April 4th, 2012
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Indian Express reports are alarming and baseless

army-suspicious operationNew Delhi: “These are alarmist reports and should not be taken at face value,” Dr Manmohan Singh told journalists while commenting on the Indian Express report that allegedly exposes the suspicious uninformed movement of the armed forces towards Delhi. “The Defence Ministry has already clarified its position”, the PM added.

Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar dubbed the report as “baseless and incorrect”. “The points raised in the report have already been clarified by the Army…such exercises are conducted by the Army from time to time,” he said.

Indian Express team of reporters have brought out a shocking and surprising story which according to them were deliberately obscured from the public for more than 11 weeks. The report cites suspicious movement of Army units towards Delhi on January 16-17 earlier this year.

According to the newspaper report ‘late on the night of January 16 (the day Army Chief General V K Singh approached the Supreme Court on his date of birth issue), central intelligence agencies reported an unexpected (and non-notified) movement by a key military unit, from the mechanized infantry based in Hisar (Haryana) as a part of the 33rd Armoured Division (which is a part of 1 Corps, a strike formation based in Mathura and commanded by Lt Gen. A K Singh) in the direction of the capital, 150 km away.’

Lookouts were said to be alerted which confirmed the movement and they identified an entire unit of Mechanised Infantry, with its Russian-made Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs), carried on 48 tank transporters. The airborne 50 Para Brigade based at Agra also is said to have initiated a military movement towards Delhi.

According to the report, the Defence minister and the prime Minister was alerted about the suspicious movement and both the columns were being tracked and “watched”. Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma was asked to cut short his visit to Malaysia and he returned immediately.

Lt Gen. A K Choudhary, Director General Military Operations, in his explanation to the Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma said, ‘the Army was carrying out exercises to check its ability to make quick deployments of key units during fog. He was told to send the units back immediately. Both formations were halted, and sent back within hours.’


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