Army asked to rewrite Kargil War account

Army asked to rewrite Kargil War account

The Armed Forces Tribunal indicted Lt Gen Kishan Pal - then general officer commanding for 15 Corps - for showing bias against Brigadier Devinder Singh and unduly favouring Brig Ashok Duggal.The tribunal directed the military operations directorate in the army headquarters to rectify the official war accounts - titled as “Op Vijay - Account of War in Kargil volume-III - so that Brig Singh is duly credited for his achievements.

The principal bench of the tribunal asked the army headquarters to expunge reports that gave a false account of battles in the Batalik Sector and has upheld claims of Brig Singh that Lt Gen Pal gave a false battle performance review to downplay his role. Reacting to the order given on May 17, the Army said that it would decide on the future course of action after studying the order, which can be challenged in the Supreme Court.

Singh began the legal battle in 2002 aiming to correct the official war accounts as well as challenging the army’s decision to deny him a promotion as a Major-General as well as not being awarded with Maha Vir Chakra for gallantry despite being considered favourably. Singh was awarded with Vishist Seva Medal only.

During the Kargil episode, Singh commanded the 70 infantry brigade in Kashmir. After a war game in April 1999, he accurately forecast the pattern of Kargil intrusion. But his projections were rejected by his superiors including Pal as being “too unrealistic.”
However, his projections were proved right a month later when the intrusion took place in a similar fashion. Following the intrusion, Singh’s brigade was ordered to assume charges in the Batalik sector.

During a visit of then Army chief Gen V P Malik to the battle front, Singh predicted intrusion by 600 trained soldiers, which were brushed aside by Pal who said there could 45 militants at the most. Malik, however, appreciated Singh’s performance in the Batalik sector.

But despite the Army Chief’s appreciation Singh was denied credit by Pal who wrote a biased annual confidential report and belittled Singh’s role in the battle performance report giving undue credit to Duggal.

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