A high profile brigadier, recently posted as the Deputy Director General, Discipline and Vigilance (DDG, DV) at the Army Headquarters, has come under scanner for the alleged abuse of power and demanding money from subordinate officers and contractors in a cash scandal.
Brigadier Laiphrakpam Ibotombi Singh of 13th Battalion Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI), who was till March 2012 commanding the Watershed Brigade in Sikkim, has been accused of compelling officers under his command to “loan him money for urgent family requirement” and then not returning it.
The general officer commanding (GOC) of the Striking Lion Division conducted a discreet inquiry before the official court of inquiry (CoI) was ordered on June 15, army sources told Headlines Today on Tuesday.
“A rather grim picture emerges from the pattern of complaints. There are serious allegations that need to be probed. The discreet inquiry findings will be a part of the material for the court of inquiry to proceed,” a senior officer in the Eastern Command told Headlines Today.
The timing of the “loan” allegedly coincided with the time of writing of annual confidential reports (ACRs) of the subordinate officers has brought the brigadier under suspicion. Both the Eastern Command and Army Headquarters refused to share details of the discreet inquiry.
Only officers with unimpeachable integrity and spoken reputation are posted to the DV directorate, which is responsible for keeping a hawk eye on army’s internal health and integrity.
“Brig L.I. Singh was handpicked by the former chief of army staff General V.K. Singh in April this year and brought to the DV directorate. He was probing the botched-up Jorhat intelligence operation. Now he himself is under the scanner for alleged extortion,” an officer said.
As a DDG in the DV directorate, Brig Singh had asked the Eastern Command and the Dimapur based 3 Corps to explain inaction of officers in taking disciplinary action against those involved in the botched Jorhat intelligence operation where a team of 3 Corps Intelligence and Surveillance Unit was found to have broken into the house of an MES contractor and stolen a pistol, mobile phone and cash.
“He himself is now being summoned for a court of inquiry to explain complaints filed by serving officers directly under his command of illegally demanding money. This is a conduct unbecoming of an officer,” sources said.
An army spokesperson confirmed that an investigation had indeed been ordered.
“A court of inquiry has been ordered to probe the allegations. As soon as the inquiry is completed we shall reveal the facts,” the spokesperson said.
Army sources said borrowing and lending money is strictly prohibited in the army according to defence services regulation. In the past, a two-star general was court martialled and punished for a similar offence.
“Brig Singh is an alumnus of Sainik School, Imphal, Manipur. He is a bright and hard working officer. He excelled in Staff College and Higher Command Course. He commanded his battalion in Drass and was awarded a Yudh Sewa Medal for exemplary leadership after Operation Parakram. He had a bright future and these complaints need to be probed speedily and in a transparent manner,” a senior JAKLI officer told Headlines Today.
Brig Singh has proceeded on leave and the inquiry would begin as soon as he rejoins.
Lady officer alleges rape by Lt Col
An Army officer has been arrested on charges of raping a woman officer after duping her with a fake marriage.
The Uttarakhand police nabbed Lt. Colonel Dilip Singh Shekhawat from his home town Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, where he had gone on a two-month leave, and brought the accused to Dehradun on Monday. The woman officer also claimed that the officer was already married and had not revealed his marital status to her.
According to the police, a woman officer, who is also serving as Lt Colonel in the Medical Corps, lodged a complaint with the Dehradun police in April 2012, charging Lt Colonel Shekhawat of frequently raping her and cheating her by conducting a bogus marriage in a temple.
Dehradun police’s circle officer, city, Navneet Bhuller said, “We had gone to Jhunjhunu with a non-bailable warrant against Lt Colonel Shekhawat. We have sent the accused to jail. The investigation team is conducting the inquiry.”
The lady officer is presently serving at the Military Hospital in Dehradun, while Shekhwat is posted at NCC Uttarkashi.
According to reports, Lt Colonel Shekhawat had met the lady officer last year in Dehradun when he was in the city for the Republic Day camp of the NCC.
The victim has claimed that the Army officer married her at a temple in the hills last year. Few months after the marriage, the officer publicly denied having any legal relationship with the lady officer, which forced her to lodge a police complaint.
-via India Today.