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Lt Gen Dalbir Suhag to be next Army Chief

Dalbir Singh Suhag

Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, a veteran infantry officer, will be the next Army Chief succeeding Gen Bikram Singh as the government on wednesday
Lt Gen Dalbir Singh set to be next Army ChiefNew Delhi: Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, a veteran infantry officer, will be the next Army Chief succeeding Gen Bikram Singh as the government on wednesday appointed him to the top post, brushing aside BJP’s protests.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved the recommendation of the Defence Ministry, a day after it was received, sources said.

Formal announcement about the appointment is likely to be made in a couple of days, the sources said.

59-year-old Lt Gen Suhag, a Gurkha officer who had participated in the 1987 Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operation in Sri Lanka, is currently the Vice Chief of Army Staff and the seniormost among the Lt Generals.

He will have a tenure of 30 months as the 26th Chief of the 12 lakh-strong force when he takes over from Gen Singh who retires on July 31.

Suhag was made the Vice Chief of Army Staff in December last year. Earlier, he took over as the Eastern Army Commander on June 16, 2012.

He was at the centre of a controversy triggered by ‘Discipline and Vigilance’ ban imposed on him by the then Army Chief Gen V K Singh in connection with an intelligence operation in Assam earlier.

The ban on Suhag, who was then 2 Corps Commander, was lifted soon after Gen Bikram Singh took over in May 2012.

BJP has been questioning the “hurry” in making the appointment and insisting that the matter be left to the next government as there is still time left.

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