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Commander on trip to border

Lt Gen MMS Rai

Jan. 21: Lieutenant General M.M.S. Rai, the new general officer commanding-in-chief of the Eastern Command, today reviewed the operational areas in north Bengal and Sikkim from the Trishakti Corps headquarters in Sukna.

In his next two days in the region, Rai is expected to visit the international boundary posts and review the first tier of Indian defence with China along with Lieutenant General K.J. Singh, the corps commander of Trishakti.

Rai will also be given a first-hand report on all the activities undertaken by the corps along the India-China border.

The Trishakti Corps is responsible for the deployment of troops and operations along the line of actual control on the Chinese border in Sikkim.

Officers in the Eastern Command, headquartered at Fort William in Calcutta, said it was an exercise by the new commander to acquaint himself with the areas of responsibility under his jurisdiction.

It is a norm that any new army commander visits all the formations under his command after taking charge.

But some sources in the army said that Eastern Command was one of the most important commands of the Indian defence with China under its jurisdiction and added that it could be “a hub of activities in the near future”.

Lieutenant General Rai took over as the Eastern Command chief on January 1. Since then, he has already visited the 3 Corps headquarters in Nagaland. The northeastern state shares its border with Myanmar, “which has strong Chinese influence”.