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New Northern Command chief takes over

Lt Gen HS Panag today assumed command of the prestigious Northern Command.

india Updated: Jan 01, 2007 20:56 IST
Arun Joshi

Lt Gen HS Panag on Monday assumed command of the prestigious Northern Command, the responsibility of which is to guard India’s frontiers with China, Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and also the highest battlefield of the world, Siachen glacier in this Himalayan state.

He replaces Lt Gen Deepak Kapoor.

Gen Kapoor has now taken over as the Vice Chief of Army Staff. Gen Kapoor was the head of this command for about two years.

Lt Gen HS Panag, who was GOC strike Corps at Bhopal assumed the charge at the Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur , 66 kms north of Jammu.

He brings with him a vast experience of having held crucial positions and assignments in the Army ever since he was commissioned into the Army in 1968, three years before the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict that saw emergence of Bangladesh in place of east wing of Pakistan.

Northern Command is regarded as the most crucial commands of the Indian Army. Its area of responsibility has multiplied  manifold since the eruption of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. Its troops have to fight insurgency in the hinterland, and also put extra effort and vigil in guarding the LoC to check infiltration from across the LoC.

Lt General HS Panag is an alumnus of National Defence Academy and was commissioned in Dec 1968. He holds a Master of Science degree in Defence Studies. The General has held various prestigious instructional, staff and command appointments. He has been an instructor at Indian Military Training Team at Bhutan, Indian Military academy Dehradun, School of Armoured warfare, Ahmednagar and Senior Instructor at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. He had also been the Chief Advisor and Chief Instructor at Defence Services Command and Staff College at Lusaka, Zambia where he pioneered its establishment.

He has been a General Staff Officer Grade 1 at Directorate of Mechanised Forces, Army Headquarters and Brigadier General Staff of a Corps. He has successfully commanded an Infantry Company in 1971 operations, Mechanised Battalion in High Altitude area, an Armoured Brigade, a Mountain Brigade in High Altitude area and an Armoured Division.

The General held the prestigious appointment of Director General of Military Training and Additional Director General of Perspective Planinig at Army Headquarters.