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An army coup aborted or only distrust ?

New Delhi, Feb 23 (): Army coup attempt row is getting deeper after the ex-IAF chief’s denial that paratroopers unit movement towards Delhi was on IAF instructions, on the day the then Chief of Army staff Gen. V K Singh moved the court.

The Army version that the paratroopers unit moved towards Delhi to coordinate the operation with Chinos aircraft was rubbished by the ex-IAF chief Browne. The so-called coordination exercise was to take place only a month later as the aircrafts were in Jallandhar, busy with rehearsals for the Republic Day parade.

Air chief marshal Browne claimed that IAF was in dark about the unit movement towards the capital. Yesterday, ex- DGMO Gen. Chaudury told a national daily that close to midnight, he was asked by the Defence secretary to order the two military units moving towards Delhi to go back. It has been revealed that intelligence officers flew on a chopper to see whether the units were going back to the barracks in order to confirm whether the army units were obeying DGMO orders.

On January 16 2012, Gen. V K Singh moved the Supreme Court on a government order regarding his date of birth . It was on this day that an army unit from Hisar and Agra moved towards Delhi. Intelligence Bureau informed the Military operations of this movement. As the capital was having the Army doing R Day rehearsals, any movement of army units during this period was unusual.

The PMO hearing the account panicked while the defence ministry and Chief of Army staff were at loggerheads. The PM was contemplating action against Singh for going to court but was advised against it. As soon as intelligence reports reached the PMO, the defence secretary, who was in Malaysia, was called back and was also asked to order the troops’ retreat.

DGMO who is now retired said that the top brass in the ministry were shocked and that this confusion was due to a mutual lack of trust between two individuals and not a planned coup.

The ex-IAF chief’s denial of the Army version given then shows that it was not just an overreaction to an ordinary routine exercise but was something more. Two months after this `routine’ movements, the Defence ministry had issued an order stating that any such movements should be reported to them.