Army to shift DGMO ahead of schedule to low-profile post

FP

The Army has decided to transfer Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen A K Choudhary to a relatively low-profile position in the Bengal Area, a year prior to when his tenure would normally have ended.

Choudhary, believed to have been close to previous Army chief Gen V K Singh, was in the spotlight after he had been summoned by the Defence Secretary to explain the unusual troop movements towards Delhi on January 16-17 this year, a day after Singh went to court against the government over his birth date dispute.

Choudhary, who took over as DGMO on January 9 this year, was expected to be in the post for another year going by the usual tenures of DGMOs. Choudhary, sources said, has health problems and underwent surgery recently. He had asked for a less strenuous job and this is being cited as the official reason for his transfer. The transfer is yet to be approved by the Defence Ministry but it is not expected to face any opposition there.

The Army has proposed that Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, the present Director-General, Infantry, be appointed the new DGMO. A file to the effect has been moved and needs to be approved by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet.

Barely a week after he joined as DGMO, Choudhary was summoned by Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma to explain the movement of an armoured unit and a paratrooper unit towards the capital. The movements were picked up as unusual by the Defence Ministry.

Choudhary was also the frontrunner for the post of Director-General of Assam Rifles. The post fell vacant after Singh recalled Lt Gen Rameshwar Roy following allegations of financial impropriety. The charges were later found to be false. Singh had proposed Choudhary's name, but the Home Ministry turned it down as it did not have the approval of the Defence Ministry.

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