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Army fails to save 'ketchup colonel'

Defence ministry turns down reinstatment of Harvinder Singh Kohli who is accused of splashing his men with Ketchup, reports Rahul Singh.
Hindustan Times | By Rahul Singh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 04, 2008 01:51 AM IST

The army’s last-ditch efforts to save ‘Ketchup Colonel’ from disgrace have failed. The Ministry of Defence has rejected the army’s plea that Colonel H.S. Kohli’s dismissal from service in November 2004 be toned down to “loss of seniority.”

Kohli had earned the sobriquet of `Ketchup Colonel’ after he faked photos of ‘slain militants’ by splashing tomato sauce on them in August 2003 near Silchar in Assam. Kohli, who was commanding an artillery regiment, was dismissed after he was found guilty of faking kills for gallantry awards.

Kohli was sacked but his brigade commander Brigadier Suresh Rao, who allegedly ordered his subordinates to fake kills, was let off the hook with seven years loss of seniority in 2006. The army had suggested that Kohli be slapped with five years loss of seniority. The MoD, however, saw no rationale in the army’s plea.

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