India gave befitting reply after beheading incident: Bikram Singh

Updated - November 16, 2021 10:35 pm IST

Published - July 31, 2014 02:54 pm IST - New Delhi

Outgoing Army Chief General Bikram Singh speaks to the media after his farewell. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Outgoing Army Chief General Bikram Singh speaks to the media after his farewell. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

India gave a befitting reply to Pakistan following the beheading of an Indian soldier -- Lance Naik Hemraj -- along the Line of Control, outgoing Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh said here on Thursday.

Gen. Singh -- the 25th CoAS and only the second Sikh to hold the post after General Joginder Jaswant Singh -- will be succeeded by General Dalbir Singh Suhag, who is the second officer from the Gorkha Rifles unit -- after Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw -- to become India’s army chief.

"It has been done…when we use force, (it) is from tactical to operational to strategic levels,” said Gen. Singh, when asked about Indian army’s response in the aftermath of the beheading.

"When I mention that during that incident, it was aimed at operations at the tactical level, which have been undertaken. I think this has been done by the local commander, the chiefs have nothing to do with it,” he said.

While Gen. Singh admitted to frequent “face-offs” between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control, he said existing “robust mechanisms in place” prevented matters from exacerbating.

However, he did not rule out the possibility of future skirmishes along the LoC.

"On the western front, you know very well that it is the Line of Control which has traditionally been very active border and at the tactical level, there is firing always from across the border,” he said.

Recipient of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal, General Singh had previously served as the head of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command.

Last year, he was inducted in the United States Army War College’s (from where he graduated in 2004) International Fellows Hall of Fame, for his significant and enduring military/humanitarian contribution to international peace and stability.

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