As many as six Army men are facing the prospect of disciplinary action, including court martial, in connection with the disappearance of a cache of highly classified military documents.
The top secret files, which pertained to the Army’s strategy to counter the Chinese threat along the country’s North-East, had gone missing from a Division Headquarters nearly two years ago.
The plans, in the form of a written document, sent from the Tezpur-based 4 Corps Headquarters were lost within days of it reaching the Rangia-based 21 Mountain Division, which was then commanded by Major General N S Ghei.
General V K Singh, was the Army chief then, while current Army chief General Bikram Singh was the Kolkata-based Eastern Corps Commander. Ghei was later promoted to the rank of a three-star Lieutenant General and is now Commander of the Bhatinda-based 10 Corps, according to Army sources. The missing files had led to concerns that it could have landed in the hands of the enemy forces.
Meanwhile, a Court of Inquiry (COI) instituted into the incident submitted its findings, which indicted the six Army men. The COI report is now with the Eastern Command Headquarters for a decision on the disciplinary action to be taken against the indicted officers.
India considers its North-Eastern border with China to be the most sensitive in its territorial disputes with Beijing and the Army is awaiting a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) nod to raise a new Mountain Strike Corps, with headquarters at Panagarh in West Bengal, for carrying out an offensive against China in the event of a conflict.
The Army had raised two Infantry Divisions two years ago in the North-East, as a defensive counter to possible Chinese aggression, apart from deploying two Akash missile regiments there.