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Troop movement in 2012 was routine training: Antony
Friday February 21, 2014 10:54 PM, IANS

Defence Minister A.K. Antony Friday said the movement of two army units near Delhi in January 2012 was "a routine training" and dismissed reports of mistrust between the army and the government.

Answering queries after former director general of military operations A.K. Choudhary said he was summoned by the then defence secretary over the issue, Antony said it was a routine exercise.

"It was a routine training programme. Nothing wrong in it," Antony told reporters here. He said he had answered the question thrice in parliament earlier.

"The defence secretary also gave the same answer to the Parliamentary Standing Committee."

The minister denied there was any trust deficit between the government and the army in the wake of the age row concerning former army chief V.K. Singh.

National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon also said there was no distrust. He said he worked very closely with the army.

Lt. Gen. Choudhary told the media in Patna that he was asked by the government about the troop movement and he told them that it was a "normal training event".

He said such training was planned in advance.

Two army units from Hisar and Agra, on the night of Jan 16-17, 2012, had moved in the direction of the national capital.

Asked if the government was alarmed over the troop movement, Lt. Gen. Choudhary said he can't say if those in the government were "alarmed or not".

"I explained and the issue was understood by them," he said.

He said training takes place on a daily basis and the government is told if there is a major exercise or if an exercise is held near the international border.

Former army chief General V.K. Singh, who went to court against the government on the issue of his date of birth, said the routine move of the army was cooked up.

"Confirms who cooked up a routine move to denigrate the army," he said in a tweet.

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