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Adarsh scam has shamed force: Army chief

Source: PTI
November 04, 2010 20:35 IST
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Indian Army Chief General V K Singh on Thursday said allegations against top military officers including some former services chiefs in the Adarsh housing society scam in Mumbai has "shamed" his force and its image taken a "beating".

Singh also said he was "extremely saddened" at the scam and vowed that no one will be spared if the officers are proved guilty irrespective of who it is. "I am extremely saddened and I think as an institution we have taken a beating. Among the 1.3 million army men this would be a very minuscule percentage, but any incident affecting the hierarchy in the army is a sad thing because it also tries to break a bond that we have with our men. It is painful to say the least," Singh told the news channel CNN-IBN.

The army has already said it is carrying out an inquiry into the Adarsh controversy in which a high-rise building has been constructed in alleged violation of rules with beneficiaries being former services chiefs, politicians and bureaucrats. Singh said the Army will depend on the defence ministry for a different kind of inquiry.

From the army's point of view, it will try to find out institutional failures, he said. "We will try to find out where things went wrong, who is responsible." The Army Chief also admitted that there were some blacksheeps in the army, but added that it was not something that was widespread.

"I think it is a personal mission for every officer in the army that we ensure that our values that we learnt in Indian Military Association remains in our heart and remains uppermost in our head," Singh said.

"Today we are telling people to Stand up if you feel there is something wrong and I assure my officers and my men if they stand up and say what is wrong, the system is such which will ensure that nothing goes wrong with him." he added.

Singh said the army is not allowing things to go haywire but what is certainly happening is that more cases come to notice because "transparency has increased."

Former army chiefs General N C Vij and General Deepak Kapoor, ex-navy chief admiral Madhavendra Singh, former army vice chief Lieutenant General Shantanu Chowdhary are among those who have been alloted flats in the controversial 31-storey building in upscale Colaba area. Singh made it clear that none of the guilty will go unpunished if the guilt is established. Asked whether army men today felt pain and a sense of shame in the wake of the scam, Singh said, "Yes, they do. I think so because nobody knows what the truth is but when it is played out this way obviously people will start saying there is something wrong. I think it will have a great amount of psychological impact."

Singh also said the intention of those asking anything for the martyrs will now be doubted. "People are in operation every day in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast. People are going to say anybody who is asking for something for martyr in his family is probably looking for personal gain and that is the saddest part of the episode," he concluded.
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