Former Indian Army chief and Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh on Thursday said he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking an investigation into a false story about an “attempted military coup” that had been allegedly planted in the media in 2012, PTI reported. At the time, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government was in power at the Centre.

The minister’s announcement came days after the Sunday Guardian reported that someone in the UPA government had “leaked to the media” an inaccurate story about an attempted coup by the Army. The government had reportedly asked the Intelligence Bureau in January 2012 to informally find out if the Army was attempting a coup. But the agency had reported back saying there was no such plan to overthrow the government. However, “this fiction was leaked to the media” three months later, the Sunday Guardian reported.

“The Indian Army loves the country and can never go against it,” Singh, who headed the Army in 2012, told reporters. He added that he has sought a high-level investigation to expose the people “who have committed treason” against the country.

Singh said he had written to the Ministry of Home Affairs after the story was published in The Indian Express on April 4, 2012, and asserted that the Army would never do anything unconstitutional. “The sentiment was echoed by the then defence minister [AK Antony],” he said. “You cannot accused the armed forces of a thing like this. I had written to the MHA in 2012 but no action was taken. Now this expose has come out.”

Earlier this week, Bharatiya Janata Party leader GVL Narasimha Rao said the coup story was not just a political conspiracy but also an attempt to defame the Army. “The country’s top intelligence officials, when they tell the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that it’s a hoax, this matter should have ended there,” The Hindu quoted Rao as saying. “What was the motive behind floating the fake and baseless story about the Army coup.”