Breaking his silence over controversial letter, Indian army chief VK Singh on Thursday said that he had nothing to do with the leakage of his letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
According to media reports, Singh said that the leakage of letter is an attempt to tarnish his image. He said that leaking of letter should be considered as high treason.
Earlier Thursday, reports published in the Indian Express revealed that General Singh had forwarded a letter sent by Trinamool MP Ambika Banerjee, calling for probe against Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag in connection with 'procurement scam', to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Indian Central Bureau Intelligence (CBI) on Thursday confirmed receiving the letter which was written by Banerjee in May 2011.
In the letter MP Banerjee alleged 'procurement scam' in the Special Frontier Force, when Suhag was its Inspector General. Lt General Dalbir Singh is presently third in line to be Army Chief. Banerjee has also alleged payoffs for the purchase of night-vision devices, communication systems, weapons as well as parachutes, reported Indian Express.
The MP also named Army officers, including a former Army chief, who he alleged received crores in kickbacks for defence procurement and amassed "huge" disproportionate assets. Banerjee named agents who he claims dealt with these procurements, reported the paper.
On Wednesday, a leaked secret letter from the army chief to the Prime Minister that outlines major gaps in India's defence preparedness became another battleground between the force and the ministry, taking tensions between the government and General VK Singh to a dangerous and unprecedented level. Earlier Singh had claimed that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe for allowing substandard purchase for the defence forces.
Speculations are rife whether the government will act against Army chief General VK Singh once Parliament's budget session gets over, or will it deal with the issue after confirming the source that leaked his letter?
Talking to the media Thursday morning, Banerjee accepted that he had sent a letter to the Prime Minister and Defence Ministry in this context but said that he had not sent any letter to VK Singh. He said that Gen Singh may be having a copy of the letter. Banerjee also said that though he received an acknowledgement of the letter, no action was taken in this regard.