Confirming the findings of an Army inquiry panel into the dubious workings of a secret intelligence unit set up in 2010 by the then Army Chief General V K Singh,the government on Friday said it had taken steps to prevent such “undesirable activities” but is yet to decide about ordering a CBI inquiry.
“The report impinges on matters of national security and,as such,the government will take a decision and further actions after a careful examination of the report,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said,confirming that the government had received a report from Army headquarters about the functioning of the now-disbanded unit called Technical Services Division (TSD).
“It is further clarified that the MoD has not taken any decision for a CBI inquiry into the issues raised in the Army’s report,” Kar said.
The Indian Express on Friday reported that a Board of Officers inquiry report had found that the TSD used secret service funds to bribe a Jammu and Kashmir minister to engineer a change of government in the state,pay off an NGO to try change the line of succession in the Army top brass,buy off-air interception equipment and to conduct unauthorised covert operations,among others.
The board,led by Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia,DG,Military Operations,recommended that an external agency such as the CBI should take up these findings,submitted to then defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma around March this year. The board’s report has been examined at the highest levels in the MoD and the PMO.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the government has taken cognizance of the Army inquiry report,which among others found the Technical Services Division misused funds to try and topple the Omar Abdullah government in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The contents of the report which have been mentioned in a newspaper today are under the active consideration of the government and if at all any malfeasance is found against any serving or retired officer,appropriate action would be initiated by the government. The government has also put in place
measures to enure that there should never ever be a repeat of some of the things alleged in the report,” he said.
Tewari said the facts brought out in the report are “extremely sensitive”. Asked about the possible action against the retired Army Chief and his team said to be linked to the issue,Tewari said it was not a question of being individual-specific but it is more of a systemic and structural issue “wherein there are alleged actions which impinge upon the larger ambit of national security”.
Asked whether a CBI probe would be ordered,Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said,”We are looking into the matter”.
Asserting that the government take such matters extremely seriously,Tewari said,”If it is found after the probe that facts are true,then action will be taken against those who are allegedly involved in it,whether they are in service or have retired.”