NEW DELHI: The Parliamentary panel on Wednesday asked Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and Army Vice-Chief S K Singh to appear before it on April 9 to fully explain with complete facts relating to suspicious movement of troops near the capital in January as reported by a newspaper.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, in its pre-scheduled meeting, got a chance to quiz both Shashi and Singh on the newspaper report.
According to sources, both of them echoed the government’s opinion on the troops’ movement being nothing but a ‘routine drill’.
As members raised several queries on the issue, the standing committee Chairman Satpal Maharaj asked the Defence Secretary and Army Vice-Chief to appear before it on April 9.
The sources said that cutting across party lines, MPs put questions to Defence Secretary and Army Vice-Chief. The issue was first raised by MIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi.
Many MPs wanted a detailed explanation from both the Army and Defence Ministry on the issue saying that such media reports can send wrong signals to the world.
Sources said that officials were quick to reiterate the government’s opinion on the issue.
Though the pre-scheduled meeting was meant to appraise the MPs of the recent controversies dogging the Armed Forces, such as Army Chief’s letter to Prime Minister and bribery allegations, the issue of movement of troops near the capital in January dominated the proceedings of the meeting.