‘Adarsh, a security threat’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Adarsh, a security threat’

Brigadier Deepak Saxena, general commanding officer (GOC) of the Army headquarters (Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa) said, on Tuesday, that senior defence officials, who had interests in the controversial Adarsh housing society had compromised security and given the society a no objection certificate (NOC).

mumbai Updated: May 04, 2011 01:19 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

Brigadier Deepak Saxena, general commanding officer (GOC) of the Army headquarters (Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa) said, on Tuesday, that senior defence officials, who had interests in the controversial Adarsh housing society had compromised security and given the society a no objection certificate (NOC).

Saxena, who was being questioned by the two-member commission probing irregularities in Adarsh, admitted, “A security threat (due to the Adarsh building) persists, it was always there, but these people compromised their stance on security.”

He said this with reference to a question by the counsel of the commission, Dipan Merchant, over a September 30, 2004, letter signed by Colonel BK Sinha giving the green signal to Adarsh, saying it posed no threat to security.

Saxena said, “Sinha wrote for the station commander. During this period, the GOC was major general TK Kaul, an interested party.”

Sinha’s letter was in response to a letter from director general of defence estates, ministry of defence, dated September 29, 2004, (a day earlier) asking local authorities on the security threat implications of the “proposed conversion of this land into a multi-storeyed building”.

Similarly, Saxena also blamed major general AR Kumar, GOC in 2000, when the Army signed an NOC for the construction of Adarsh. The then colonel quartermaster SS Jog granted the NOC, on April 5, 2000, despite apprehensions over the possibility that land records were tampered with. “Jog was not an interested party but he was serving under an interested party namely Kumar, whose son owned a flat in the society,” he added.

During the examination, Saxena said at least 35 defence officials were interested parties and said he could submit a full list. He named major general AR Kumar, TK Kaul, VS Yadav, general Tejinder Singh, general RK Hooda, brigadier PK Rampal, lt general GS Sihota, colonel RK Bakshi, brigadier PK Sinha, brigadier AC Chopra, brigadier MM Wanchu, major Ashish Tandon among others. He said with the exception of Wanchu, all had applied for membership of Adarsh.

While Saxena insisted that the Army had never handed over possession of Kukri Park (plot on which Adarsh building stands) to anyone, he could not explain how the Army did not take any action against the construction of the building.

Merchant repeatedly asked Saxena if the Army had taken any action against so called interested parties for compromising security, granting NOC or for recovery of land from the state. Saxena replied in the negative. He also had no reply when asked if the Army had formally challenged a January 24, 1968 letter written by military defence officer PM Dudhani that Block 6 (on which Adarsh stands) does not wrest nor is it hired or requisitioned by the defence establishment.