The countdown to the winding up of a clandestine military intelligence unit — accused of tapping the phones of top political leaders earlier this year — has begun.
The so-called technical support division (TSD), innocuous moniker for the secret unit, was controlled directly by former army chief General VK Singh (retd), who took on the government over a dispute on his age a battle he eventually lost in the Supreme Court.
Highly placed army sources said on Wednesday, “A committee has been formed under Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia, director general (infantry), to look into the winding up of the TSD in the backdrop of snooping allegations against it.”
Gen Singh (retd) had created the intelligence unit after he took over as the chief in April 2010. HT was the first to report on August 22 that the army had constituted a board of officers to probe the mandate of the TSD, tasks executed by it and scrutinise its financial records. The snoop unit had a budget of about R18 crore, a chunk of which is suspected to have been diverted on activities beyond its mandate.
The sources said the army wanted to fix responsibility before disbanding the unit.
In a related development, the army is also scrutinising the funds spent by the military intelligence (MI) wing.
The MI reportedly incurred excess expenditure to the tune of Rs 25 crore.