CoS N Command set to head Corps, Harsha may go as Adjutant Gen

New CoS to be named soon

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Nov 16: Close on the heels of postings of new General Officer Commandings (GOCs) at Leh-based 14 Corps and Nagrota headquartered 16 Corps, the Army is likely to get new Chief of Staff (CoS) Northern Command while former GOC 16 Corps Lt Gen Harsha Gupta is tipped for prestigious posting in the Army Headquarters.
Reliable sources told the Excelsior that Lt Gen C Bansi Ponnappa, Chief of Staff, Northern Command headquartered at Udhampur is likely to be transferred and posted as GOC of Jallandhar (Punjab) based 11 Corps, which is part of the Western Command and looks after several areas along the International Border with Pakistan.
He will replace Lieutenant General Sanjeev Sharma, who is heading the Corps since November 6, 2019.
Lieutenant General Sharma is tipped to get prestigious posting for which orders are expected to be issued either by November end or start of December.
Lt Gen Ponnappa is Chief of Staff of the prestigious Northern Command since February 2020. He was commissioned into 2 MAHAR Regiment in June 1985 and later commanded the same unit. The officer had two tenures at the United Nations. He was in Somalia under UNOSOM-II and North Kivu Brigade of UN Peace Keeping Force in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Lieutenant General Harsha Gupta, who had recently been replaced as General Officer Commanding 16 Corps headquartered at Nagrota which looks after sensitive twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch besides Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban districts, is tipped for prestigious posting of Adjutant General in the Army Headquarters vice Lieutenant General Arvind Dutta.
Lieutenant General Harsha Gupta had been replaced only last month by Lieutenant General MV Suchindra Kumar as GOC of Nagrota-based White Knight Corps. Lt Gen Gupta has also served in various capacities in Jammu and Kashmir earlier.
“Certain names are under consideration for the posting of the Chief of Staff Northern Command in place of Lieutenant General Ponnappa. The name is likely to be announced within the next few days,’’ sources said.
Similarly, they added, posting orders of Lieutenant General Sanjeev Sharma, who is presently heading Jallandhar-based 11 Corps, are also likely to be issued shortly.
Some more transfers and postings at the level of GOCs are likely to be effected early next year, sources said.
Only last month, Lieutenant General PGK Menon was posted as new General Officer Commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps in place of Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, who was transferred and posted as 50th Commandant of Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun.
Leh Corps, which is also known as Fire and Fury Corps, has been dealing with standoff in Eastern Ladakh with China for last several months. However, there have been reports that the standoff could be resolved soon following talks between India and China at diplomatic as well as military level.
Senior officers of the Indian Army as well as the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have confirmed that disengagement could begin shortly in some areas of Eastern Ladakh.
Apart from the Eastern Ladakh, the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan is also tense in Jammu and Kashmir. On the eve of Diwali festival, five Indian soldiers were martyred and six civilians were killed while Pakistani troops had suffered heavy losses including nearly a dozen casualties on the LoC in Uri sector.
The twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch have also regularly been witnessing heavy mortar shelling and firing by the Pakistani troops. The Indian Army has been retaliating effectively. There have been reports that Pakistan army is trying to push trained militants into the Indian territory from the LoC under the cover of ceasefire violations.