The Army Headquarters has released new postings of some Lt Generals but the orders do not include name of the new General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Command nor do they include the postings of two former Corps Commanders who are awaiting posting for more than a month.
As per the posting orders issued today, and accessed by The Indian Express, Lt Gen JS Cheema, GOC of Jalandhar-based 11 Corps, is being moved as Director General Infantry in Army Headquarters. He will be replaced by Lt Gen BS Sehrawat as the new Corps Commander in Jalandhar. Lt Gen PS Pannu has been posted as GOC 14 Corps in Ladakh while Lt Gen PM Bali has been posted as Director General Perspective Planning in Army Headquarters.
Lt Gen SK Jha has been posted as GOC 33 Corps to replace Lt Gen Surinder Singh but no posting orders have been issued for Lt Gen Surinder Singh who is tipped to be the new Western Army Commander. Sources say the posting orders of several officers of the rank of Lt General have not yet been cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) and that there is a tussle going on between the Ministry of Defence and the Army Headquarters over some appointments. The MoD is learnt to have taken exception over the proposed postings of some Lt generals and questioned th rationale behind it.
No postings have been issued for Lt Gen DR Soni, former GOC of Bathinda-based 10 Corps and Lt Gen PS Mehta, former GOC of Bhopal-based 21 Corps. Both Generals have been awaiting their new assignments for over a month now. While Lt Gen Soni was attached to South Western Command Headquarters in Jaipur and put on extended joining time, Lt Gen Mehta was sent on 45 days leave and attached to the office of Deputy Chief of Army Staff (IT&S) in Army Headquarters during his leave duration. His leave ends on August 15 and there is no word on which office he is to report after August 15 when his leave ends.
The Western Command has been without a regular GOC-in-C after the retirement of Lt Gen KJ Singh on July 31. A temporary arrangement has been made by which the GOC 11 Corps, Lt Gen JS Cheema is officiating as the Western Army Commander till a new General is posted. Senior officers say that with Lt Gen Cheema now also under posting, a call will soon be taken on the new GOC-in-C with the ACC likely to take a decision next week. Lt Gen Cheema’s replacement has been ordered to join 11 Corps by August 29.
The postings for the new Vice Chief of Army Staff and the GOC-in-C Southern Command were announced earlier. Lt Gen Bipin Rawat is to move from Southern Command to take over as the Vice Chief of Army Staff upin the retirement of the present incumbent Lt gen MMS rai on August 30, while Lt Gen PM Hariz, GOC-in-C Army Training Command in Shimla will replace Lt Gen Rawat in Southern Command.