New Delhi: Lt Gen Bipin Rawat Saturday took over as the 27th chief of the 1.3 million strong Indian Army succeeding Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who retired after 42 years of service. Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa also took charge as the 25th Air Force Chief replacing Anup Raha.
Gen Rawat superseded two senior most Lt Generals, Praveen Bakshi and P M Hariz.
Lt Gen Bakshi, who heads the Kolkata-headquartered Eastern Command, announced ‘‘full support’’ to the new chief and told theatre officers through video conferencing he will continue to lead with ‘‘full professional sincerity as hither-to-fore’’.
‘‘I convey my best wishes and full support of Eastern Command to Gen Bipin Rawat on having taken over as the Chief of Army Staff,’’ he said.
Earlier, there was speculation that Lt Gen Bakshi may resign or take premature retirement. He had also met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently.
The Eastern Commander called the new Army chief to congratulate him on taking over the reins of the army. Speculation is rife that Lt Gen Bakshi may be given the new post of Chief of Defence Staff pertaining which Parrikar will meet Prime Minster Modi next month. PNN