Army wants probe into actions of Gen VK Singh's secret intel unit
The Army has requested the Defence Ministry to order a high-level probe into the functioning of a top secret intelligence unit set up by Gen VK Singh.
New Delhi: The Army has requested the Defence Ministry to order a high-level probe into the functioning of a top secret intelligence unit set up by Gen VK Singh, suspecting it of carrying out "unauthorised operations" and financial wrongdoings.
The Army report about the Technical Support Division, which was accused of illegally tapping phones of senior Defence Ministry officials, has been submitted to the Defence Ministry recently and it has recommended a probe into the functioning of the unit, sources said here.
When contacted, Army Headquarters said the matter was closed on its part and it would not like to comment on it. Sources said the Army does not want to carry out inquiry against the unit on its own as it does not want to be seen as taking action against its former chief.
The report was prepared by Director General Military Operations Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia as part of a Board of Officers (BOO) formed by Gen Bikram Singh to review the functioning of the top secret unit set up under his predecessor.
Reacting to the reports, Gen V K Singh said, "This is simple vendetta as some people are not comfortable with me sharing the dais with Narendra Modi to espouse the cause of ex-servicemen in the country."
He said if anyone has recommended a probe into the functioning of the unit, then that person is "talking through his hat" as its operations were meant to be secret.
It is learnt that the report submitted by the Bhatia-led committee has stated that TSD was allegedly involved in "unauthorised operations" which may have taken place even across the border without the proper clearance from the higher-ups in the Government.
The operations carried out by the unit in Jammu and Kashmir have also been questioned by the Bhatia committee and it is learnt that the unit has been accused of using funds against top serving officers.
The unit has also been accused of being involved in financial wrongdoings to the tune of Rs 8 crore.
The funds for the unit had been stopped at the time when present CAG Shashikant Sharma as Defence Secretary had refused to provide finances to it due to lack of clarity on the way they were being spent by the formation.
At the time of reviewing the operations of the TSD, it is learnt that the Bhatia Committee was also looking into the alleged misuse of Military Intelligence funds to file court cases during Gen V K Singh's tenure against senior officers.
The TSD was formed during the tenure of Gen V K Singh and its existence came to light in March last year when it was alleged that the unit had tapped the phones of Defence Ministry officials at the height of the controversy over the then Army Chief's date of birth.
The process to disband the TSD was initiated recently after the new Army Chief took over and its officers and men have been posted out from there.
The TSD was reporting directly to the then Army Chief Gen V K Singh and it was alleged that the unit may have snooped into the conversations of people even outside the Defence Ministry using its off-the-air interceptor equipment.
National Minorities Commission Chairman Wajahat Habibullah criticised former army chief V K Singh for taking to streets against the Delhi gangrape case asking whether rape charges against personnel of the force in J&K have ever been enquired into.