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جمعہ، 10 اگست، 2012

Ex Indian Navy Chief chides Indian COAS

India former Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral L Ramdas has fired a fresh salvo against India Army Chief General Bikram Singh aka Encounter Singh. 

Former Naval chief retired  Admiral L Ramdas, several retired army officers and the former CEC N Gopalaswamy have in a joint letter to the prime minister have demanded the setting up of a three-member independent commission to look into allegations of corruption in the Armed Forces which, they said, were affecting the morale of the rank and file.

 In a complaint made to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he has alleged that Gen Singh by promoting 3 Corps commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag to the position of an Army Commander has strengthened the notion of “line of succession” and also failed to demonstrate his impartiality. 

Gen Singh, after taking over as the Army Chief in June this year, had overturned the decision of his predecessor and lifted the Discipline and Vigilance (D&V) ban on Lt Gen Suhag, who may head the Army in 2014. 

The former Naval Chief has also requested the Prime Minister to appoint an independent three-member commission to conduct a probe into recent developments concerning the Army, including allegations of corruption made against senior Army officials and irregularities in the defence equipment procurement process, to check deeper malaise within the system. 

Admiral Ramdas told The Daily Mail that the Prime Minister’s Office has forwarded his complaint to the Ministry of Defence for “appropriate action”. 

The signatories to the complaint include former civil servant M G Devashyam, former CEC N Gopalswami, Lt Gen P C Katoch (retd), Lt Gen O S Lochab (retd) journalist Sam Rajappa and Maj Gen Ashok Kalyan Verma (retd). 

Citing low morale in the armed forces, Admiral Ramdas said, “There is a widespread perception that while the rank and file are subjected to severe disciplinary action for even minor offence, those on high posts with the right connections can get away with anything. Not only is this reflected in the most recent appointments to the highest offices within the Army, but also, and more seriously, has led to the disturbing view, circulating at many levels, that it is not worth fighting for a country that is in the grip of corrupt and conniving characters.” 

Gen Bikram Singh lifted the DV ban on Lt-Gen Suhag after accepting his explanation to the showcause censure notice imposed on him by Gen V K Singh just days before retirement on May 31. Lt-Gen Suhag's name had earlier been send to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) in May as the proposed successor to the then Eastern Army commander Gen Bikram Singh but it had got derailed due to the DV ban. In his showcause censure notice, Gen V K Singh had charged Lt-Gen Suhag for "abdicating responsibility" in handling a botched operation by an intelligence and surveillance unit under him in "a most unprofessional and lackadaisical manner".

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