New Delhi: High drama was witnessed at the residence of former Army Chief Gen V K Singh here on Saturday after a Major went there purportedly to remove the army's telephone exchange but his family alleged that it was an attempt to plant snooping bugs.

The Major of the Signals Regiment was "detained" by the family members who called the media to the scene in Mandir Marg in Delhi Cantonment at around 2 PM.

They linked it to the withdrawal of the Z-plus security to Gen Singh, who has been at loggerheads with establishment for over a year following controversy related to his age issue.

Gen Singh's family members claimed that Major R Vikram from 1st Signals Regiment entered their house without prior permission and may have been trying to bug their telephones.

"We found him (Major) at the house. They (team) could not give any reasonable logic for being here. They had no valid documents. They may have come to bug the phone. We detained, apprehended him. He revealed his identity as Maj R Vikram from 1st Signals Regiment," said Gen Singh's lawyer Vishwajeet Singh.

Claiming that the Army Major and his team had "some cards with them", he said, "Recently they have withdrawn security and now this has happened. There could be something big."

Army sources admitted that the exchange was being removed from the former Army Chief's residence as part of the withdrawal of Z-plus security category with effect from November last.

The Army dismissed the allegations of snooping attempt, saying its team had gone there to remove the Army telephone exchange installed there and the issue was created due to communication gap. "Due to a miscommunication somewhere, a Signals Regiment party went to remove the Army exchange and lines at the Mandir Marg house of Gen V K Singh. Mrs V K Singh objected to the removal of the exchange without prior notice," Army said in a statement.

In deference to her objection, the team returned without removing the exchange.

The house has been provided by the Defence Ministry for one year from his retirement on May 31 last year. "There was a communication gap. The Army team had gone there to remove telephone exchange but no prior information was given due to which all this happened," Army PRO Col J Dahiya said.

He said the Army will now carry out the exercise after giving prior information to the family.

Interestingly, Gen Singh has himself been in the midst of a controversy following allegations that during his tenure as Army Chief he had used sophisticated off-the-air interceptors to snoop on the officials of Defence Ministry at the height of his age controversy.

The specialised unit Technical Support Division is now in the process of being disbanded.


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