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Defence ministry denies media report of suspicious movement of army units in January

April 4, 2012 - New Delhi

The Ministry of Defence has rubbished an Indian Express report on two key Army units moving towards the national capital New Delhi without notifying the government.

" The story published in The Indian Express is incorrect and baseless. The army conducts exercises from time to time and the point raised in the report has already been clarified by the army," said Sitanshu Kar, Additional Director General (Media and Communication) in the Ministry of Defence.

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.

The 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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