Celebrations break out in Gen Suhag's native village in Hry

Dalbir Singh Suhag
Chandigarh, Jul 31: Celebrations broke out at Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag's native village Bishan in Haryana after he took over as the new Army chief today. People in the village, where almost every second house boasts having at least one of its member serving in the defence forces, were in a joyous mood on the occasion.

Suhag took charge of the 1.3 million strong force, succeeding Gen Bikram Singh in the national capital. 59-year-old Suhag, a Gurkha officer who had participated in the 1987 Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operation in Sri Lanka, was till now the Vice Chief of Army Staff.

"It's a great moment for all of us. We are all so proud of him," Gen Suhag's relative, Pradeep Suhag said. He said that 'ladoos' were distributed as celebrations broke out in the village in Jhajjar district.

Pradeep said Gen Suhag's aged parents -- father Ramphal and mother Ishri Devi have been away in Delhi for the last two days to be with the Army chief.

Whenever the Army chief finds time to visit his native village, a grand welcome will be thrown, he added. Before heading to Delhi, 84-year-old Ramphal, who himself is an ex-serviceman, had told reporters, in his village that his son always wanted to don the olive green uniform.

He had said that Dalbir was the fourth-generation member of the family to join the army and it was a matter of great pride that he went on to take over as its chief.

Earlier, Ishri Devi, with tears of joys in her eyes, had termed it as the happiest moment of her life, as her son was to take over as the Army chief. She had said that Gen Suhag was brave from his childhood and had a fascination for the Army.


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