General V P Malik defends Army on Kargil controversy
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Last Updated: Thursday, May 27, 2010, 21:45
  
Shillong: Former Army Chief General V P Malik, who led the troops during the Kargil operation, today said Brigadier Devinder Singh's case was an "aberration" and it will be "unfair" to suggest that the complete war history needs to be rewritten.

"To pass the judgement on the entire Indian Army and to suggest that complete war history was fudged and the Kargil Review committee report be rewritten, I think this is unfair. This does not take away the entire good work done by the Army. This is an aberration," he said here.

Gen Malik's comments come after the Armed Forces Tribunal indicted former 15 Corps Commander Lt Gen Kishan Pal for showing bias against then 70 Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier Devinder Singh and fudging battle accounts of the Kargil war. It has been contended that due to the 'fudged' accounts, Brig Singh was awarded only a Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) and not a Mahavir Chakra, which he was cited for.

Kargil was the most "well-documented and transparent" war India has ever fought, Malik said adding, the issue was between Brig Devinder Singh, the Division Commander and the Corps Commander.

Asked about Brig Singh's claims that there was a difference of opinion between him and Lt Gen Pal on the estimation of intruders, the former Army Chief said, "by the time I visited his Brigade sector, we had the cabinet permission to treat it as a full-fledged war with Pakistan Army and not militants."

Brig Singh had contended that as per his estimates, over 600 intruders were sitting on the top of hills whereas his Corps Commander believed the numbers to be around 45 only.

Agreeing that injustice was done to Brig Singh, Malik said, "I had personally intervened to get the former 70 Brigade Commander a VSM."

Asked if the Army should appeal against the verdict, Malik said whatever order has been given by the Tribunal, the Army should follow it.

In Chandigarh, Brig Surinder Singh who commanded the 121 Infantry Brigade in Kargil during the war and faced inquiry over his role during the intrusion to the Indian territory, said, "the case of Brig Devinder is a small tip of the iceberg. Complete truth of the war should come out. The nation will have to investigate that why so many people died".

Blaming the senior leadership of that time for the death of over 500 soldiers in the war, he alleged, "this case was a straight case of senior commanders trying to save their skin."

PTI


First Published: Thursday, May 27, 2010, 21:45


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