The Brig Surinder Singh episode is far from over. The army authorities, worried by the disclosures made in this magazine last week, have instituted an internal enquiry, to be headed by a Lt General attached to the Northern Army Command to probe how the whole matter came to be reported. The army headquarters has also issued a letter which seeks to dispute some of the facts reported in this magazine. The letter, written by the army pro Col Shruti Kant contends, in the main that:
- Brig Singh was removed from his post for ‘operational reasons.’ And that he petitioned the military secretary’the man who handles the postings and promotions in the army’for reinstatement and was granted an interview on July 1, ’99.
- There is no instance of Brig Singh having written to the army chief, Gen V.P. Malik before his removal from command. Col Shruti Kant also says: ‘There is a clear chain of command in the army which unambiguously determines that on all operational matters an officer commanding a unit or a formation will communicate to his next senior officer. As a brigade commander, Brig Surinder Singh was expected to, and did, communicate his briefings to the general officer commanding the Leh Division. In this case, Brig Surinder Singh did not form a part of the command chain that would allow him to communicate directly with the chief of army staff. This impression needs to be corrected.’
- Outlook has opted to sensationalise an issue having national security portents without verifying facts and procedures.