New Delhi, Mar 9: In possible signs of thaw, Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday appeared to be ruling out any action against Army chief Gen. V K Singh but vowed to take the “strongest action” under laws against those responsible for the leak of his letter to the Prime Minister.
He disclosed that the Intelligence Bureau has been asked to go into the leak of the letter in which the Army chief had said that the country's security might be at stake and said the government will get to the root of it and find out the persons behind the “anti-national” act.
“All the three service chiefs still enjoy the confidence of the government. They are working...otherwise, how can they continue,” he told reporters when he was asked whether Gen. Singh still enjoyed the government's pleasure and confidence.
At a press conference at the DefExpo, he was also asked whether the government would continue to “grin and bear” Gen. Singh till retirement in May or ask him to go on leave following a spate of controversies surrounding him.
The Minister's remarks on the confidence in the service chiefs came moments after a statement issued by Gen. Singh from Jammu that the leak of his letter should be treated as “high treason” and its source should be dealt with “ruthlessly“.
Maintaining that no patriotic Indian would indulge in leak of sensitive communication because it would only help the enemies, Mr. Antony said the report will be available at the earliest.
“I assure you that we will not leave it there. We will make every possible attempt to find out the real culprits who have done this anti-national activity and they will be given the maximum punishment under the Indian Penal Code,” he said.
Ever since he lost the battle over the age issue, Gen. Singh has been at loggerheads with the government and has given media interviews claiming he was offered a bribe of Rs. 14 crore to swing a substandard defence deal.