Cong backs report of troop march to Delhi; India’s ex-army chief rejects view

(From PTI)

Reviving the 2012 troop movement controversy, leader of India’s Congress party Manish Tewari said The Indian Express report about two key Army units moving towards Delhi without notifying the then UPA government was “unfortunate but true.”

V.K. Singh

V.K. Singh

Union Minister and former Army chief V.K. Singh, who had in 2012 dismissed the report, on Sunday slammed the Congress leader for his remark, saying “he [Manish Tewari] has no work these days.”

Replying to a question at a book release function on Saturday, Tewari, who was Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in the UPA government between October 2012 and May 2014, said: “At that point of time, I used to serve in the Standing Committee on Defence. And it’s unfortunate but the story was true.”

The Congress leader was asked about the media coverage of issues pertaining to the defence forces as in the case of The Indian Express report on April 4, 2012, titled, “The January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt.”

The Indian Express reported that the government had, for 18 hours starting from the night of January 16, feared possible action by soldiers in support of the then Army Chief V.K. Singh, who earlier that day moved the Supreme Court seeking a revision of his date of birth.

Singh said the Congress leader should be told to read his book which talks about the issue.

According to The Indian Express report, Central intelligence agencies had reported that on the night of January 16, there was an unexpected — and non-notified — movement by a key military unit from the mechanised infantry based in Hisar in the direction of the capital.

On the same night, another unit — identified as a large element of the 50th Para Brigade based at Agra — had also been moved towards Delhi, according to the newspaper report.

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