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BJP cautious against "sponsored story" of Army movement


April 4, 2012 - New Delhi

With the UPA Government and the Defence Ministry rubbishing media report on movement of troops, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) echoing similar sentiments on Wednesday said there is a need to ensure that there is no room for nor any apprehension for any sponsored story.

Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said both the government and the army have categorically denied report about unusual movement of army units around Delhi in January.

"The armed forces are one of the most important institutions of the country. They secure the country and give us safety by their sacrifice. We need to trust and respect the professionalism of the armed forces. Under our democratic set up, they work under civilian control," said Prasad.

"We must ensure and that's indeed very important that there is no room for nor any apprehension for any sponsored story," he added.

Prasad, however, took potshots at the government, saying the relationship between the army and the political leadership of the country is an all-time low.

"The relationship between the army and the political leadership of the country is an all-time low. It's a matter of very deep concern. UPA has messed a hell lot of things in governance because of incapacity of political leadership, governance deficit and a whole range of confusion. I regret to say even army has become the victim of that," said Prasad.

"The equilibrium between the civilian leadership and the army must be restored and respected," he added.

According to the Indian Express report, 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 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.

ANI

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