Paper says India army spooked gov't, ministry denies

April 4, 2012 12:02

NEW DELHI - Two Indian army units that moved towards New Delhi on a January night without notifying the government raised alarm in the capital, the Indian Express newspaper reported on Wednesday, but the Defense Ministry and army quickly denied the report.

The infantry unit of the 33rd Armored Division based 150 km (90 miles) from Delhi and a unit of the airborne 50 Para brigade based in Agra to the south reached the outskirts of Delhi before being ordered back, the newspaper said.

The army and Defense Ministry said the units were engaged in routine exercises to test mobility in fog and did not need to warn the government in advance. Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar told Reuters it was not true the maneuvers had caused alarm.

Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony said the exercises were normal and he was fully confident the armed forces would not do anything to undermine India's democracy.

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