NEW DELHI: Defence Minister AK Antony today said movement by Army troops in January this year was undertaken for training purpose and was aimed at refining mobilisation drills and preparedness of the force during foggy and wintry conditions.
In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Antony said, “The movement was purely for training purpose, aimed at refining the mobilisation drills and ensuring operational preparedness of the Army despite adverse weather conditions.”
According to a newspaper report, the central intelligence agencies reported that on the night of January 16, there was an unexpected and non-notified movement by a key military unit around Delhi in the direction of the capital.
Stating that no such report was received by the Defence Ministry with regard to such troop movement, Antony said, “On January 16, one of the units of Para brigade carried out mobilisation to practise mounting from an alternate airfield other than Agra during fogged out condition.”
A similar exercise was carried out by the Hisar-based 33 Armoured Division, where a mechanised infantry battalion was mobilised towards Bahadurgarh located west of Delhi to validate its loading, movement and occupation of a harbour in poor visibility condition, the Defence Minister said.
“Having validated their mobilisation drills, both the columns subsequently moved back. There was no report received in the Defence Ministry from intelligences agencies on January 16/17 with regard to such troop movements,” he said.