Troop movement report exaggerated: Defence Secy

Last Updated: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 13:42

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma on Monday said the controversial report published by The Indian Express group recently about the unathourised movement of two Army units was wrong and highly exaggerated.

According to a TV news channel, which quoted a source, Sharma, while deposing before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence to clarify over the issue, said it was a regular exercise conducted by the Indian Army.

Sharma further told the Parliamentary panel that the Army does not need a prior permission from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to carry out such exercises.

He also categorically rejected report suggesting a possible coup attempt by the Indian Army and maintained that the civil-military ties were as strong as ever.

Sharma was summoned by the Parliamentary panel to clarify in the aftermath of an Indian Express report claiming that the Army had moved its two units towards Delhi on January 16 without notifying the government.

Sharma was also quizzed by the panel regarding the shocking disclosures made by Chief of the Armed Staff Gen VK Singh about serious gaps in the country’s defence preparedness.

It has been learnt that Army Chief Gen VK Singh may also be called for questioning by the panel.

General Singh had recently triggered a controversy when the contents of his confidential letter addressed to the Prime Minister`s Office (PMO) about the state of Army and the hollowness in country’s war preparedness was leaked to the media.

Meanwhile, the MoD is also likely to give a detailed response on the report in `The Indian Express` that alleged unauthorised troop movement had taken place on the January 16 this year.

This was the second meet of the Standing Committee on the controversies surrounding the Army. In the first meeting, questions were raised on the report in `The Indian Express`.

General Singh had termed the media report as “baseless and defaming”.

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First Published: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 09:29

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