No comment on top secret India-China war report: Government

New Delhi, March 18: Citing the extreme “sensitive nature” of the contents, the government Tuesday declined to comment on sections of a classified report on the 1962 India-China war that have been posted online.

Sections of the classified Henderson-Brooks report have been put online by Australian journalist Neville Maxwell.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party said the report should be released.

The report analysed the causes of India’s humiliating defeat in the 1962 border war against China and allegedly put the blame on the then government of prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the military leadership for India’s defeat.

In a statement, the defence ministry said it has “come across news reports which state that an Australian journalist, Neville Maxwell, has put out sections allegedly from the Henderson Brooks Report on the India-China conflict of 1962″.

“Given the extremely sensitive nature of the contents of the report, which are of current operational value, it is reiterated that the government of India has classified this report as a ‘Top Secret’ document and, as such, it would not be appropriate to comment on the contents uploaded by Neville Maxwell on the web,” it said.

The report, authored by Lt. Gen. Henderson Brooks and Brig. P.S. Bhagat, reportedly details military and political blunders by India that led to the defeat.

Maxwell reportedly got a copy of the report and wrote a book called “India’s China War”. He has put out sections of the report on the web.

The online disclosure of the report came at an odd time for the government which is battling an aggressive opposition in the run up to Lok Sabha elections, which start early next month and continue in May.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said people had a right to know what went wrong and alleged that the country lost the war “because of Nehru.”

“What are they trying to hide by making the war report classified,” Prasad asked.