told ANI news agency in an interview.

He called the destabilization allegations as "motivated and most absurd”.

The former Army chief said if the unit (TSD) was allowed to function properly, the cross border terrorism would not have happened, adding that “the (TSD) unit was not a personal unit of the Chief of Army Staff.”

"If this unit (TSD) was allowed to function properly, the cross border terrorism you are seeing today, would not have happened," he further stated.

Gen Singh also took the opportunity to hit back at the newspaper which had published the report saying a campaign was being run against him. “The whole report is hogwash and motivated,” he added.

"This (TSD) unit was totally a human intelligence unit. Anyone ascribing anything else to it, is only indulging in vilification," General Singh said.

Alleging that some people are behind the ‘orchestrated campaign’ against him, the ex-Army chief said that it’s very interesting that first he was accused of toppling the Indian Government and now the J&K govt.

"There are allegations that I was trying to topple the J&K government. I should put out an ad: Government Girana Hai to contact me, (Contact me if you want to topple the government). It`s laughable," said General Singh.

"What the J&K CM (Chief Minister) is saying is motivated and is his personal agenda," General Singh said further, adding "all that the Army has done in J&K is to stabilise. There is an agenda now, because elections are coming".

Gen Singh said he was being targeted because he had shared the dais with BJP leader Narendra Modi at an ex-servicemen`s rally in Rewari, Haryana last Sunday.

About a newspaper`s allegation that the ex-Army chief had paid off an NGO to try and change the line of succession in the army top brass, Gen Singh said, “If I wanted I could have stopped Bikram Singh`s succession.”

“There is a case against Bikram Singh in court, if we wanted to cause problems we could have,” the ex-Army Chief said.

The media report has claimed that General (Retd) Singh set up a special unit in the Army which tried to destabilise the J&K government.

The media report claims that a secret Board of Officers inquiry has recommended that the CBI look into the matter.

The media report also claims that the unit set up by General (Retd.) Singh called the Technical Services Division, a part of Military Intelligence, tried to block General Bikram Singh`s promotion.

The media report said that the Board of Officers` recommendation has been examined by the Prime Minister`s Office (PMO) and the Ministry of Defence.

The Defence Ministry had yesterday said it will decide on its course of action over the Army report on TSD after its careful examination while asserting it had measures in place to prevent any such undesirable activities.

Stating that the report "impinges on matters of national security", the Ministry in a statement, however, said it has not yet taken a decision on going for a CBI inquiry.

The Board report was prepared by Director General (Military Operations) Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia as part of a Board of Officers inquiry formed by Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh to review the functioning of the top secret unit set up during the tenure of his predecessor.

First Published: Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 15:51

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