April 5th, 2012
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The Indian Express stands by its report

shekar-guptaNew Delhi: The Indian Express has stood strong by the credibility of its alarming story that revealed the allegedly suspicious uninformed movement of the armed forces towards Delhi. The newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta in a statement published in Indian Express said, “The report is a meticulous reconstruction and a very sober interpretation of the movement of two key Army units towards New Delhi on the night of January 16-17.”

He also stated that the report was based on information gathered from credible sources that have chosen to keep their identity anonymous. The report is also said to be a result of investigation that lasted more than six weeks.

“The Indian Express sent a detailed questionnaire to the Army and the Ministry of Defence and accurately reported their responses in the report. These responses were reiterated by them on Wednesday. Neither sides explained why the Ministry of Defence wasn’t notified, why the troops were suddenly asked to go back and what explanation was offered, if any, by the Army to the government,” they stated.

In an interview with Rajdeep Sardesai, Mr Shekar Gupta reiterated, “The story is not beyond anything that is stated in facts here. If you see the last paragraph, we say that these are the facts, these will now be denied, but the whys and the hows and that what next of this will be debated in times to come.”

Indian Express team of reporters 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”.

However the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister has defended the armed forces and have termed the report “alarmist” and “baseless”. 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.


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