Lieutenant General Ram Chandra Tiwari to be next Eastern Army commander

Team India Sentinels Monday 18th of December 2023 11:21 AM

Lt Gen Ram Chandra Tiwari. (Photo: Rashtrapati Bhavan)

New Delhi: Lieutenant General Ram Chandra Tiwari has been appointed the next general officer commanding in chief of the key Eastern Army Command. He will replace the incumbent Eastern Army GOC-in-C Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita, who retires on December 31.

Lt Gen Tiwari was commissioned into the Kumaon Regiment in 1987. He is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College, College of Defence Management, and the National Defence College. Currently, he is serving as the commander of the Indian Army’s Uttar Bharat Area, which is headquartered in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Bharat Area comes under the Lucknow-headquartered Central Army Command.

Before, his current posting as commander of the Uttar Bharat Area, Lt Gen Tiwari, commanded the Dimapur-based III Corps, also known as the Spear Corps. Earlier, he also served as the chief of staff at the Jaipur-headquartered South Western Command.

According to sources in the defence establishment, the picking of Lt Gen Tiwari as commander of the critical Fort William, Kolkata-headquartered Eastern Army, was his excellent exposure and experience in both conventional and counterinsurgency operations. The Eastern Army is responsible for the security of the China border in the east running from Sikkim to eastern Arunachal Pradesh.

Lt Gen Tiwary’s parent unit is 4 Kumaon. It is the same unit that one of the Army’s 1947 India-Pakistan war heroes, Major Somnath Sharma, PVC, belonged to.

Who was Major Somnath Sharma?

Maj Somnath Sharma was the first recipient of India’s highest wartime gallantry honour – Param Vir Chakra. The 4 Kumaon officer is remembered for successfully defending the Srinagar airport from falling into Pakistan’s hand when Pakistani regulars and tribesmen launched an attack on the erstwhile princely state of Jammu & Kashmir to annex it, in 1947.

On November 3, 1947, about 500 Pakistani invaders attacked Major Sharma’s company from three sides with an objective to capture Srinagar airport.

With dogged determination, Sharma led his company to fight against the enemy. During the firefighting, the Maj Sharma showed extreme bravery and fought valiantly, until an enemy mortar shell exploded near him.

Even after his death, his men kept on fighting for many hours and stalled the enemy attack.

For displaying inspiring leadership, conspicuous gallantry, and making the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra (Posthumous). He became the first recipient of the country’s top gallantry award. He was just 24.


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