Had Army Chief smelt mischief regarding exercise last month?
That there was some talk about the mid-January movement of two elite Army units towards the capital which had exercised Army Chief Gen V K Singh's mind is evident in an interview he had given to an English magazine in middle of March.
"Even, let us say one of our forces or divisions or brigades does exercise, somebody will say, oh! they did exercise. It was not an exercise, they wanted to do something else.
Army Chief VK Singh.
"Now you will make a story out of it. There are lots of people who want to make stories these days for various nefarious aims, if I can put it like that," he had told 'The Week' magazine during the interview on March 13.
He also said that "if somebody has got any doubt, they should come and face us. They won't because they know they are wrong".
In that interview he had also said that Army was doing a professional job but there were people both uniformed and not in uniform, some civil servants, who had their own axis to grind. They start feeding all kinds of wrong things, he said.
"So, you tell him (journalist) something juicy, it comes on front page and nobody even looks whether there is any truth in it. It is already done. So, you have already thrown muck on somebody. There are lots of people who are doing that and I don't know what their motives are," Gen Singh had said.
The Army Chief's comments last month assume significance against the backdrop of a report in the Indian Express on Wednesday that there was an unusual movement of a mechanised infantry unit from Hisar in Haryana and a sizeable section of 50 Para Brigade from Agra on the night of January 16-17 towards the capital.
The news report was described as "alarmist" by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had said that such reports should not be taken at face value while defence minister A K Antony had described it as "absolutely baseless".