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Par panel dismisses troop movement report

New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel today "strongly dismissed" a report about movement of troops near the capital in January after the Government stated that it was based on "wrong inferences, surmises and conjectures". In the report tabled in Lok Sabha today, the Standing Committee on Defence said it has been informed by the Defence Secretary that the Army did not need to seek permission from the Government for such troop movement.

"As stated by the Secretary the media report was based on wrong inferences, surmises and conjectures and is strongly dismissed," the Committee headed by Satpal Maharaj said. The Committee said the issue was raised during its meeting to examine the Demands for Grants for 2012-13 for the Defence Ministry. The media report had claimed that the army had moved two units towards New Delhi without notifying the government on January 16-17, only some hours after army chief Gen V K Singh went to the Supreme Court against the government on the issue of his date of birth.

The report had created a storm in Parliament and in political circles. The Committee said Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma informed that mobilisation practice was carried out by two units including a sub-unit of the Agra-based 50 Para Independent Brigade and a battalion under the Hisar-based 33 Armoured Division.

He said the Para Brigade was practicing mounting from an alternative airfield other than Agra in fogged out conditions and had come up to Gurgaon on January 17. On the Mechanised Infantry unit movement, Sharma had said that the unit was mobilised towards the general area of Bahadurgarh near here to practice occupying a harbour needed for dispersal.

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