Lt Gen Gurmeet Singh

GOC-Gurmeet-SinghThere was a change of guards in 15 Chinar Corps stationed in Kashmir recently. Lt Gen Gurmeet Singh is the new General Officer Commanding (GOC). He succeeded Lt Gen Om Prakash, who before exiting office said that about 320 militants were active in the valley and asserted that 2013 has witnessed lowest level of “infiltration” from across the Line of Control (LoC).
“Lt Gen Om Prakash, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Chinar Corps, handed over the reins of Chinar Corps to Lt Gen Gurmeet Singh who has an excellent understanding of valley as he has a very rich track record of serving in Kashmir in various capacities as commander as well as staff,” defense spokesman informs.
Singh, who is believed to be well versed with Kashmir, was previously holding a charge of Additional Director General (military operations). He also served as Brigadier General Staff (BGS) at the 15 corps, besides as the commander of 79 Infantry Brigade.
During the tenure of outgoing General, Om Prakash, extensive efforts were made by Army to improve relationship between “Awaam” and “Jawan” through his Awaami Milap programmes. He is now sent to Army HQs on his next assignment.
At the time when chief minister Omar Abdullah says he is “worried” about educated youth joining militant ranks, Gen Prakash recently said: “Some of them get indoctrinated and join the militancy since those who want radicalization to take over the society are working hard on their agenda. But their number is not that high and I believe Kashmiris are wedded to their Sufi tradition, which is against violence”.
The defense spokesman said restoration of peace in Kashmir post-Afzal Guru hanging, was one of Gen Prakash’s contributions. “Alongside the sustained counter-militant operations, he conceived and implemented various people-friendly initiatives benefiting the vast sections of the society,” the spokesman said.
Gen Prakash said that he is leaving Kashmir with good memories but prays that permanent peace is back here, “Kashmiri Awaam are for peace, which only can bring prosperity. We as Army are not keen to stay for longer and once the political leadership is satisfied with our role we will move back to barracks. We should not be seen as a hurdle to peace but as facilitator.”
Immediately after getting appointed as the Commanding Officer, Singh was spotted in Raj Bhavan with Governor NN Vohra. Both of them discussed the security arrangements being made for the next months Amarnath yatra.

-Bilal Handoo



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