Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Indian Army Chief Said That Country's Security Was At Risk
In a fresh blow to the government, Indian Army chief General VK Singh has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warning that the country's security is at risk.
According to an Indian TV channel, the letter written on March 12, 2012 states that army tanks have run out of ammunition. The letter emphasizes the need to bridge the shortcomings and bring the army to fighting level.
Sources said that in his letter VK Singh has termed 97% of the air defence obsolete. Singh has also said that the elite special forces are woefully short of weapons.
The letter said Air defence doesn't give deemed confidence to protect; Infantry is crippled with 'deficiencies of crew served weapon' and lacks night fighting capabilities while there are large scale voids in critical surveillance.
The Army chief has been in news this week for his claims of being offered a bribery of Rs 14 crore to clear a tranche of sub-standard equipment for the army. The CBI is likely to record his statement in this regard on March 30, 2012.
Defence minister AK Antony has said that Army chief VK Singh had told him that a bribe of 14 crore was offered by an equipment middleman but Singh didn't want to pursue the case. Responding to the furor in Parliament over the issue, Antony named Lieutenant General (retd) Tejinder Singh as the person named by General Singh. "I have always said the truth. When General VK Singh told me about the incident, I was shocked. The Army chief told me it was Tejinder Singh who offered him the bribe but he said he doesn't want to pursue it," Antony said.
In his defence, Antony said that once news report on the alleged bribe offer was made public, he ordered an inquiry, even though there was no formal complaint. "I immediately told the defence secretary to take action without waiting for any formal complaint.
This was the action I took. CBI will inquire into everything," Antony said. The announcement of a CBI probe on Monday had led to an uproar in Parliament, as members felt that the minister should have taken Parliament, which is in session, into confidence before announcing the probe.
About letter to the prime minister, Anthony said Wednesday the government would respond at an appropriate time minister. He conceded that there are gaps in the capabilities of armed forces and efforts are on to bridge these quickly.