PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC
Former Chief of Army Staff
Maitri Bhawan, Silokhara Road
Sector 30, Gurgaon (Hr.)
The Minister of Home Affairs
Government of India
Dear Sir, Dated:13.11.2013
Subject: Serious offences committed by the accused persons under Indian Penal Code, National Security Act and the Official Secrets Act and other relevant Laws – Criminal prosecution and preventive detention – Request thereof
- Offences committed
- Abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty (Section 131 IPC)
- Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (Section 153A-IPC)
- Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration (Section153B-IPC)
- Abetment and Criminal Conspiracy to commit the above offences (Sections 107, 109, 110, 117, 120A, 120B-IPC)
- Acting in a manner prejudicial to the defence of India and the security of the State(Sections 3 (1) and (2) of the National Security Act 1980)
- Being in possession or control of any secret document or information and willfully communicating the same disclosure of which is likely to affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State. [Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (as amended)]
- The Accused are:
- Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, Indian Express, New Delhi
- Ms. Ritu Sarin, Indian Express, New Delhi
- Pranab Dhal Samanta, Indian Express, New Delhi
- Sandeep Unnithan, Deputy Editor, India Today, New Delhi
- Siddharth Varadarajan, Former Editor, The Hindu, Chennai
- Ms. Chander Suta Dogra, Chandigarh Bureau Chief, The Hindu, Chandigarh
- Lt. Gen (Retd.) Tejinder Singh, New Delhi
- Many persons –official, non-official and media- who are part of the abetment and conspiracy to commit the above offences. Investigation will bring them out.
- On April 4, 2012 the Indian Express carried front-page banner headlines: ‘The January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt’. [http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-january-night-raisina-hill-was-spooked-two-key-army-units-moved-towards-delhi-without-notifying-govt/932328/]
Inter alia this news report said: “Essentially, late on the night of January 16 (the day Army Chief General V K 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 the 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.”
The news report went on to say: “The lookouts confirmed the movement of what looked like a sizeable unit. It was soon identified as an entire unit of Mechanised Infantry, with its Russian-made Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs), carried on 48 tank transporters. The movement was towards the capital, which was odd.” The report deliberately linked this move to “June 1984 when some mutineers from Sikh units had moved towards the capital in the wake of Operation Bluestar,” suggesting in a devious manner that the above troop movement is also part of mutiny. This is a clear case of ‘abetting mutiny by an officer, soldier in the Army and attempt to seduce any such officer and soldier from his allegiance or his duty’ attracting Section 131 IPC.
The report further said: “It was still a cause for curiosity and some confusion-more than much concern-because, over the decades, New Delhi has come to be totally relaxed and trustful of the apolitical and professionally correct nature of its military leadership.” This is clear insinuation that the military leadership had turned politically incorrect and non-professional and Central Govt has come under threat of mutiny from our own Army.
This scare was further inflamed by the report that ‘yet another military movement “towards” Delhi. This unit was identified as a large element of the airborne 50 Para Brigade based at Agra.’ The scare mongering continued: “The Prime Minister was informed at the crack of dawn on January 17…..Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma was asked to cut short his visit to Malaysia. He returned.”
This is a clear case of suggesting, instigating and abetting the commitment of mutiny by officers and soldiers of the Army that attracts Section 133 of IPC. Accused Nos: #1, #2 and #3 are liable to be charged under this Section. Having acted in a manner prejudicial to the defence of India and the security of the State and therefore attracting Sections 3 (1) and (2) of the National Security Act 1980 they should be detained under NSA forthwith.
- The Indian Army had a unit called the Technical Service Division (TSD). It was set up to accomplish covert operations in other countries. It was a very important wing because it was the only unit which could perform this task. Given the nature of the work, the whole unit worked in a secretive and ‘camouflaged manner’. TSD is a covert operation agency, activities of which are directly related to the safety of the soldiers fighting on the borders, retribution on the enemy and the security of the citizens. By its very nature TSD operation was ‘top secret’. In that event, even the existence of TSD should never have been publicised. Further, if there is exposure of the actual working of the top-secret unit, leaking information about it could be treacherous, regardless of whether information is true or not.
Yet on March 2, 2012 Accused # 4 wrote and published a blatantly treasonous story that inter alia reads as below: “MOD officials say they are also concerned about the activities of a shadowy unit called the Technical Support Division (TSD) within MI, which has reportedly been equipped with surveillance equipment. Who the targets were and for what purpose, is still not clear. TSD is headed by a colonel and has five lieutenant-colonels from the MI directorate who are posted at military stations across the country. The name of a retired director general of MI too has been linked to this covert outfit.” [http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/bug-scare-defence-minister-a-k-antony-army-chief-age-row/1/176066.html]
TSD’s location, officials and its work were top secret and out of bounds. On 16 August 2012, at around 6 p.m., a white Toyota Qualis came towards the premises of the TSD. Two persons got down. One stayed near the vehicle and the other went inside the premises of the TSD. An Army personnel was present at the location. He saw an unknown man suspiciously roaming around in the unit premises. He immediately enquired about his identity. The ‘unknown’ man tried to dodge him and said that he is an army officer. The jawan asked for his identity card. Then, the ‘unknown’ man said he is a reporter of the Indian Express newspaper. Finding himself in an uncomfortable situation, the reporter hurriedly walked towards the Toyota Qualis, where a man was waiting for him, and fled. [http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-08-25/india/33384345_1_tejinder-singh-v-k-singh-date-of-birth-controversy]
At the same time, an army havaldar was returning from his duty from the Base Hospital. He saw a tall gentleman suspiciously watching the TSD premises from a distance. He could recognise him as he had seen his pictures in various media reports and news channels. Thereafter, he saw two of them hurriedly leaving in the vehicle. The tall man waiting near the vehicle was retired Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh (Accused # 7) — the same man against whom the CBI filed a case for offering a bribe of Rs. 14 crore to me to clear the purchase of 1,676 high-mobility Tatra trucks for the Indian Army.
The Army Havaldar who identified Lt. General (Retd) Tejinder Singh quickly lodged a complaint. The matter was reported to the Director General, Military Intelligence (DGMI) He even asked whether this matter should be reported to the local police station. The DGMI asked him to give a written report on the matter. A written complaint was sent to him. The number of this letter is A/103/TSD. After three days DGMI called the team who wrote this letter and asked them to tear off the letter and destroy the hard disk of the computer on which it was typed.
Just 8 days before this incident, there was an intelligence report which clearly warned that a few anti-national elements are conspiring to defame TSD by leveling false allegations and giving wide media coverage on the issue as the name of the unit has already been tarnished on several occasions.
Soon thereafter on 20th September 2012 Indian Express reported that the Army has appointed Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia to head a panel that will review the functioning and efficacy of a controversial Military Intelligence (MI) unit that gained notoriety following several allegations of irregularities and a recent case of espionage involving its head clerk. [http://www.indianexpress.com/news/lt-gen-bhatia-to-probe-mi-unit-set-up-by-exchief-gen-v-k-singh/1005192/]
On 20thSeptember 2013 ‘The Indian Express’ published a front page banner headlines story titled, “Unit set up by VK Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K government, block Bikram Singh: Army probe” claiming to be a leak of a ‘Top Secret’ Army ‘Board of Officers inquiry’ report on the working of TSD [http://www.indianexpress.com/news/unit-set-up-by-v-k-singh-used-secret-funds-to-try-and-topple-j-k-govt-block-bikram-singh-army-probe/1171601/]
The report was prepared by Director-General (Military Operations) Lt. Gen. Vinod Bhatia as part of a Board of Officers inquiry formed by Army Chief General Bikram Singh to review the functioning of the top-secret unit and the report itself is top-secret. Even knowledge of the existence of TSD can help the nation’s enemies and subvert the interests of the country. This is evident from some of the reports appearing in the Pakistan and other media: [http://pakistanpal.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/indian-army-tsd-and-vk-singh-playing-politics-in-uniform-and-after-retirement/ ; http://www.pakistantv.tv/2013/09/22/indian-army-chief-sets-tsd-unit-pakistan/#sthash.1nJSdh2V.dpbs ; http://www.thenewstribe.com/2013/09/22/indian-army-behind-insurgency-in-pakistan/ ]
As a consequence of these acts prejudicial to the defence of India and the security of the State, TSD has been wound up and Indian Army is left with no covert operation and weak counter-insurgency capacity. It is widely believed that if TSD had not wound up the recent Samba attack by Pakistan-based elements (wherein several soldiers including a Lt. Col. were killed) could have been avoided. There is also wide-spread belief among senior Army officers that the scrapping of the TSD is a major reason why there has been a spurt in cross-border intrusions over the past year leading to the death of several soldiers and civilians.
Accused #1, #2 and #4 are guilty of several offences under IPC (including possibly accessory to causing death), Official Secrets Act. Having acted in a manner prejudicial to the defence of India and the security of the State and therefore attracting Sections 3 (1) and (2) of the National Security Act 1980 they should be detained under NSA forthwith.
- Indian Express leak made a blatantly false allegation that Army had paid money to J&K politicians to overthrow the duly elected Government of the State. This was done with the deliberate intention to promote enmity between officers and soldiers of the Indian Army serving in Jammu & Kashmir and the government/people of that state thereby causing disturbance to harmony and national-integration. Accused #1 & #2 are therefore guilty of offences under Section 153A and 153 of IPC.This is a clear case of acting in a manner prejudicial to the defence of India and the security of the State and therefore attracts Sections 3 (1) and (2) of the National Security Act 1980. Besides prosecuting Accused #1 and #2 under the relevant laws they should be detained under NSA forthwith.
- Picking up from the Indian Express leaked report on TSD, on 24 September 2013 ‘The Hindu’ published a news story titled “V.K. Singh counters charges, admits ‘pro-India NGOs’ were funded”[http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vk-singh-counters-charges-admits-proindia-ngos-were-funded/article5161196.ece]. In this report Accused # 6 with the deliberate intention of promoting enmity between people of India, officers and soldiers of the Indian Army serving in Jammu & Kashmir and the people of that state and cause disturbance to harmony and national-integration inserted the blatantly false claim that ‘the panchayat elections of 2011 was a major achievement of the TSD’, a statement I never made. This was a clever ‘cut and paste’ based on ‘news’ planted by some of my adversaries who have been leaking the top-secret TSD and other stories. Accused # 5, without verification and cross-checking from me published this lie as it was written.
What is more, Accused #5 went into a frenzy, got a story generated from the J&K Bureau Chief and published it on the Newspaper’s front page on 25 September 2013 under the title ‘Our lives in danger, say sarpanches in J&K” [http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/our-lives-in-danger-say-sarpanches-in-jk/article5164918.ece?ref=relatedNews] This news report says that because of my reckless statements, I have caused “an extremely serious apprehension of militant attacks on more than 33,000 panches and sarpanches as I have completely discredited and maligned the panchayat elections of 2011.” This manufactured report has promoted enmity between officers and soldiers of the Indian Army serving in Jammu & Kashmir and the people as well as elected leaders of that state and also has caused disturbance to harmony and national-integration.
Accused #5 & #6 are therefore guilty of offences under Section 153A and 153B of IPC. Having acted in a manner prejudicial to the defence of India and the security of the State and therefore attracting Sections 3 (1) and (2) of the National Security Act 1980 they should be detained under NSA forthwith.
In order to get to the bottom of the entire ruckus and find out the truthfulness of all such reports, I moved an application under Right to Information Act, 2005 before the Ministry of Defence dated __ asking for a copy of the said report of the Board of Officers and the details of the action taken in the wake of the same. However, the Ministry of Defence, vide its reply dated __, informed me that the information so sought by me under the RTI Act cannot be provided to me as it was classified as secret under the section 8 (i) of the RTI Act. Therefore, this implies that whatever reporting regarding the TSD has been carried out by the abovementioned media persons, and leakage of information regarding TSD thereto, is in contravention of the provisions of the Official Secrets Act. Therefore, each person involved in the entire sequence of events resulting in the leakage of information to the Media as well as media persons involved in the malicious reporting of the same, are liable for prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. It is pertinent to mention here that prosecution under the Official Secrets Act can only be initiated by the State (Government), therefore, you are requested to take necessary action and direct the competent investigating agency to launch prosecution as to the same. A copy of the abovementioned reply to my RTI Application from MoD is being annexed hereto.
- Earlier, in March, 2012, someone in Government deliberately leaked out a top-secret letter from me to the Prime Minister stating that “the army’s tanks have run out of ammunition, the air defence is as good as obsolete and the infantry is short of critical weapons”. This was reported in [http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1668283/report-dna-exclusive-gen-vk-singh-tells-pm-some-hard-truths]. This leakage has been reportedly traced to an official in the Cabinet Secretariat and nothing is known as to what action has been taken in this regard so far. This is a grave offence under Official Secrets Act and being prejudicial to the defence of India and the security of the State attracts the provisions of NSA. All those involved in this leak should be prosecuted and detained under NSA.
- The above serious offences have been committed due to abetment and conspiracy indulged in by civil and military officials (past and present) in the Prime Minister’s Office, Cabinet Secretariat, Ministry of Defence, Army Headquarters and many others. They are all guilty of abetment and Criminal Conspiracy to commit all the above offences. A thorough investigation would bring out the truth about who these persons are and what is their motive for indulging in activities aimed at destabilizing India and harming its citizens.Interestingly, one of the Wikileak files [http://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/1149294_confed-fuckhouse-.html] suggests that the Indian Express editor, Shekhar Gupta (Accused #1) is the only contact in India for Stratfor, a US-based global intelligence firm with alleged CIA links.
The charges detailed above deal with the very serious crimes of:
(a) promoting enmity between people of India, officers and soldiers of the Indian Army serving in Jammu & Kashmir and the people of that state;
(b) causing disturbance to harmony and national-integration
(c) deliberately compromising the safety of the soldiers fighting on the borders and security of the citizens
(d) abetting mutiny by an officer, soldier in the Army and attemptting to seduce any such officer and soldier from his allegiance or his duty
(e) willfully disclosing top-secret documents thereby threatening the sovereignty and integrity of India and the security of the State
(f) deeply impacting the fighting capability and effectiveness of our Armed Forces in protecting citizens and safeguarding the nation’s security, integrity and sovereignty.
(g) serious prejudice to the defence of India and the security of the State
Inaction and complicity in the above offences has encouraged criminals and severely compromises security of the nation and safety of its citizens.
It is therefore requested that immediate action be taken to direct the concerned authorities to register appropriate FIRs, commence investigation and resort to preventive detention of offenders where necessary.
General V. K. Singh (Retd.)