Lt. General Devraj Anbu to take over as Kashmir army commander

Anbu will replace Lt Gen DS Hooda, the Chief of strategically important Northern Command, who is retiring this month end.

NEW DELHI: Lt Gen Devraj Anbu, an officer from the Sikh Light Infantry, will take over as Chief of Northern Command, a key strategic point. Anbu will be replacing Lt. Gen DS Hooda, who is retiring this month end.

According to army insiders, Anbu is expected to succeed Lt. Gen Praveen Bakshi, who is all set to be the next Army Chief.

Bakshi will be taking over from the incumbent army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, who is retiring on December 31.

Anbu was posted as Corps Commander of Tezpur-based 4 Corps. His last posting in Jammu and Kashmir was as Brigadier in 2008-09.

The name of Anbu was approved by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday for the post of General Officer-in-Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) with effect from December 1.

The Northern Command is based in Udhampur. Considered strategically crucial, it controls the functioning of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Jammu-based 16 Corps and Leh-based 14 Corps.

Anbu is taking over the command at a time when the state is witnessing prolonged unrest for the last four months after militant Burhan Wani's killing by security forces in July.

Moreover, the situation on the LoC and international border has also been tense with continuous ceasefire violations by the Pakistan army.

Lt Gen Anbu, commissioned at the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in June 1980, has had a distinguished military career in which he has executed important Command and Staff appointments in India and abroad.

He has also participated in Indian Peace Keeping Operations (IPKF) missions in Sri Lanka  and Namibia. He has also taken part in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations in Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir.

He was awarded the Sena Gallantry Medal for operations in Siachen Glacier. Besides, Anbu also served as the military assistant to former Army chief General Bikram Singh.

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