New Delhi: The defence ministry spokesperson on Friday came in for attack from senior officers after she “inadvertently” tweeted against former Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash. The spokesperson had alluded to the misuse of manpower and resources by military officers in a discussion over the use of Army insignia on vehicles by a civilian.

The issue started when Admiral Prakash tweeted on Wednesday over the misuse of flags and insignia by the defence services officers, saying “Even if misuse of an Army Command’s insignia by a civilian is not a cognizable offence, the person needs to be reprimanded by the GOCinC whose ‘Financial Adviser’ he is.”

On Friday morning, defence ministry spokesperson Swarnashree Rajshekhar attacked Admiral Prakash from her official Twitter handle. “What about misuse of jawans in your residence during an officer’s tenure sir? And how about children being picked up and dropped to school in Fauji (military) gaadis (vehicles)? Not to forget Madam’s shopping expedition on government vehicles. And endless parties...who pays for that?” Rajshekhar had tweeted. 

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Before she realised her “inadvertent mistake” and deleted her tweet, former officers and veterans had, however, taken screenshots of both the tweets and started to criticise the ministry over the “strained civilian-military” relationship in the defence ministry.

However, despite Rajshekhar lashing out against him, Admiral Prakash did not react strongly. “Rather than getting excited over an indiscreet tweet of @SpokespersonMoD I would suggest sober reflection; (a) by MoD on state of civil-mil relations & (b) by Military Leadership on the aspersions cast by MoD (IDAS?) civil-servant on personal conduct of Service officers,” he tweeted.  

The Navy has not yet said anything on the issue but sources said they were sure some corrective action would be taken on the issue. 

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Senior defence ministry officers said they would look into the matter and necessary action would be taken. 

Rajshekhar is an Indian Defence Accounts Services officer and is the first person from her cadre to have been appointed the ministry of defence spokesperson. The post has been held in the past by Indian Information Services officers such as the present DG, PIB Sitanshu Kar.