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Army admits to Siachen ration scam

The Army has admitted to the involvement of its men and officers in blackmarketing rations meant for soldiers in the Siachen glacier, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2008 00:14 IST
Arun Joshi
Arun Joshi
Hindustan Times

The Army has admitted to the involvement of its men and officers in blackmarketing rations meant for soldiers in the Siachen glacier. The first investigation by the Army has found 13 of them guilty and another inquiry is yet to be completed.

On the basis of the first inquiry, the Army has ordered "disciplinary action" against 10 soldiers and "administrative action" against three officers.

The nature of the action and the exact details of the findings of the court of inquiry were not revealed in an Army release issued on Saturday.

The Army spokesman also did not mention the rank of the officers involved in blackmarketing of special rations such as tinned food, energy drinks and other items in the markets in Leh.

Claiming its transparency in investigating such matters, the Army claimed that it is probing the whole affair and has offered "full cooperation" to the state police in the investigations and rebutted charges that it was shying away from the probe.

Disclosing the outcome of its investigations into the scam, which came to light in July 2007 when the special rations meant for soldiers deployed in the glacial heights of 18,000-plus feet at the Siachen glacier were seized from shops in Leh market by the police, the Army spokesman said two courts of inquiry were launched into the scandal.

The spokesman, Lt Col Seh Dev Goswami, however, said the second probe is on and would be completed shortly.

Regarding charges of Army running away from the cooperation with the police on the issue, he said, the Army had extended full cooperation and continues to do so.

The spokesman found fault with the police, saying that two of the five officers named in the reports were never posted in Leh, while two officers have been posted out. "And the one still there is available for all queries."

"In respect of the two officers posted out, the police has been requested to intimate the allegations against them, so that the case can be taken up for their move to Leh," the spokesman said, adding that the police had not responded to the request so far.