Seeking to put a lid on fresh controversy following The Indian Express report over movement of two Army units near Delhi in 2012, Defence Minister A K Antony Sunday said the Indian military is a responsible force which obeys the civilian government’s decisions and in no circumstances there will be a military coup.
“In no circumstances there will be a military coup in India. Since the last seven years I have been associated with the Indian defence forces — those in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard — with not only those on top but the jawans and personnel on the border region also. I can say one thing with conviction. Indian military is a responsible force. While the military takes decisions on operations, it obeys all policy matters taken by the civilian government. There is no need for any concern,” Antony told reporters here on the sidelines of a Coast Guard Investiture ceremony here.
The so called movement of the Army was a “routine training exercise” only. It is a ‘closed chapter”, he said.
Antony was replying to a query on the fresh controversy that erupted on the movement of two Army units near Delhi two years ago with the then DGMO Lt Gen A K Choudhary stating that there may have been “distrust” between the Army and government on the issue.
“There is no need for any worry. I have full faith in the military and there is no remote possibility of a coup,” Antony said. The revelation was “not new”. In 2012, Antony said, he had given replies to Parliament three times – twice for starred questions and once on an unstarred query, he said adding it was there in Parliament records.
‘No question of compromise’
Defence Minister A K Antony Sunday said there was no question of any compromise with regard to the case relating to the two Italian marines who had allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast in February 2012. “Government policy is that as per Indian rules the case will go ahead. There will be no compromise. We are not going back in any way in the case. We are going ahead with the case as per Indian laws,” he said. He was replying to a query on whether there was a softening of India’s stand on the issue after the Law Ministry concurred with the External Affairs Ministry on the non-applicability of the anti-piracy law.
‘Corrective actions being taken’
On criticism against the Navy over the recent mishaps, including the Sindhurakshak tragedy, Antony said all such incidents have been taken seriously. He said that the Navy has ordered a court of enquiry, based on which corrective action was being taken.
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.