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Lt Gen B S Thakur chief of tri-service command
Josy Joseph in New Delhi | September 30, 2003 15:01 IST
An army Lieutenant General has been appointed as the chief of Navy-dominated tri-service command at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Lt Gen B S Thakur will take over as the Commander-in-Chief of Andaman and Nicobar Command on October 1, 2003, according to the Ministry of Defence.
The appointment, to the discomfort of many in the navy, is a follow up to the recent appointment of a Vice Admiral as the chief of Integrated Defence Staff.
Lt Gen Thakur will replace Vice Admiral O P Bansal, the naval officer who is presently heading the tri-service command based in Port Blair. Bansal is taking over as the chief of Navy's Eastern Command in Vizag.
General Thakur, presently commanding a strike corps, is an alumni of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned into the Central India Horse (Armoured Corps).
With the army officer's appointment curtains come down on an array of progressive, but controversial, appointments aimed at creating better integration between the three services. But majority in the three services have their own share of grievances over the appointments.
In fact, navy chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh is believed to have opposed the appointment of an army officer to head the Navy-dominated integrated command.
There is only a brigade plus of army presence in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, while the IAF has a small presence through its helicopters and reconnaissance facilities.
The army has its share of reservations about the appointment of Vice Admiral Raman Puri as the next chief of Integrated Defence Staff. He will take over from September 30 from Lt General Pankaj Joshi, who is retiring.