Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K govt

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Vishwarupa, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    Misusing secret service funds to destabilise the Omar Abdullah government in Jammu and Kashmir, to pay off an NGO to try change the line of succession in the Army top brass, to buy off-air interception equipment, to conduct "unauthorised" covert operations — a string of alleged irregularities by the Technical Services Division (TSD), a controversial Military Intelligence (MI) unit set up by former Army Chief General V K Singh in May 2010, should come under the scanner of an external agency like the CBI.
    Related: Rs 8 crore missing from unit set up by ex-chief V K Singh, Army tells MoD

    This is a key recommendation of a secret Board of Officers inquiry report into the functioning of the TSD. The inquiry was led by Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia, DG, Military Operations.

    Related: MI unit under probe on verge of closure

    The report, which includes original Army documents and notings, was submitted to the then Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma around March this year. It has rattled the security establishment and prompted a series of measures to curtail MI's powers, tighten monitoring of its covert operations and its use of secret service (SS) funds.

    April 5, 2012: The January night Raisina Hill was spooked

    Government and Army sources have confirmed to The Indian Express that a summary of the report has been put up by the Ministry of Defence to Minister A K Antony who is understood to have instructed that its contents be brought to the notice of the Prime Minister's Office. The report has been examined, sources said, at the "highest levels" in the MoD and the PMO.

    National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon is known to have chaired more than one high-level meeting to discuss the report and follow-up action.

    Sources said the report contains financial details of withdrawals of SS funds from accounts of the State Bank of India that match payments claimed by TSD officials — in their statements to the Board — for specific operations. It, however, cautions that given the covert nature of these operations, there is an element of "deniability''.

    Significantly, the Board of Officers inquiry took detailed testimonies of key personnel of the Army's Intelligence Corps who were attached to TSD units, including Colonel Hunny Bakshi, who handled its key operations.

    There are also statements from other senior MI officials who were not associated with TSD but have confirmed what they described as "siphoning'' of large sums of money for purchase of snooping equipment and operations.

    The Indian Express has learnt that the report cites testimonies of officials on money taken from SS funds for operational expenses by the TSD at the expense of other commands and field units. These claims include:

    * Rs 1.19 crore given to Ghulam Hassan Mir, presently Agriculture Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, to engineer a change of Governmrnt in Jammu and Kashmir. When contacted by The Indian Express, Mir called the charge baseless.

    * Rs 2.38 crore was given to one Hakikat Singh on orders from Army Headquarters. Hakikat Singh set up an NGO named "Jammu and Kashmir Humanitarian Service Organisation (JKHSO)," which was linked to "Yes Kashmir," another NGO which filed a PIL against then Army Commander Bikram Singh (who is now the Army Chief) in the alleged fake encounter case in Jangalat Mandi when Bikram Singh was a Brigadier. That PIL, which was later dismissed, was widely seen as an attempt to scuttle Bikram Singh's appointment and change the line of succession in the top brass.

    * Rs 8 crore was spent on purchase of interception equipment from a Singapore-based company in November 2010 ostensibly meant to be deployed in the J&K 15 Corps. In March 2012, following orders of the then DG, MI, Lt Gen D S Thakur, the equipment was physically destroyed. Incidentally, this happened days after a report in The Indian Express on the illegal use of this equipment in New Delhi.

    * Frequent foreign travel by TSD officials to places like London and Dubai using their personal and not official passports and of specific TSD officials "doctoring'' documents to tarnish Army officers.

    Officials in the MoD and PMO familiar with the Bhatia inquiry report told The Indian Express that with such details, the Army could well have initiated action against serving and retired officials but it has instead submitted the original records to the Ministry, leaving the final decision to them.

    Indeed, when contacted, the Army spokesman said: "The case (the Bhatia report) has been closed from our side."

    Said a top PMO official: "The problem confronting us while dealing with the TSD report has been two-fold. One, those running the TSD appear to have covered their tracks well and destroyed crucial evidence; two, the statements contained in the inquiry report have no legal sanction. In fact, if they are faced with a court martial or CBI inquiry, these officials can turn around and deny everything they have admitted before General Bhatia.''

    Sources also said that before he demitted office in May, then Defence Secretary Sharma gave instructions that MI should now submit a quarterly statement of expenditure of SS funds to the Ministry of Defence.

    The Government has also taken up the issue of a strict charter and mandate for the MI given that the agency is required to engage itself in only counter-intelligence and anti-militancy operations on the border and not conduct any covert or clandestine operations like the TSD did. Also, instructions have been given that, henceforth, no special units, such as the TSD, are to be raised without authorization from the Ministry of Defence.

    INTERMEDIARY TELLS EXPRESS: GEN SINGH SAID YOU WILL GET IT IN THE NECK IF YOU PUBLISH

    FORMER ARMY Chief General V K Singh was contacted on telephone by The Indian Express on September 17 but did not respond to calls or text messages. The next day, he was sent a set of questions seeking his comments on the TSD and the findings of the inquiry report.

    TO CONFIRM the email's receipt and to again try and reach Singh, The Indian Express contacted Kunal Verma, a photojournalist commissioned by Singh — when he was Army Chief — to write a set of three pictorial books on the North-East.

    ON SEPTEMBER 19, Verma called this reporter early in the morning with an offer to fix a meeting with Singh. A few hours later, he said Singh had told him to convey that "he does not wish to speak to The Indian Express and should the newspaper write anything about me they will get it in the neck".

    VERMA CLAIMED that Singh was unable to read the email since he was shifting residence and could not access it on his phone since it was not functioning. Verma asked for the email to be copied to him which The Indian Express declined to do.

    LATER IN THE EVENING, however, PTI reported Singh as saying: "This (an apparent reference to the Bhatia report) is simple vendetta as some people are not comfortable with me sharing the dais with Narendra Modi to espouse the cause of ex-servicemen in the country."

    HE TOLD PTI that if anyone has recommended a probe into the functioning of the unit, then that person is "talking through his hat" as its operations were meant to be secret.

    Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K govt, block Bikram Singh: Army inquiry - Indian Express

    All this because VK SINGH joined BJP?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
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  3. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    Just saw this news today morning !!!
    What the hell is happening in our army???:sad:
     
  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    Politicization of the military is not a good thing. Just because VK Singh and BJP have been courting each other, does not mean he has to be elevated to a divine platform. If there are allegations, let the law of the land deal with it. He is innocent until proven guilty. In other words, just because someone accuses him of doing something wrong, does not make him guilty. Similarly, just because someone accuses Congress of trying to implicate him, does not make Congress guilty.
     
  5. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    Prima facie this looks to be another hatchet job being executed through the Indian Express. One does remember the supposed secret push of an Army Brigade to Delhi without informing the MOD. That incident fell flat on it's face when there was no independent verification and the actual facts proved otherwise.

    It is amazing, why would a serving Army Chief ry to topple an elected state Government.

    This needs to be investigated and brought to a logical conclusion. The former COAS may have some skeletons in his cupboard but this is an issue which should not be fought by the Govt. dirty tricks department.
     
  6. Ankit Purohit

    Ankit Purohit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    Hath ka Panja Behind army
     
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  7. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    this is priceless , you can topple a state Government for just Rs. 1.89 Crore. There are huge gaping holes in this report, we need to be very careful with this report.

    The way it has been sprung using IE is very suspicious.
     
  8. Twinblade

    Twinblade Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    The VK Singh planning a coup story was from IE as well. Also for Rs 1.89 Cr they'd be lucky to topple a municipal council let alone a state government.
     
  9. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    We cannot just ignore the fact that the general actually maintained a secret MI wing which reported directly to him. And in all probability there should have been phone tapping atleast of the general area around Raisina Hill. The bribery allegations do seem hilarious though. But we should be more worried about the other things in the report. Also, I would take with some skepticism that there was no independent verification on that supposed push towards the capital.
     
  10. dealwithit

    dealwithit Regular Member

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    Bramhastra of congress is CBI... It will do anything to come into power again... And want keep modi at Bay ..at any cost
     
  11. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    You know as @pmaitra has said that neither the former COAS nor the ruling party can be given a clean chit or in other way be found guilty but the way this has been done is wrong. You are playing with the only organisation which has the trust of the nation despite all the scams.

    the article from IE has a lot to answer. This is just one point.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  12. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    It is astonishing that Business Standard, IBN Live, India Today, NDTV all are quoting the IE news only !!! Why the hell have these fellows failed to verify it independently?
     
  13. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    If a handful of officers can do what is being alleged, totally without anyone else or any other Govt organisation knowing about it, why should they take on a small fish?

    They would go for the jugular since that would be more logical!

    Good bedtime stories and great for media sensationalisation!
     
  15. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    I also heard a rumour that the general is in line for a plum posting soon. I believe he had really ruffled the feathers of Raisina Hill.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
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  16. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Army seeks probe into actions of Gen V K Singh’s intel unit?

    Army seeks probe into actions of Gen V K Singh’s intel unit? | idrw.org

    The covert warfare in the Army’s top echelons continues. The force has now apparently asked the defence Ministry (MoD) to order a high-level probe into the functioning of a top secret intelligence unit set up by previous chief General V K Singh, which was alleged to have carried out illegal phone-tapping of senior MoD officials and other “unauthorised operations” as well as indulged in financial improprieties.

    Sources say the Army’s inquiry report on the Technical Support Division (TSD), which was ordered to be disbanded after present chief General Bikram Singh took over on May 31, 2012, has been submitted to the MoD with the recommendation of a probe into the functioning of the unit.

    On being contacted, MoD spokesperson Sitanshu Kar refused to comment. Similar was the response of the Army HQ, which said “the matter was closed as far as it was concerned”.

    Sources, however, said the Army was reluctant to being publicly seen as recommending action against a secretive unit set up by former chief Gen V K Singh.

    The report was prepared by the present Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt-Gen Vinod Bhatia, who headed a Board of Officers’ inquiry under the direct orders of Gen Bikram Singh to review the functioning of the TSD.

    Agency reports quoted Gen V K Singh as saying that it was “simple vendetta” because “some people are not comfortable with me sharing the dais (in Rewari on Sunday) with Narendra Modi to espouse the cause of ex-servicemen in the country”.

    He said if anyone has recommended a probe into the unit’s functioning, then that person is “talking through his hat” as its operations were meant to be secret.

    The report submitted by the Lt-Gen Bhatia-led committee has reportedly stated that TSD was allegedly involved in “unauthorised operations” which may have taken place even across the border with Pakistan without the requisite clearances from the higher-ups in the government.

    The operations carried out by the unit in Jammu & Kashmir have also been questioned by the Lt-Gen Bhatia committee and it is learnt that the unit has been accused of using funds against top serving officers.

    TSD, which has now been disbanded, has also been accused of being involved in financial wrongdoings to the tune of Rs 8 crore.

    Former defence secretary and the present CAG, Shashikant Sharma, had earlier questioned the lack of clarity in the way funds for the TSD were being spent and had stopped them.

    The existence of TSD had come to light when Gen V K Singh was fighting a bitter war with the MoD over his date of birth issue early last year, which saw him even drag the government to court on the matter.

    Soon after taking over, Gen Bikram Singh had begun the process to shut down TSD, with its officers and men being transferred out.
     
  17. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    ' Indian Express ' proved again itself a puppet of Arms dealers and Politician ..

    Rest of the media is cleaver to understand whom they should obey ..
     
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  18. Coalmine

    Coalmine Regular Member

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    Re: Army seeks probe into actions of Gen V K Singh’s intel unit?

    Yes only VK Singh is corrupt. All others are very good no. Congress has nicely silenced media about KC tyagi , the air force chief who was chargesheeted by CBI in the VVIP Chopper deal case and is all out to malign BJP and VK Singh. No news for months in VVIP chopper case but new cases everyday against VK Singh.
    The claim that VK singh tried to topple J&K govt is so outlandish.
     
  19. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    IE, TOI and so on bunch of Bafooons :toilet:
     
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  20. Manas7

    Manas7 Regular Member

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    The inquiry unit must have been heaed by a pakiststi Gen given feritle imgination required by anyone to assume an army chief try to topple a state Govt and that too J&K which almost ran from the center.

    But i'm more worried about the rot under carpet surely Generals are bitching against each other has reached noticeable limit.
     
  21. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K g

    Praveen Swami in First Post blows the lid off the IE smear campaign

    Allegations against General VK Singh's secret unit: The fine art of smear | Firstpost

     

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