'Nothing wrong in Panag's meeting with Antony': Lt Gen Nandrajog

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Lucknow, Feb 28 (UNI) Outgoing Central Command GOC-in-C, Lt Gen O P Nandrajog has supported his successor Lt Gen H S Panag's action in meeting with Defence Minister A K Antony, ostensibly to protest his transfer bare months ahead of his retirement.

''Lt Gen Panag has all right to meet his minister through proper channels-'' Lt Gen Nandrajog, who retires from the Army tomorrow after an illustrious career, said in an interaction with mediapersons here today.

Shying away from any controversy, Lt Gen Nandrajog --'' the seniormost Guards officer in the Army -- said there was nothing wrong on the part of the former Northern Command GOC-in-C meeting Mr Antony.

''Gen Panag is a fine officer and would work efficiently-,'' he said when asked as to why was Lt Gen Panag not interested in coming to the Central Command.

According to sources, Lt Gen Panag, who is due to retire later this year, had opposed his transfer to the far-less consequential Central Command and met Mr Antony over the issue, pointing out the numerous inquries he was overseeing into various scams in the prestigious and operationally committed command. However, Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor, who was his predecessor there, had defended the transfer as being in the ''best interests'' of the service and the force.

To another query, Lt Gen Nandrajog supported the appointment of retired army officials as governor of the trouble-torn states of North Eastern states, as well as elsewhere.

''Army officers are more efficient and experienced to deal with the situation there-,'' he added.

Asked about his views on the shortage of army officers, Gen Nandrajog said improved working conditions and emoluments were required to attract the youths to the force.

He also criticised the media hype over the suicides in defence forces. ''Such things happen everywhere,'' he observed.

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