Ex-Army officer tried to influence Gen V K Singh

Ex-Army officer tried to influence Gen V K Singh

Retired Lieutenant General takes strong exception to salacious story

A retired Army Lieutenant General who is being suspected of fabricating the story on the bugging of Defence Minister A K Antony’s South Block office had earlier tried to influence Army chief General V K Singh to secure the import order of 100 Tatra trucks that are to be used to military purposes.

The officer, Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh, met Gen Singh in his Army headquarter office last year and sought to influence the Army chief. A furious Gen Singh is understood to have asked the former to leave his office.

In the so-called bugging case, the monitoring equipment, two sets of off-the-air interceptors, were imported by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) from Ukraine. While one was installed in a Tata Safari, the other was fixed in a Maruti Esteem car with a Delhi registration. One was stationed in a bungalow on Kushak Road and the other was parked in another bungalow on Krishna Menon Marg. The interceptors are capable of picking up conversation within a radius of 3- km.

The powerful interceptors are in possession of Signals Intelligence and are deployed along the borders and in counter insurgency areas. They are under the control of Director General Defence Intelligence Agency (DG, DIA) and not under the military intelligence.

Lt Gen (retd) Singh, who allegedly fabricated the story and leaked to the media, had been questioned by the technical control group of National Technical Research Organisation on the purchase of  “of the air monitoring system”, without proper sanction by the technically empowered committee, sources told Deccan Herald.

He has also been an allottee in Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai and had offered bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vetra Limited, which supplies vehicles to BEML, said Army sources.
The officer along with some disgruntled serving officers of the military intelligence, against whom disciplinary and administrative actions is in the pipeline has worked out this fictitious story, they said, strongly denying the report and taking strong exception to such “salacious and malafide stories, coming out as news”.

On Friday, Defence Ministry denied media reports that Antony's office was bugged. “Reports of ‘bugging’ in South Block in a section of the media is denied. Routine checks are conducted in the offices of the Defence Minister and other officers in South Block. Nothing has been found in these checks,” said defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar.

Last year, the UPA-II government faced a major controversy when official letters revealed presence of bugs in the North Block office of Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who did not trust IB – under Union Home Minister P Chidambaram – and turned to Central Board of Direct Taxes for the subsequent sweeps and checks.