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Lt Gen SK Singh is new army vice chief

india Updated: Nov 01, 2011 12:50 IST

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Lt Gen Shri Krishna Singh, the Indian Army's second senior-most officer, on Tuesday took over as the new vice chief, heralding a generational change in the top brass as he is the first officer commissioned after India's last full-fledged war in 1971 to rise to the post.

Lt Gen Singh took over from Lt Gen Avtar Singh Lamba, who retired on Monday after 40 years of service. As a young second lieutenant in 1971, Lamba became a war veteran within weeks of being commissioned as India had plunged into what is now called the Bangladesh liberation war.

With Lamba retiring, there are only four other officers in the Indian Army, including present army chief General VK Singh, who were commissioned in 1971, the year of India's last full-fledged war.

After the war, Lamba, who was commissioned in the Gorkha Rifes, converted to the Parachute Regiment. He has combat experience during counter-insurgency operations in Nagaland and Manipur, and with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s.

He later commanded a mountain brigade, the 16 Infantry Division, the elite 21 Corps strike formation and the Shimla-based Army Training Command.

Lt Gen 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, and has participated in a number of operations, including the IPKF deployment Operation Rakshak in Punjab and 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. He is also the colonel commandant of the Gorkha Rifles.

Singh's successor in the South Western Command is Lt Gen Gyan Bhushan, who till recently commanded the Tezpur-based 4 Corps.

Bhushan has previously headed the Indian military training team in Bhutan and commanded a brigade and a division.