New Army chief Bipin Rawat and IAF chief Birender Singh Dhanoa take over

New Army chief General Bipin Rawat and Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa took over as the chiefs of the two services.

Published: 31st December 2016 03:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st December 2016 06:54 PM   |  A+A-

New Air Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa takes guard of honour at air headquaters in New Delhi on Saturday. | PTI

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: General Bipin Rawat on Saturday took over the 27th Chief of Army Staff. On a day of taking, his senior colleague, Lt. General Praveen Bakshi, who was superseded for the top post, also gave him assurance to support with professional sincerity as hither-to-fore.

Virtually putting end to speculations of his resignation, Lt. General Pravin Bakshi , who is heading Kolkata based Eastern Command,  issued a statement saying  that “he would continue to lead Eastern Command with full professional sincerity as hither-to-fore.” Bakshi even spoke to Rawat over phone and congratulated him on assuming charge of the 1.3 million strong army.

Statement issued from the Eastern Command, Bakshi conveying his best wishes to the newly appointed Army Chief  also said that  “full support of Eastern Command to General Bipin Rawat on having taken over the Chief of Army Staff.”

Bakshi also requested that ‘speculations and trolling in media and social media should stop and everyone should focus on contributing their best to the betterment of the Army and the Nation.”

With the announcement by the Government of appointing Bipin Rawat as the new Army Chief by ignoring two senior army officers including Bakshi, military circles were full of speculations that superseded Bakshi might resign. The last time an officer was superseded in the appointment of a new Army chief, he had resigned. Lt General SK Sinha, who put in his papers after the Congress government of Indira Gandhi picked his junior General AS Vaidya to be chief in 1983.

Lt Gen Bakshi, an armoured officer, was considered as the front runner for the top post in the Army. However, keeping aside the trend of seniority being the lone criteria, the government appointed Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, a batch junior to Lt Gen Bakshi, as the next chief. While defending its stand, government stated that the Lt Gen Rawat, an infantry soldier, was found best suited among three officers to deal with challenges like cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and the situation with Pakistan. And government has maintained that both areas will be under focus for the next 2-3 years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government.

Meanwhile, General Dalbir Suhag, who superannuated as Army chief said that Indian army is prepared to meet any challenges, while thanking the government for providing a free hand and implementing OROP.Suhag also said that infiltration attempts had increased during the year and the number of terrorists killed too was nearly double the previous year.

“In 2012, we had killed 67 terrorists, 65 in 2013 & killed 141 terrorists alone in J&K this year,” Gen Dalbir Singh on last day as Army Chief. Suhag said that when he had taken over he had said that the response of Indian army to any action against our interest would be immediate, adequate and intense. Indian army has done that in the last two-and-half years, he said. “I strongly believe that actions must speak louder than words,” Suhag added.



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