Arms Lobby, Leaders, Officials and the Media

A Shocking Nexus

Has the whole defence establishment surrendered to the arms lobby? It seems the Government follows the reverse rule of rewarding treachery and punishing those who are ready to lay their life for the nation. This report is about the nexus between suspicious characters and a ‘reputed’ media house. The expose is about an Indian Express Reporter and an Ex-Army General. It is a shameful saga not just for the Government but for the media as well as the people of India.

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. It was set up with the consent of the Defence Minister because it was felt that the capability of RAW and IB to launch such covert operations has diminished. Given the nature of the work, the whole unit worked in a ‘camouflaged manner’. Its location, officials and its work were top secret and out of bounds. But 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 TDS. 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.

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On 16 August 2012, at around 6 p.m., a white Toyota Qualis came towards the premises of the Technical Service Division (TSD ). Two persons got  down. One stayed near the vehicle and the other went inside the premises of the TDS. 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. What was an Indian Express Reporter doing in that prohibited area?

What was an Indian Express Reporter doing in that prohibited area? Did he take permission from his Editor, Shekhar Gupta? Was Shekhar Gupta aware of this gross misconduct of his reporter? The TSD office was secretly located in the middle of the cantonment area.  If he had come without informing his Editor, did he report this incident to him? These questions are important because people working in the Indian Express told me that he is very close to the Editor. He is a ‘hitman’ of  Shekhar Gupta. But this story does not end here.

When the jawan started making further enquiries, the reporter became nervous. The jawan informed him that this is not an army location. The Indian Express Reporter replied that he had gone around the unit premises and seen vehicles with army number plates. The jawan escorted the Indian Express Reporter out of the unit premises, and saw a white colored Toyota Qualis waiting at a distance. He became suspicious. He started questioning him. He asked: “How did you know about the location?” The reporter did not reply. He again asked: “How did you reach this location?” The reporter kept quiet.  Finding himself in an uncomfortable situation, the reporter hurriedly walked towards the Toyota Qualis, where a man was waiting for him, and fled. Now, the question is : who was that man waiting for him near the Qualis? Who was accompanying this reporter to this prohibited area?

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 — the same man against whom the CBI filed a case for offering a bribe of Rs. 14 crore to former Army chief General VK Singh to clear the purchase of 1,676 high-mobility Tatra trucks for the Indian Army.

What was an Ex Lieutenant General  doing with a newspaper reporter in this prohibited area? It is a pertinent question which needs an answer. If the TSD was an undercover unit, not known to even many army officials, then why did Tejinder  Singh expose its location to a journalist? What was the motive? Did he consider going to the TSD premises some kind of excursion? Was this Ex Lieutenant General not aware of the consequences? The story does not end here.

The Army Havaldar who identified Lieutenant General 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 he 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. The DGMI did not know that during these three days many copies  were  made  and distributed to different people. Meanwhile, the COCIO called the Indian Express Reporter and asked why he went to the TSD unit’s premises. He replied that he did not go there. On this, the COCIO said that you were wearing a blue shirt and all your activities have been captured by the CCTV camera. The reporter did not say a word and disconnected the phone. This incident was reported by the IBN7 Hindi News Channel but no action was taken against these people who not only broke the law by going to a prohibited area but also compromised national security. Instead of taking action against the miscreants, the team which wrote the letter was harassed for leaking this news to the media.

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 levelling false allegations and giving wide media coverage on the issue as the name of the unit has already been tarnished on several occasions. If the officials had  prior information of such a conspiracy, then why were Tejinder Singh and the Indian Express reporter left unpunished? This act vindicated the intelligence report.

Can we allow Pakistan or China to spy or conspire against our secret and important agencies? The TSD unit was set up specially for staging covert operations in enemy nations. It was on the target list of many countries with whom we do not share a good relationship – that’s why its locations and its operations were kept secret. If the identities of the people associated with it are compromised, then it could create a dangerous situation. The TSD works in coordination with the Defence Minister.  This is yet another reason why this incident should have been investigated. The logical inference is that for any person to be enquiring about this unit is tantamount to spying. Spying for whom? Which country? And if they are left without questioning, then the question should be asked, who are those powerful people shielding these people ? On whose order did the DGMI give instructions to tear off the letter and destroy the hard disk?

We also got exclusive information about the off-the-air monitoring system. It was reported that there has been some misappropriation in the purchase of these items. The documents we have clearly say that acquisition of off-the-air monitoring system was done without the approval of the Technology Coordination Group (TCG). It was not in accordance with the directions of the TCG – a fact which was specifically clarified to the Director General of the Defence Intelligence Agency ( DGDIA) . At that time the DGDIA was Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh. This letter was circulated to the Cabinet Secretary, the Defence Secretary, the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO ) Chairman, Director and Joint Secretary of PMO and others. It was circulated to 15 people but when the issue came into lime light, everyone kept quiet. No one came forward to tell the truth. Why did they keep mum? Are they afraid of something? What does this mean? Should we believe that the nexus of the arms lobby, leaders, officials and the media is such that even Government is afraid of telling the truth.

From the day General V K Singh exposed the middlemen and bribery, he has been on the target list of the arms lobby and the mafia. They have been planting stories against him in the media. Moreover, the shocking trend is that during the last 6 months,  the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Bikram Singh has been instituting various investigations. It seems they are aimed at tarnishing the honest image of General V K Singh. The Army Chief has dismantled the TSD. Now India does not have a potent unit for covert operations in enemy territory. No one seems to be bothered about it.  What China and Pakistan wanted to finish — we did it ourselves. The reason that was given for closing down the TSD  was that there was some misappropriation of funds. The details are not known. India is surrounded by hostile neighbours. If some Rs. 40-50 crore have been spent then it cannot be called misappropriation but people who are raising these questions are behaving like the representatives of enemy nations. Instead of regularising its function, it is alleged that officials of this unit are being pressurised to speak against General V K Singh.

The media needs to be very careful in matters of national security. The reporter of the Indian Express has clearly crossed the ‘laxman rekha’ of journalism. The Editor of the newspaper cannot shy away from his responsibility. He should have full knowledge of the activities of his reporter. Moreover, Mr. Shekhar Gupta is not unknown to either the reporter or to  Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh.

If the Technical Service Division (TSD) was an undercover unit, not known to even many army officials, then why did Tejinder  Singh expose its location to a journalist? What was the motive? Did he consider going to the TSD premises some kind of excursion? Was this Ex Lieutenant General not aware of the consequences? The story does not end here.

The Indian Express claims in its recent spate of billboard and other advertisements that 97 per cent people believe in their publication. So, we belong to the remaining 3 per cent and this article is for only for those 3 per cent. We know that against the precepts and ideals of Ramnath Goenka, the Indian Express will publish false stories against us. We are waiting. But, rest assured we will answer them in the mode of journalism of which Ramnath Goenka was considered the highest exponent. Some time ago, Chauthi Duniya exposed the reality of the spook story and also Shekhar Gupta’s role in it.  We will deal with journalism and ethics in the next issue, but I am leaving you with a question over which to ponder : is it a coincidence that every time the Army Chief institutes an investigation, the Indian Express gets the news first?  But why could they not get the news first when Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh was booked by the CBI?

See Attached Document :


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