Last veteran of 1971 war Gen. Ghosh retiresMay 31st, 2012 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, May 31 (IANS) “As the last veteran of the 1971 Indo-Pak war, I hang up my uniform and pay my solemn gratefulness to our brave soldiers who laid down their lives for our tomorrow,” Lt. Gen. Shantanu Ghosh wrote in the visitor’s book as he stepped down as the head of the Indian Army’s Western Command on his retirement after over 40 years of service.
Ghosh laid a wreath at the “Veer Smriti” at the command headquarters at Chandimandir, 10 km from here and also inspected a guard of honour.
Ghosh, an alumnus of St Josepha’s, Nainital, and National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, was commissioned into the army Nov 14, 1971 and immediately participated in India-Pakistan war in the Jammu and Kashmir sector.
Along with Gen. V.K. Singh, who retired as army chief Thursday, Ghosh was among the last of the serving officers who had seen action in the 1971 conflict, the last full-fledged war fought by the defence forces.
All currently serving senior army officers, including the new army chief, Gen. Bikram Singh, were commissioned in the post-1971 era.
Ghosh has a commanded battalion of the Brigade of the Guards, an infantry brigade on the Line of Control, an infantry division and a strike corps before heading the Western Command.
A graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, he has served as defence attache at the Indian embassy in Washington.
Talking briefly to media, Ghosh said that the new army chief would be a dynamic leader. “I know him very well,” Ghosh said.
Referring to controversies around Bikram Singh, Ghosh said that the army should be left alone to do its job. “It has become the norm that when someone takes over, they (controversies) are floated,” he said.
On V.K. Singh’s controversial tenure, Ghosh said that “the chief he fought for what he thought to be right”, adding this was his “personal issue”.
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