Villain or hero? Now it will perhaps be more difficult than ever for Brigadier Surinder Singh to prove his innocence. The Army had declared him guilty of alleged lapses that led to the Kargil intrusion in his sector in 1999 which ultimately led to the Kargil War in which 527 Indian soldiers were killed. He was dismissed from the Army in 2001.
Brig Singh claims he is innocent. He had moved the armed forces tribunal against his dismissal demanding records of the correspondence that he says shows he had warned his bosses about the threat in his sector and also asked for more surveillance equipment to patrol the area. The court asked the Army to respond to his demand. But now in an affidavit, the Army has said the records in question have been destroyed by burning by a Board of Officers as some of it was confidential.
“Once those documents are brought before the court and to the nation, their lies will be nailed. They will be all exposed,” says Brigadier Singh.
If these documents were secret, then there was all the more reason for them to be kept safe, adds his lawyer MP Goswami. “They should not have been destroyed. Army has no authority to destroy secret documents nor does the government. These relate to operational matter of Kargil. They are part of Kargil history and war history of the nation.”
What is crucial now is whether the documents were destroyed before or after Surinder Singh asked for them. The Army has refused to respond to the question.