PM calls report on suspicious army movement ‘alarmist’

New Delhi, April 4: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said the media report on two key army units being moved suspiciously closer to the capital from their bases outside was ‘alarmist’ and should not be taken at face value.

‘These are alarmist reports. These should not be taken at face value,’ Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Clarifying the government’s stand, Singh said the army chief’s office is an exalted office and all of us have an obligation to do nothing that lowers its dignity.

The Indian Express newspaper in a front page report Wednesday said the Hisar-based Mechanised Infantry and elements from a unit of the airborne 50 Para Brigade based in Agra had moved towards the capital in January. It said the movement took place on the night of Jan 16, without following the standard operating procedure of informing the defence ministry in advance.

It said since this happened around the time when army chief Gen. V.K. Singh was waging a judicial battle against the government over his age row, it created unease and suspicion in the corridors of power in Delhi.

IANS