Phone tapping row: Army chief terms it `fiction`

Reacting to reports that he had deployed interceptors for clandestinely listening to phone conversations, Army chief dismissed them as "fiction".

Hyderabad: Reacting sharply to reports that
he had deployed interceptors for clandestinely listening to
important phone conversations, Army chief General V K Singh
today dismissed them as "fiction" and hit out at the media.

"Fiction does not require any reaction. If people concoct
stories and some of the irresponsible editors allow those
stories to get published, I don`t think it requires any
reaction," he told reporters here on the sidelines of a book
release function.

An anonymous detailed complaint received by the
government in recent days lists several allegations against
the Army chief, including possible misuse of off-the-air
interceptors to listen in on phone conversations in the
national capital.

The complaint says the deployment was part of an effort
to eavesdrop on conversations between key people who may have
decided the government strategy on Gen Singh`s age issue.
Asked about his letter to the Defence Ministry over
shortage of ammunition in the Army, Gen Singh said he had
apprised the ministry about the status of various inventories.

"The Raksha Rajya Mantri is aware. Our efforts in the
last two years have been to ensure that the operational
preparedness of the Army improves. In that there are a large
number of measures. Periodically, we have been apprising the
ministry as to how things are going, what are the shortages
and what action needs to be done," he said.

Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju was by Gen
Singh`s side when the General talked to the media.

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