Defence PRO, Jammu creates Piquant situation, running the office in absentia

Defence PRO, Jammu Lt Col Manish Mehta is working over time from behind the curtains even while he is officially on leave till July 12, 2015.

But his over enthusiasm saturday created piquant situation after his office released a press note informing the media that on Friday when IAF rescued BSF persons from one of their border outposts in Ramgarh sector of Samba aviation unit of the Indian army also participated in the operation along with IAF.

Ironically, it took more than 24 hours for the office of Defence PRO to woke up from its deep slumber to give due credit to the role of the aviation wing of the Indian army.

Interestingly, on Friday when Lt Col Manish Mehta had released a press note with complete details of rescue operation he had informed the media only about the role of the Indian Air Force under the leadership of Wing Commander Anup Sharma.

It appears Lt Col Mansih Mehta who is currently on leave was not aware about the role of aviation wing of the Indian army and was left with no option but to issue a separate press note after IAF walked away accolades for launching a timely rescue operation.

It could not be ascertained how and why the office  of Defence PRO in Jammu failed to highlight the role of the Aviation wing of the Army in the rescue operation in Ramgarh Sector in its official press note on Friday itself.

 The official mail released by Lt Col Manish Mehta  on saturday claimed, ” In a swift reaction to the situation and an urgent message from the BSF authorities, the Indian Army pressed into service two of its ALH Dhruv helicopters & ground columns along with a Mi-17 helicopter of the Indian Air Force, based at Jammu, for the rescue mission.  

The BSF personnel, along with heavy stores, were air lifted in a combined operation of Army Aviation and Indian Air Force and evacuated the BSF persons to safer places.  One infantry company column was also kept standby for any further assistance in the effort throughout, the release issued by Defence PRO stated.

Interestingly, before Lt Col Manish Mehta went on leave on June 29, 2015 Directorate of Public Relations, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi directed  SN Acharya, Photographic Officer Jammu to officiate the duties of PRO, Jammu during the above leave period.

In contrast to this office order , which was circulated to all the media houses through official mail of Defence PRO, Jammu office on July 1 Lt Col Manish Mehta is regularly updating media persons about the current events via official email and through his whatsapp account.

This has created lot of confusion among media persons as  in some case Lt Col Mehta has been found contacting media persons to publish his name along with the news report while remaining on official leave.

When contacted the office of Defence PRO Jammu said Lt- Col Manish Mehta is on leave till July 12, 2015 and would resume the duties after the leave period.

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