Never tried to destabilise J&K govt: Ex-Army chief VK Singh

Under scanner over reports that attempts were made to topple the Jammu and Kashmir government during his tenure as Army Chief, retired Gen VK Singh on Tuesday termed such allegations as baseless and laughable.

Updated: Sep 24, 2013, 13:59 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Under scanner over reports that attempts were made to topple the Jammu and Kashmir government during his tenure as Army Chief, retired Gen VK Singh on Tuesday termed such allegations as baseless and laughable.

Talking to a news channel, Singh said, "I never tried to topple Jammu & Kashmir government ever. An attempt is being made to malign my reputation, defame me."

The former Army chief also made a scathing attack on the Indian Express group for carrying a malicious campaign against him.

"Can you believe the false and malicious reports being published by The Indian Express group, which once accused me of plotting a military coup," he said adding, "Indian Express stories are not credible."

Gen Singh continued by saying, "It is this group which is alleging that a secret unit set up by me tried to topple the J&K government, which is a laughable claim."
When questioned what he has to say about claims that "certain J&K ministers" are given money by the Army for "stability" and that this has been going on since Independence, he said, "I never said this. All this is false. No money has been paid to any minister."

Singh, who is in the eye of the storm over the charges, said that he is being framed because of his links with BJP`s PM candidate Narendra Modi.

Gen Singh hit hard by saying, "The accusations against me are false and motivated. Army transfers money to all the ministers in Jammu and Kashmir. Because there are various things to be done and ministers have to do so many things as part of the stabilising factor in the state and for organising various activities."

He also rubbished charges that he tried to scuttle his successor Gen Bikram Singh`s chances of becoming the Army Chief.

"This is incorrect. I have said this number of times," he said.

"Army had no link with the NGO YES Kashmir, which had filed a PIL against present Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh in connection with the 2001 encounter in Kashmir when he was a Brigadier," he added.

"If I so intended to do then Army would have changed its statement regarding the fake encounter in 2001 in which Bikram Singh was involved," he stated.

He also ridiculed those who were openly talking about Army`s covert operations and its various secret missions, which is not in the interest of the nation.

"First of all those who are talking about the secret unit should be asked to tell their source. It is inappropriate to talk about Army`s confidential matters in the open. Army does not manage the secret funds for covert operations," he said.
Gen Singh, whose tenure as the Army Chief was shrouded in a controversy over his date of birth, argued, "Kashmir is a different issue altogether. A lot of things are done where you do a lot of civic and youth work. For all this, money is needed. A certain amount of money is given for these works. Where is the problem?

He was responding to allegations that a minister in the J&K Ghulam Hassan Mir was paid Rs 1.19 crore by the Technical Support Division (TSD) set up during his tenure to destabilise the state government.

Interestingly, Mir today refused to confirm that he ever received money from the TSD.

In the wake of allegations against VK Singh, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today asked him to reveal the names of the ministers to whom money was given.