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Army movement, a reflection of civil military relations in India: Uday Bhaskar

April 4, 2012 - New Delhi

Reacting to news of army units moving towards the national capital in January, defence analyst Commodore (retired) C. Uday Bhaskar on Wednesday said it was a reflection of the state of civil military relations in India.

"The way in which this story was reported in the national daily, giving its entire front page to this particular, so called attempt by the army to move two units and 'intimidate', that seems to be nuanced hint in the story, is perhaps the reflection of civil military relations in India and the way in which the media is playing a role," said Bhaskar.

Bhaskar further linked the developments to the recent controversies between the army chief and the government, suggesting that all was not well.

"The fact that you could offer this kind of interpretation, and of course, it is a very very carefully written report. It has many caveats and many nuances. But the hint seems to be because of all the controversies that are now associated with the army chief, the date of birth controversy, the fact that this was moved into the Supreme Court on January 16, and more recently the controversy of the letter written by the army chief to the defence minister which has been 'leaked' by one section of media seems to suggest all is not well," he added.

The Ministry of Defence had earlier denied all these allegations, calling them incorrect and baseless.

According to the Indian Express report, the two-army units moved towards New Delhi without notifying the government on January 16.

While the army described it as a routine fog-time exercise, an investigation by the newspaper reveals the incident took place hours after Chief of Army Staff General V.K. Singh had moved the Supreme Court on his age controversy.he paper further cites central intelligence agencies as reporting an unexpected movement by a key military unit from the mechanised infantry based in Hisar, Haryana, on January 16.

Routine lookouts confirmed the movement of an entire unit of the Mechanised Infantry with Russian-made Armoured Fighting Vehicles carried on 48 tank transporters.

The report also said that a unit of the Agra-based 50 Para Brigade was also moved.

The Indian Express claims that Defence Minister A.K. Antony was informed of the movement and immediately put in motion an old contingency plan-by issuing a terror alert that entailed more police checking of vehicles and a slowing down of traffic.


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