New Delhi: Lieutenant General Shri Krishna Singh, the Indian Army’s second senior-most officer, Tuesday took over as the new vice chief, heralding a generational change in the top brass. He is the first officer commissioned after India’s 1971 war with Pakistan to rise to the post.
General Singh succeeds Lieutenant General Avtar Singh Lamba, who retired Monday after 40 years of service. As a young second lieutenant, Lamba became a war veteran within weeks of being commissioned as India plunged into the 1971 conflict that led to Bangladesh’s independence.
With Lamba retiring, there are only four other officers in the Indian Army, including incumbent chief General Vijay Kumar Singh, who were commissioned in 1971.
Lieutenant General Shri Krishna Singh headed the Jaipur-based South Western Command before taking up his new assignment.
He was commissioned in December 1972 in the 8 Gorkha Rifles, a regiment to which the late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw belonged.
He took part in a number of operations, including the Indian military deployment in Sri Lanka, Operation Rakshak in Punjab as well as in Jammu and Kashmir.
He was the commander of an infantry division on the Line of Control with Pakistan and of a corps in a high altitude area of Jammu and Kashmir.
Besides, he has commanded a brigade in the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield. He is also Colonel Commandant of the Gorkha Rifles.
Singh’s successor in the South Western Command is Lieutenant General Gyan Bhushan, who till recently commanded the Tezpur-based 4 Corps.
Bhushan previously headed the Indian military training team in Bhutan and commanded a brigade and a division.
Lamba, commissioned in the Gorkha Rifes, converted to the Parachute Regiment. He has combat experience in counter-insurgency in Nagaland and Manipur, and saw action against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka.
He later commanded a mountain brigade, the 16 Infantry Division, the 21 Corps strike formation and the Shimla-based Army Training Command.