Make 1962 war report public: War veterans
The statement signed by 143 veterans said the report should be made public so that “the military-bureaucratic-political system and the public” can learn from past mistakes.Updated: Jul 10, 2020 04:11 IST
Amid the border row in eastern Ladakh and worst tensions there since the 1962 India-China war, a group of military veterans led by former navy chief Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas (retd) has petitioned the government to de-classify the “un-redacted” Henderson Brooks-Bhagat report on the reasons behind India’s defeat in that war.
The statement signed by 143 veterans said the report should be made public so that “the military-bureaucratic-political system and the public” can learn from past mistakes.
“There can be no sensible reason for this report remaining secret even after 57 years,” said the statement e-mailed to the President, the Prime Minister, the defence minister, the chief of defence staff and the three service chiefs. The signatories to the statement include six retired three-star military officers.
Australian journalist Neville Maxwell made portions of the report public in March 2014 by uploading it on the internet, triggering a debate on India’s military defeat in the war and the events that led to it. The report practically held the entire civilian and military leadership responsible for driving the country into a war it wasn’t prepared for. The veterans demanded the setting up a fact-finding body to look into “the intrusions, incursions and encroachments by China” in Depsang, Galwan, Pangong Tso and other places, urging that it should table its in Lok Sabha within a time-bound framework.
The veterans sought an overhaul of the country intelligence system. “The incident at Galwan Valley (on June 15) could only have happened because of failure at one or more levels in the political, civil and military establishments, especially in continuous intelligence acquisition and dissemination,” the statement said.