Army chief General VK Singh called “absolutely stupid” the report that the government was jittery on January 16-17 night due to troop movement not notified to the defence ministry outside Delhi. He said it was an attempt to “throw muck” at the government and the army.
The Indian Express story came at a time when relations between the chief and the government were strained following controversies over his date of birth, his bribery allegations, the leaking of his letter to the Prime Minister and his seeking a CBI probe against a serving three-star general, bypassing the defence ministry.
Gen Singh, who is visiting Nepal, had forewarned in an interview to The Week magazine on March 13 that routine army exercises could be projected as an attempt to do “something else” for “nefarious aims”.
He told the magazine: “If somebody has any doubts, they should come and face us. They won’t because they know they are wrong.”
The magazine didn’t make much of the comments then, but ran the story on Thursday, a day after The Indian Express said two army units moved towards Delhi on the day Gen Singh became the first serving chief to go to court against the government on the date of birth issue.