Retired General confirms report that UPA feared coup in 2012
The then DGMO has said he was summoned by the then defence secretary and asked to send the troops back immediately and submit a report the subsequent day.
While the Indian Army and the government have for two years denied a report by The Indian Express on the movement of Army units in January 2012 that the UPA government reportedly perceived as threatening, one person has come on record to verify the incident. Recently retired Lt-Gen AK Choudhary, who was Director General of Military Operations at the time, has told the paper that the "highest levels" of the UPA government were indeed spooked by the unexpected movement of troops.
The government was worried enough that then defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma summoned him. He was asked to send the troops back immediately and file a report to the government the following day.
Sharma, according to the The Indian Express report, told Choudhary that he had "just come back from the highest seat of power and that they are worried".
The Indian Express first had a full-page report on the alleged threatening movement of two units of the troops, allegedly at the behest of then Army chief VK Singh. Singh had responded by calling the allegations the imagination of a very fertile mind.
According to the report in the paper, Choudhary alluded to distrust and immaturity between the top brass in the government and Singh, who was moving Supreme Court against the government on the same day as the sudden movement of troops towards Delhi, January 16, 2012.
Two units had made unexpected movements that night, one a mechanised infantry unit from Hisar and a paratroopers unit from Agra.
Choudhary said he had already halted the movement of the Hisar unit before meeting Sharma, following a call from a senior officer in charge of formations, who reportedly told the DGMO that intelligence agencies were concerned by the action.
“I told him (Sharma) that this was an exercise and I have already told them to stop and take a different route. He said to me that they should be told to go back quickly. I said that they will go as per the drill as there is method to their movement and in any case they would have gone back after the exercise," the report quotes Choudhary as saying.
He says the movements were routine exercises that had been discussed before.
When the former DGMO asked specifically about why these troops had come so close to Delhi, the officer in charge of the corps had said the "route was like that only".
Read the complete Indian Express report here
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