V.K. Singh takes charge as army chief


New Delhi: Gen. V.K. Singh Wednesday took charge as the 26th chief of the 1.13 million-strong Indian Army from Gen. Deepak Kapoor, who before laying down the office blamed Pakistan for “aiding and abetting” infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir.

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Singh, 59, will hold the post till he turns 62. He will formally assume office Thursday.

The outgoing army chief, Gen. Kapoor blamed Pakistan for “aiding and abetting” infiltration of militants into Jammu and Kashmir.

“We do expect enhanced attempts at infiltration this summer and the trends for that are already there. Infiltration is aided and abetted by our western neighbour,” he told reporters after his farewell Guard of Honour.

“The security forces would tackle such attempts and ensure peace and stability in the border state that has faced insurgency for the last two decades,” he added.

When asked about his advice to his successor, Gen. Kapoor said: “All chiefs are people who are mature, so is my successor (Gen. Singh).”

Singh, who was GOC-in-C of the Kolkata-based Eastern Command, has vast experience in counter-insurgency operations, Line of Control and high altitude area environment. He was commissioned into the army in June 1970.

He is a third generation officer of the Rajput Regiment and is a graduate of the Wellington-based Defence Services Staff College as well as the US Army War College at Carlisle. He did a Rangers Course at Fort Benning in the US.

The general participated in the Bangladesh War in 1971 and Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka where he was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal.