General V P Malik defends Army on Kargil controversy

Former Army Chief General V P Malik, who led the troops during the Kargil operation defended the Army against the tribunal`s decision.

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."


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