Devinder Singh should have been promoted: ex-army chief

"I had seen Brigadier Singh during the war. He took a little time...But thereafter, he and his formation did extremely well," said Malik, who led the troops during Kargil. His comments come after the Armed Forces Tribunal indicted former 15 Corps Commander Lt Gen Kishan Pal for showing bias against Singh and fudging battle accounts of the Kargil war. It has been contended that due to the 'fudged' accounts, Brig Singh was awarded only a Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) and not a Mahavir Chakra, which he was cited for.

The Tribunal has directed that the affected officer be considered for a notional promotion to the rank of a major general. "I feel Brigadier Singh should have been promoted. But in the army, there is a system, wherein reports are considered," Malik told reporters. "He felt aggrieved by the report of the Corp commander. He felt that the report of the Corp Commander was biased. Hope the army headquarters will go by the tribunal and take necessary action," the former army chief said.

He also asserted that the Kargil war should not be judged on basis of the Tribunal judgement's on the Batalik sector controversy. "Don't judge the entire war history on the basis of this perceived biased and prejudiced report and the correspondence that took place between the brigade and corp commander," Malik said. "The Kargil War and the sacrifices made by the men should not be judged on the basis of the judgment of the tribunal. The whole episode of the war should not be painted with a black brush. It will be grossly unjust," Malik, who is here on vacation, said.

Asked about the annual confidential reports which the Tribunal said were 'biased', Malik said he would not comment as they were submitted just before his retirement and he had no role in it. "In every war there are such incidents. But the Kargil was one of the most transparent wars that we ever had. It should not be judged on the basis of this episode between a brigade commander and a Corp commander," Malik said.

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