Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh has warned of stern action if anyone from the Army was found involved in the killing of 13-year-old Dilson in its residential area in Chennai on Sunday.

Gen. Singh, who was talking to journalists here at a function, promised “strong action against anybody (in the army) found guilty, but said the force should not be defamed if any individual was suspected. “Whoever has committed any mistake in the incident – be it an officer or a jawan – strong action will be taken against him.”

On the allegation that Dilson was killed by a Lt. Colonel, Gen Singh said it was wrong to say that the Army was involved in this. It was a matter of someone raising doubt on an individual. “We have always said that the incident is regrettable and we have sympathy with the aggrieved family,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa reiterated her demand that the Army hand over its personnel responsible for the murder.

She is in the Capital for a meeting with the Planning Commission.

Ms.Jayalalithaa told mediapersons that it was quite clear that someone within the army camp had shot at Dilson. The Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary had written to the General-Officer-Commanding to hand over the person (army personnel) responsible to the State police for investigation. “We will take action. That is our stand,” she said. Meanwhile the National Human Rights Commission issued notice, seeking reports, returnable in four weeks, to the Union Defence Secretary and the Chennai Police Commissioner on the incident.