`Movement of Army units a routine exercise`

Chairman of the Parliamentary standing committee on defence Satpal Maharaj sought to downplay the controversy over the alleged unnotified movement of two Army units.

Dehradun: Chairman of the Parliamentary
standing committee on defence Satpal Maharaj on Sunday sought to
downplay the controversy over the alleged unnotified movement
of two Army units towards the capital in mid-January, saying
such exercises are routinely held.

"The Army troops` movement in the month of January was a
routine exercise and such exercises are routinely held,"
Maharaj, a Lok Sabha member from Pauri, said in a statement
here.

He said the Indian Army has full faith in the
Constitution as well as the high values of democracy and is
committed to protecting them.

Maharaj, however, did not comment on whether the Army
should have notified the government on such movement.

Members of Parliament had on April 4 quizzed Defence
Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and Army Vice Chief SK Singh on
a media report of "suspicious" movement of troops near the
capital in January but they dismissed it as baseless.

Sharma and Singh, appearing before the Parliamentary
panel, said it was normal process of testing the preparedness
of the armed forces, sources said.

Army Chief Gen VK Singh, too, has dismissed reports of
"unusual" movement of two elite units of army towards the
capital, calling it "routine" for which there was no need to
"notify" the government.

PTI

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