Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor on Friday ruled out existence of a network of communal elements within his force, maintaining that the case of the alleged involvement of a serving lieutenant colonel in the Malegaon blast was an 'aberration'.
He also made it clear that the Army would initiate internal action against Lt Col Srikant Purohit, an accused in the Malegaon blasts case being prosecuted by the Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS).
Kapoor said in an interview to PTI that the Army was reviewing its internal mechanisms and processes to further strengthen them so that such incidents do not recur.
"Yes. That (it is an aberration) I still maintain. It is totally an aberration. And it has happened," Kapoor said.
He was asked whether he still maintained that the case of Purohit was an aberration.
To a question whether they had found any network (of people like Purohit, accused in the Malegaon blast case being prosecuted by the Maharashtra ATS) within the Army, he said "No, No. Implicitly I can say without doubt that we have done our checks, a whole series of checks."
Kapoor said the Army's organisational culture and nationalistic secular ethos were deep-rooted and strong. "So are its internal mechanisms which are comprehensive and time-tested to prevail over any negative influence amongst its personnel."
He said their approach in dealing with possible negative influences and likely aberrant behaviour was multi-pronged that included a comprehensive screening and selection process at the time of initial intake.
An intense institutionalised process for continuous building of ethical and moral code amongst all personnel since the time of intake, a well-developed and intimate command and control structure and institutional feedback mechanism to enable monitoring of adverse influences and pre-emptive remedial action and finally a very responsive and deterrent disciplinary mechanism were the other features of the multi- pronged process, he said.
Kapoor said notwithstanding the outcome of the ongoing investigative and judicial process in the Malegaon case, the Army took incidence of any and every aberrant behaviour of the personnel very seriously.
"We continuously review our internal mechanisms and processes so as to further strengthen and keep them effective against newer challenges that emerge with changing times," he said.