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Defence secy, army vice-chief grilled on troop movement

April 04, 2012 15:56 IST

Members of Parliament on Wednesday quizzed Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and Army Vice Chief S K Singh on a media report of suspicious movement of troops near national capital New Delhi in January, but they dismissed it as baseless.

Sharma and Singh, appearing before the parliamentary standing committee on defence, said it was normal process of testing the preparedness of the armed forces, sources said.

The two were asked to appear before the committee to brief members on recent controversies dogging the armed forces, including the deal to procure Tatra trucks for the army.

However, the newspaper report which said that on the night of January 16-17 an entire mechanised infantry unit based in Hisar with its fighting vehicles began moving towards Delhi, the day Army Chief Gen V K Singh approached the Supreme Court on the age issue, dominated the proceedings on Wednesday.

Committee Chairman Satpal Maharaj asked the defence secretary and the army vice chief to appear before the committee on April 9 with complete facts related to the issue, they said.

Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM), P J Kurien (Cong), Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (BJP) and Ram Kirpal Yadav (RJD) raised the issue at the meeting of the parliamentary committee.

Several members felt that such reports created fear in the minds of the people as it was related to civil-military relations.

A section of the members also felt that such reports could send a wrong message to the world.

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