“The brigadier posted at the Nasirabad cantonment near Ajmer is facing serious allegations of corruption, falsification of documents and violent harassment of his subordinates including officers and jawans,” Army sources told Mail Today here.
The development comes at a time when the Army is maintaining a high vigil along the western front, but its strike brigade is embroiled in such issues.
The brigadier is posted in a Composite Artillery Brigade, which handles sophisticated weapon systems such as the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers and the Russian Smerch rockets. The formation is part of the Indian Army’s elite 21 ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ Strike Corps, which would be responsible for carrying out an offensive deep inside Pakistan through the desert sector in a war scenario.
HOW INQUIRY AGAINST HIM WAS INITIATED
The inquiry against the officer (name withheld) was launched after junior officers filed a complaint in February-March against him to higher authorities, giving complete details about the brigadier’s alleged corrupt practices and his abusive behaviour towards officers who did not toe his line.
At that time, the complaint was hushed up but the issue reignited when Lt Gen Cherish Mathson took over as the 21 Corps Commander in Bhopal and ordered a Court of Inquiry to probe the charges.
“The inquiry was ordered by Mathson under a major general-rank officer from the 36 Infantry Division and not the 41 Artillery Division to avoid the matter getting hushed up again,” sources said.
INQUIRY COMPLETED, WHAT WILL FOLLOW NEXT?
It is learnt that the Court of Inquiry has completed its proceedings against the brigadier and would be sending its recommendations to the 21 Strike Corps headquarters for further action. The recommendations of the Court of Inquiry can also lead to initiation of court martial proceedings against the brigadier after a final call is taken on the matter by the corps headquarters.
Mail Today sought the Army’s version for the story, but its official spokesperson Col Rohan Anand did not respond to the mail despite waiting for over a week.
The personnel who had complained against the officer said that they were facing major harassment for bringing the matter to light. The Army laws do not provide any kind of protection to whistleblowers against discrimination by senior officers.
Lt Gen Mathson is known for his tough stance against corruption.
During his stint in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), he had played an important role in getting a case reopened in which defective tents were procured for troops staying in high-altitude areas.
After he opened the case, the Prime Minister’s Office ordered a CBI inquiry in the matter of alleged irregularities in purchases made by the Chakrata-based Special Frontier Force, which was formed after the 1962 war with China involving Tibetan troops.
The external spy agency had held an internal inquiry by an additional secretary-level officer, which found irregularities in the tendering processes and in the purchase of high-altitude tents over a period from 2009-2013.