Indian Army’s Eastern Command remains headless

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Singh, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Wow, Gen VK Singh has a syndrome named after him.

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    KOLKATA: Some are calling it the General V K Singh syndrome. Others blame it for lack of proper planning. It's been nearly a week now since Lt Gen Bikram Singh left Kolkata to take over as the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) but the next GOC-in-C of the Eastern Command has not yet been announced. To make matters worse, the post of General Officer Commanding (GOC), Bengal Area, is also lying vacant after the retirement of Major General K S Kumbar on May 31.

    According to sources, there have been a few occasions in the past when the two top posts have remained vacant together for such a long time.

    "The GOC-in-C's post is a very crucial one for the Eastern Command which is involved in manning the Line of Actual Control with China as well as counter insurgency operations in the North East. In the last few months, several operational issues have taken a back seat with the limelight being on the outgoing Chief of Army Staff and his comments. While the GOC-in-C is in charge of all operational issues, the GOC, Bengal Area, is the key person who keeps in touch with the civil administration. He also has several administrative functions such as deployment of troops. He also maintains relations with security agencies like the BSF, entrusted with guarding the country's borders with Bangladesh. Rarely has it happened that both posts have remained vacant in this manner," a highly-placed source revealed.

    According to him, several officers have not received their promotions that would enable them to take over key posts like corps and divisional commanders. Much of this has to do with the legacy that Gen V K Singh left behind. The Army top brass in Delhi is no longer ready to take a call without going through an officer's service record minutely. But then, there has been lack of proper planning due to which replacements have not been kept ready to take over in case of any contingency.

    "Take the case of Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, commander of the Dimapur-based 3 Corps, who was slated to take over as GOC-in-C, Eastern Command after Gen Bikram Singh. Before retiring, Gen V K Singh imposed a discipline and vigilance ban on him after which the government refused to clear his promotion to the rank of Army Commander. This was due to a failed intelligence operation in Jorhat in 2011. The general now has till June 10 to answer to the charges. Just before his retirement, Gen V K Singh also raised the issue of allegations against Suhag of a fake encounter in 2010. Even if Suhag manages to clear his name, this will take some time. Will the post of GOC-in-C continue to remain vacant till then? And what if the charges against Suhag are established? Who will be the one to take charge of the Eastern Command then," another source wondered.

    The same holds true for the GOC's post. It is clear that the government is treading carefully to ensure that no fresh issues are raised about the next incumbent. Till somebody fit-enough can be found, the post will remain vacant.

    The Times of India — timesofindia.indiatimes.com — Readability
     
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