Several attempts have been made to scuttle Suhag’s chances of becoming army chief, but the government has found no merit in the allegations against him. In the latest attempt to sabotage the army’s line of succession, a petition has been filed in the Manipur High Court alleging lapses on Suhag’s part in an encounter that reportedly took place on March 10, 2010.
Suhag was not even posted in the northeast then. He took over Dimapur-based 3 Corps only in March 2011. The alleged incident took place under VK Singh’s watch as he was then heading the Kolkata-based Eastern Command.
A similar petition was filed in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to derail General Bikram Singh’s chances of taking over as army chief in May 2012. A spy unit, controlled directly by VK Singh, had been accused of misusing secret funds to compromise Bikram Singh’s chances of becoming army chief.
Bikram Singh will retire on July 31. There is nothing extraordinary about a new chief being named two to three months before an incumbent is to demit office. Bikram Singh and former navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma were named as chiefs three months before the retirement of the then army and navy chiefs.