Army chief General VK Singh has struck again. This time against a Lieutenant General tipped to be in his position in 2014.
Barely a week before his retirement on May 31, the chief has issued a showcause notice to corps commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag for alleged lapses in handling a failed intelligence operation in Assam’s Jorhat district last year.
The notice has charged the 3 Corps GOC with “abdicating responsibility” and acting in a “most unprofessional and lackadaisical manner” in handling an intelligence and surveillance unit in the Northeast.
This is not the first time the chief has tried to initiate action against Suhag.
In a development that took defence minister AK Antony by surprise in March, the chief dug out a May 2011 letter by a Trinamool Congress MP and directly sought a CBI probe against Suhag, who was accused of corruption by the politician. The government refused to initiate a probe as the matter had already been investigated and nothing was found against Suhag.
The latest issue stems from the proceedings of a probe ordered by the Eastern Command to investigate the circumstances under which a 3 Corps intelligence unit conducted an operation in Jorhat on December 20-21. Sources said a jawan had allegedly stolen a weapon and mobile phone during the operation.
Suhag has been asked to reply to the notice within seven days, failing which an ex-parte decision may be taken against him. The three-star officer is due for promotion to the rank of army commander on May 31.