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Answer questions instead of issuing denials: Express

Stung by criticism for it's article on the unannounced movement of two units of the Indian Army, The Indian Express has asked why, in the flurry of denials and retributions coming from the government, no one has addressed the obvious trust deficit that exists between the civilian government and the military establishment.

Standing by its report that detailed how unauthorised troop movements towards Delhi on the night of 16 January 'spooked' the political establishment, the newspaper says the main questions raised by its story - why the troops were moved without defense ministry authorization, why the Prime Minister and Home Minister were notified and why the troops were then sent back - have not been answered.

The Express says that in the flurry of denials, key questions are not being answered: AFP

"Answers to these questions should not be substituted by peremptory denials. Otherwise, they will linger", it said in an editorial today.

The newspaper goes on to say that both the government and military must accept that there is a problem of trust, that has been exacerbated over the past few years due to what it calls "protracted absence of judgement in the civil and military leadership."

It adds that the situation has been made all the more worrying by the "dangerous anti polices mood that has been building up over the past year or so", warning that denial in these circumstances is the wrong option.

The newspaper had also defended its report yesterday saying that all the facts in the story had been cross-checked before publication.