The general issued a statement blaming rogue elements for trying to create a divide between the army and the government.
Attempting to put a lid on the controversy that there was a rift between the army chief and the defence minister, Gen Singh said the army and by extension, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), were part of the same government. The general pointed fingers at who he thought was creating a schism.
“There have been a string of selected leaks in the past, culminating with the public airing of the letter to the honourable prime minister. We are duty bound to serve our country and to protect the institutional integrity of the army at all cost, even if we sometimes have to look within,” the army chief’s statement read.
“We have to identify and within the confines of the system and the law, expose these elements. Freedom of speech and individual opinions need to be respected, but frivolous and uninformed comments on these issues will only muddy the waters,” it added.
The army chief said that immediately after he told Defence Minister A.K. Antony about the Rs.14 crore rupee bribe offer, steps were taken institutionally to keep an eye on retired officer Lt Gen Tejinder Singh. However, 18 months later, he resurfaced in the beginning of March this year and launched a smear campaign under the veil of anonymity alleging that the army was snooping on Antony.