General Bikram Singh, who took charge as the new Army chief, might face some uncomfortable questions that have emerged after an explosive letter, written by a serving officer of the 3 Corps Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, stationed in Dimapur district of Nagaland, has surfaced.
Headlines Today accessed the confidential letter written by Major T. Ravi Kumar to the army’s Eastern Commander, Gen Bikram Singh, who took over as the new Army chief from General V.K. Singh on Thursday.
In his letter addressed to Lt Gen Singh on January 12, 2012, the major has alleged cold-blooded triple murder by a unit under the command of Col G. Srikumar. The letter says that three people were picked up by Major Nector and Lt Rubina Kaur Keer after an operation in Dimapur. It suggests that the suspected terrorists were brought to the unit’s officers’ mess and killed.
The letter speaks of the recovery of three decomposed, unidentified bodies from the Assam-Nagaland border in Dimapur shortly thereafter.
The major states that the incident occurred between March 15 and 19, 2010, saying it needed to be investigated thoroughly.
However, no action despite the letter raises question why did the Eastern Command not follow up the complaint. Did the army try to cover up the incident by keeping mum?
Ironically, copies of the letter were also sent to the 3 Corps commander, Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, and Gen V.K. Singh.
Army ignores queries
On May 29, Headlines Today sent an email to the ADG, Public Information, Army Headquarters posing five questions. However, despite following it up, Headlines Today was yet to receive an official reply from the army.
The questions raised by Headlines Today were – (1) was a court of inquiry ordered into the alleged fake encounter of three individuals at Dimapur (2) was a written complaint made by Major Kiran to the commander of eastern command (3) did the chief of staff eastern command seek a report from the 3 Corps headquarters by February 15, 2012 (4) did the 3 Corps headquarters conduct an inquiry and if so what was the response and (5) were the same officers/unit involved in the alleged botched intelligence operations of Jorhat.
Reacting to the revelations made in the major’s letter, defence expert Major General (retired) Ashok Mehta said, “It indicates two things. One that fake encounters are prevalent elsewhere not just Jammu and Kashmir. Second the unhealthy precedent of letters being leaked. If they can leak these letters what stops them from leaking secrets.”
Major Kiran says that he had heard gunshots behind the officer’s mess days before local newspapers reported that three unidentified bodies were recovered near Dimapur. According to him, he was called for dinner by then G1(Int) Lt Col R.V.R. Perumal. After dinner, when Lt Col Perumal came to drop Major Kiran at the officer’s mess, he saw many people running around posing as a Quick Reaction Team.
Major Kiran says that there were just two jawans present in the officer’s mess at the time and the rest were taken away from there. The officer then went to his room and according to him he heard some sounds similar to gunshots from behind the mess.
Hearing the gunshots, Major Kiran went to the officer commanding Dimapur, Colonel Kulbir. He asked the officer about the sounds. Apparently, Col Kulbir had also heard the gunshots.
The letter puts a troubling question whether the Dimapur based 3 Corps Intelligence and Surveillance Unit is a rogue unit in reality. This is the same unit that was involved in a botched operation in southern Assam about six months ago. The recent operation in fact is the subject of a show cause notice that the outgoing army chief sent to the 3 Corps commander just a week ago.
Lt Gen Suhag, who commands the 3 Corps, was issued the show cause notice by the army chief asking him to explain the delay in due process following the botched intelligence operation against a military contractor in Jorhat.
The intelligence operation under Captain Rubina Kaur Keer in Jorhat was conducted on December 20, 2011. A pistol and a mobile phone were stolen during the operation and these things were later recovered from the unit.
Allegations have been made that more items were stolen during the search operation. The operation itself did not follow established norms.
-via India Today.