10/01/2016 12:22 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Manish Tewari Says Media Report On 2012 Troop Movement 'Unfortunate But True'

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Manish Tewari, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting after release the documentary films on good governance initiatives produced by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) and the Department of Pensions and Pensioners Welfare (DPPW) at Shastri Bhawan on September 27, 2013 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- Reviving the 2012 troop movement controversy, Congress leader Manish Tewari has said that a media report about two key army units moving towards Delhi without notifying the then UPA government was "unfortunate but true".

Union minister and former Army Chief V K Singh, who had in 2012 dismissed the report, today slammed the Congress leader for his remark, saying "He (Tewari) has no work these days."

Replying to a question at a book release function yesterday, Tewari, who was Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in UPA government between October 2012 and May 2014, said, "At that point of time I used to serve in the Standing Committee on Defence. And it's unfortunate but the story was true. Story was correct".

"I am not getting into an argument. All I am saying is that to the best of my knowledge that story was correct," he said.

The Congress leader was asked about media coverage of issues pertaining to defence forces as in the case of the Indian Express report on 4 April, 2012, titled "The January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt."

The newspaper had reported that late on the night of 16 January, 2012 (the day then Army Chief Singh approached the Supreme Court on his date of birth issue), central intelligence agencies reported an unexpected (and non-notified) movement by a key military unit from mechanised infantry based in Hisar (Haryana) as a part of the 33rd Armoured Division (which is a part of 1 Corps, a strike formation based in Mathura and commanded by Lt Gen. A K Singh) in the direction of the capital, 150 km away.

Singh said Tewari should be told to read his book which talks about the issue.

"He should be told to read my book, which reveals all (about the whole issue)," he said.

According to The Indian Express report, central intelligence agencies had reported that on the night of 16 January, there was an unexpected - and non-notified - movement by a key military unit from the mechanised infantry based in Hisar in the direction of the capital.

On the same night, another unit - identified as a large element of the 50th Para Brigade based at Agra - had also been moved towards Delhi, according to the newspaper report.

The alleged movement took place at a time when Singh was locked in a confrontation with the government in a row over his age.

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