Hasnain likely to become India's first Muslim DGMO | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Hasnain likely to become India's first Muslim DGMO

Srinagar-based Chinar Corps commander Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain is in line to become India’s first Muslim director general of military operations (DGMO), with incumbent Lt Gen Ashok Choudhary being pushed by the Defence Ministry for appointment to the post of Assam Rifles director general.

delhi Updated: Mar 16, 2012 00:36 IST
Shishir Gupta

Srinagar-based Chinar Corps commander Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain is in line to become India’s first Muslim director general of military operations (DGMO), with incumbent Lt Gen Ashok Choudhary being pushed by the Defence Ministry for appointment to the post of Assam Rifles director general.

Bhopal-based XXI Strike Corps commander Lt General Om Prakash is likely to take the place of General Hasnain.

Sources said that after completing 16 months of sensitive duty as the Army’s in-charge of Kashmir Valley counter-insurgency operations, the Defence Ministry and Army headquarters are working towards appointing Gen Hasnain as the DGMO. Widely known as the “people’s general” in the Valley, Hasnain is the only Muslim holding the post of Lt General in the Army.

Till now, his tenure in the Valley has been largely successful — with a record boost in tourism last year, cross-border infiltration figures at a low, and a largely peaceful summer.

It is learnt that defence minister AK Antony and the Army headquarters are keen on bringing Hasnain to Delhi, and are trying to make the Home Ministry accept the nomination of present DGMO, General Choudhary, as the DG of Assam Rifles. The post of DG of the paramilitary force has been lying vacant ever since Lt Gen Rameshwar Roy was recalled to the Army last year, after certain irregularities were noticed during his previous tenure as the 16 Corps commander in 2009.

However, the hitch is that General Choudhary, who was appointed as DGMO last January, does not have two years left for his superannuation. The Home Ministry is inclined to post an Army officer, who has at least two years for retirement, on deputation to Assam Rifles.