What the report said
THE report appearing in The Indian Express today said that late on the night of January 16, central intelligence agencies reported an unexpected and non-notified movement by a key military unit from the mechanized infantry based in Hisar (Haryana).
This was the day Army chief Gen VK Singh had approached the Supreme Court on his date of birth issue. The newspaper report states lookouts were alerted as a routine step. This was as part of a protocol put in place in June 1984, when some mutineers from Sikh units had moved towards national capital in the wake of Operation Bluestar.
The lookouts confirmed the movement of what looked like a sizeable unit.
It was soon identified as an entire unit of mechanized Infantry with its Russian made armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) carried on 48 tank transporters. There was concern as no such movement had been notified. Further, the Army Day celebrations had ended on January 15.
The situation turned into further alarm when reports came in of yet another military movement ‘towards’ Delhi, the report claims.
This unit was identified as a large element of the airborne 50 Para brigade based at Agra.
The lookout was activated south of Delhi as well and the column was identified.
By this time both the columns were being tracked and ‘watched’.
The report says the defence minister was informed and the Centre put in motion an old contingency plan to delay such a move. An alert was issued to police to check all vehicles on the highways leading to Delhi in a bid to slow down the traffic.
The Prime Minister was informed about the developments in the early morning hours of January 17.
The report further states that defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma was asked to cut short his visit to Malaysia.
The defence secretary opened his office late at night and sought an explanation from Lt Gen AK Chaudhary, Director General Military Operations.
Lt Gen Chaudhary called it a routine exercise. The Army’s explanation was that it was carrying out exercises to check its ability to make quick deployments of key units during fog.
The DGMO was told to send back both the units immediately.
The newspaper states that Army’s explanation of it being a simple fog-time exercise was viewed with scepticism at the highest level.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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