India’s military probes fake gallantry acts

Agence France Presse

New Delhi, May 7:

The Indian army is probing charges that officers of an elite regiment faked acts of gallantry to grab awards while being deployed in a Kashmir troublespot last year, officials said today.

An army spokesman said an inquiry was underway at one of the military’s mountain garrisons after a whistleblower in the Gurkha Rifles regiment accused his commander of faking attacks on non-existant Pakistani posts to win bravery awards. “An inquiry has just started into this... it is official,” the spokesman said. He declined to elaborate but senior military intelligence officials in New Delhi promised to “throw more light” later today into the scandal.

The Hindustan Times newspaper today said the incidents occurred before nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan enforced a border ceasefire in disputed Kashmir last November, including the the heavily-militarised Siachen glacier. It quoted whistleblower Major Surinder Singh saying he and other Gurkha officers at Siachen staged fake battles, blew up self-built bunkers and made “enemy kills” allegedly on orders of battalion commander, Colonel K D Singh.