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Adarsh no threat to defence installations: Lt Gen (Retd)

A retired army official told the Adarsh commission that the 31-storey building in Cuffe Parade was,according to him,not a security threat on account of its proximity to defence installations.

A retired army official on Tuesday told the Adarsh commission that the 31-storey building in Cuffe Parade was,according to him,not a security threat on account of its proximity to defence installations.

The statement comes less than two weeks after retired Chief of Army Staff Deepak Kapoor made a similar claim,saying that the possibility of security threat did not occur to him and that there are a number of buildings of a similar height in the area.

On Tuesday,Adarsh society member Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh told the two-member panel,“In our analysis,the proposed building of the Adarsh CHS was not a security threat to the Army… According to me,any high-rise building in the said area is not a security threat to army installations.”

The statements of the two officers are in sharp contrast to the official stand of the Ministry of Defence,which claims that the 31-storey structure is,in fact,a threat to nearby defence installations. In February this year,the Army had also filed a petition in the Bombay High Court demanding that the Adarsh building be declared a security threat.

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Defence Minister A K Antony,in a statement to mediapersons on July 21,also reiterated the official stand of the Army stating that it is a threat to nearby installations. In his deposition,Singh also said it was being discussed “among the entire Army that there was a housing society coming up in Colaba where defence officials could apply for membership.”

He also said before applying for membership of the society,he had ascertained whether the land had in fact been allotted to Adarsh,as also the terms and conditions subject to which the allotment was made.

Meanwhile,Brigadier (retd) M M Wanchoo,one of the promoters of the society,claimed in his statement that according to him,the by-laws of the society were never amended to include 40 per cent civilians.

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Also,he recalled that he was secretary of the proposed Adarsh society in the year 1994,adding,“Our idea was to form a society of mainly serving and retired defence officers.”

On Monday,Wanchoo had told the commission that former chief minister Ashok Chavan suggested the inclusion of 20 per cent civilians in the society.

First published on: 01-08-2012 at 01:05 IST
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