Manish Tewari: Indian Express story on troop movement unfortunate but true

Manish Tweari: “In so far that particular story you are referring to, that time I used to serve in the Standing Committee on Defence and it is unfortunate but the story was true. Story was correct."

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: January 10, 2016 3:47 pm
Army troop movement, Army movement Delhi, Delhi army movement, Delhi army movement Indian Express, Army movement Indian Express Former Union Minister Manish Tewari. (Express Archive)

The Indian Express report ‘The January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt’ (April 4, 2012) was “unfortunate… but true,” Manish Tewari, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in the UPA government between October 2012 and May 2014, said Saturday.

Tewari, who was a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence when the report appeared, gave this answer in response to an audience question at a book release function in New Delhi.

express story apr 4 2012-759 Front page of The Indian Express published on April 4, 2012.

The Original storyThe January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt

He was speaking at the event after launching former Principal Information Officer I Ramamohan Rao’s book ‘Conflict Communication — Chronicles of a Communicator’ at the India Habitat Centre.

Video | Indian Express story on troops’ movement ‘true’: Manish Tewari (App users click here)

Asked about media coverage of issues pertaining to defence forces — as in the case of the 2012 The Indian Express report on troop movement — Tewari said, “In so far that particular story you are referring to, that time I used to serve in the Standing Committee on Defence and it is unfortunate but the story was true. Story was correct.”

Gen V K Singh reacts: He has nothing to do these days”

Later, speaking to The Indian Express, Tewari said: “I was a part of the Standing Committee on Defence and I recall that in April of 2012, after the story appeared in The Indian Express, there was a briefing of the committee done with respect to the story. During the briefing, the Defence ministry maintained the stand that the government had officially taken. Privately, the officials involved in the briefing confirmed to me that the story ‘may just be true’.”

Tewari declined to elaborate citing breach of parliamentary privilege.

“After the briefings, a draft report was prepared by the Standing Committee on Defence — chaired by Satpal Maharaj — where adverse references had been made to The Indian Express. After I took up the case, these references were expunged from the draft report. Shiromani Akali Dal’s Naresh Gujral had also supported me in that endeavour. The reason I had strongly objected to those strictures against the newspaper was because of what I had been told by responsible officials that The Indian Express story ‘may just be true’. It would be a tad unfair to expect officials to say anything beyond that, at least in our system,” he said.

In its report, The Indian Express had stated that late on the night of January 16 (the day the then Army Chief, General V K Singh approached the Supreme Court on his date of birth issue), intelligence agencies had reported an unexpected (and non-notified) movement by a key military unit, from the Mechanised Infantry based in Hisar as a part of the 33 Armoured Division in the direction of Delhi. A large element of the airborne 50 Para Brigade based at Agra was also observed moving towards Delhi around that time.

The then Defence Secretary, Shashi Kant Sharma, was asked to cut short his visit to Malaysia and return. He opened his office at 11 pm on January 16 and asked Lt General A K Choudhary, the then Director General Military Operations (DGMO), to see him and explain what was going on.

The DGMO was asked to return with full facts about the movement, and was told to send the units back immediately. Both the military formations were halted, and sent back within hours.

The Defence ministry had then called the report “baseless”. General (retd) V K Singh had denied the report.

Read | Lt-Gen A K Choudhary: ‘Troop movement should’ve been avoided if they knew (V K Singh’s) court date’ 

Incidentally, Lt Gen A K Choudhary later confirmed the troop movement and late-night meeting to The Indian Express. He said he had clarified all the issues to the Defence ministry in an official note on January 17, 2012.

(Click here to read the story in Hindi)

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  1. A
    Amit
    Jan 9, 2016 at 5:38 pm
    Nobody believes IE or Tiwari
    Reply
    1. S
      Sirius
      Jan 10, 2016 at 4:43 am
      Preparation for washout of next parliamentary session ! In my opinion, this controversy has been deliberately unleashed for that purpose by the lead opposition party member who himself faked health issues so as to avoid losing in lok-sabha elections ...
      Reply
      1. C
        Chander Pal
        Jan 9, 2016 at 11:25 pm
        A Pygmy with a banana given by sonia and he thinks he is an intellectual. Can't be taken seriously
        Reply
        1. J
          Jim
          Jan 10, 2016 at 1:28 am
          It was a a l l story totally paranoid and overblown
          Reply
          1. T
            Tony
            Jan 10, 2016 at 6:45 am
            Shame on this newspaper ....be ve
            Reply
            1. A
              Ak sriv
              Jan 10, 2016 at 3:39 am
              Loser Manish Tewari.. He should be subjected to Lie Detector Test, and if the movement of Army Column comes out to be true, then action should be taken against the that time cabinet / defence Minister / PM / and this dolt Tewari for sleeping through it and hiding the problem below the carpet... The government that time should be held solely responsible for not taking any action..
              Reply
              1. O
                Ops Zibraltar
                Jan 10, 2016 at 4:31 am
                indian express is owned by rp goenka group and familly who was the biggest puppet of indira hi and was rewarded with treasurer post of thirumala temple for his services to the hi familly and even today this indian express group continues to support and protect the culprits and hide the truth for benefitinng there congressi masters, be it encouraging an illiterate like aamir khan to propagate lies in indian express conclave or publishing stupid and made out stories , every now and then to tarnish the image of modi government and to bring forward another like rahul hi for the post of prime minister of india. this news paper is only full of lies and nothing to do with clean and honest press or journalism.
                Reply
                1. V
                  Vikrant
                  Jan 10, 2016 at 5:25 am
                  Just confirms that UPA was governed by an impotent leadership who had no moral strength and hence movement of 2 armored division made them pi$$ in their pants. These cowards didnt had guts to accept this fact for 4 years
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Vikrant
                    Jan 10, 2016 at 5:31 am
                    There is a big difference between father and son. RP Goenka was the only person who took on Indira hi during emergency while all other publishers and editors were crawling at Indiras feet. His son Vivek Goenka is now doing what his father had refused to do.
                    Reply
                    1. R
                      Rudram
                      Jan 10, 2016 at 5:27 am
                      One of India's great accomplishments since Independence is keeping the Armed Forces under civilian control. I pray we continue that tradition for the next hundred years and more....
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        aneel
                        Jan 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm
                        Manish Tiwari who did not stand in the general elections is now championing 5he cause if India. This coward who hid under the cover of health reasons when he clearly knew that He would lose us now trying to reestablish himself on the Indian political scene and media is giving him undue presence.
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          Arun
                          Jan 10, 2016 at 1:22 pm
                          VK Singh had moved troops to stage a coup . He must resign, taking responsibility.
                          Reply
                          1. अशोक.गोविंद.शहा
                            Jan 10, 2016 at 12:37 am
                            vande mataram- If the story was true why then PM manmohansinh kept quite? why other than official concern can be trusted? Govt have every power to crush such anty national uprising Now Manish speak but why then he keep quite? ja g te r ho
                            Reply
                            1. अशोक.गोविंद.शहा
                              Jan 10, 2016 at 2:57 am
                              vandemataram- it is very foolish that express asking for athoraisetion from defeated coorupts? it looks like that express did not bother if its credibility bite dust ? after four years why express have re open the issue ? and why it had not persued at that point of time the story up to its ligical conclusion? why then m m sing did not take any action why V K sing being elected by people? congres and its 420 netas are not trust worthy but how about express that alune sing differant tune and against modi govt? ja g te r ho
                              Reply
                              1. B
                                bimalwilliam
                                Jan 10, 2016 at 3:24 pm
                                Good Chamchagiri but of no use. Even the congress rejected his story. This is the best way to be in limelight.
                                Reply
                                1. V
                                  Venkatraman Shenoy
                                  Jan 10, 2016 at 12:59 am
                                  In office or out of office, Sonia's Goebbels will keep his uncontrolled voice chords free to spew garbage. Indian Express sadly needs people like the discredited Tiwari to bloster its fake case. Gen.Singh's charge of pressutes against the editors of Express just became more plausible.
                                  Reply
                                  1. C
                                    CC
                                    Jan 10, 2016 at 4:35 am
                                    In all probability it may be a lapse in following protocol and procedure and not a coup attempt. Nevertheless public confidence is paramount and to that effect an unbiased probe need to be conducted into that incident
                                    Reply
                                    1. D
                                      din
                                      Jan 10, 2016 at 10:49 am
                                      This also proves and hold credibility of Indian Express and news they publish with responsibility, WHY troop was moving to Delhi could have ANOTHER REASON and hope they were not following congress party’s order to repeat Indira Ghandi’s 1975 emergency to kerb opposition! or other revelation of major corruption by other sources. Tiwari, Digvijai, Syble, Surjewala, Maken, renuka and Sharma seemed very defensive Protecting what scam we may perhaps will never find out if they destro evidences with help of their sleeper cells NOW get activated to oppose and attack and Modi for everything To them their politiacl stay is more important then the Country
                                      Reply
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                                        Raj
                                        Jan 11, 2016 at 8:42 am
                                        Indian Express printing stories to defend its own pathetic reporting..... Now that Manish Tiwari is jobless he is making sounds - but kept his mouth shut when he was in power ? Why ? Gen VK Singh and many other generals all have written and condemned the Indian Express's false reporting - but apparently Indian Express continues to stick to its false stories .
                                        Reply
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                                          Gaurav J
                                          Jan 10, 2016 at 5:19 am
                                          A military coup overthrowing Italian Mafia from power... would've been the most prideful event in the history of India. All the corrupt congis, Sickulars , communists, Mullahs, Missionaries and rest of the traitors of India would've been bagged and tagged in no time, no fIR, No trials, Instant justice. Indians would've loved a coup at that time. JAI Bharat
                                          Reply
                                          1. G
                                            Gaurav J
                                            Jan 10, 2016 at 8:16 pm
                                            All the conflicts in India and rest of the world are happening because of some stupid religious supremacy bullsh*t. stan is not going down because of the military dictatorship, it is going down because of religious supremacy, and so will Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,Yemen, Turkey and Israel. Atheists have given great things to the Humanity, most of the prominent scientists and Ministers who shaped the future of India were atheists. Swatantra Veer Sawarkar, the founding father of RSS and Hindutva, was an atheist. We do not have time to fight for religious supremacy when our common enemies, Capitalism and communism are crushing us as we speak.Capitalists and Communists are responsible for inciting hatred among communities to keep us busy fighting while they push forward and implement their hidden agendas. Every time we bicker among ourselves, the enemy profits and grows in power. I urge all people who still have faith in humanity to join hands wit h atheism and everything else that divides us people and unite against our common enemy. After all Hinduism is not a religion anyway, so it'll be easier for hindus to unite. Our bigger challenges are Muslims and Christians. If we want to stay united , we should not pay attention to Mullaahs and Maulawis and Evangelics and Missionaries. These people are the agents of capitalism and communism who incite hatred among people to gain profits and push us towards Communism. And person who strictly follows and wants to convert other people to their religion is an agent of communism and we need to wake up and unite to make India a better place.
                                            Reply
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