Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita 1st Assamese to take charge as GOC-in-Chief, Eastern Comm

India, Feb 2: Scripting a history in the entire North Eastern Region, Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita became the first from the north-eastern region to take over as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of the prestigious Eastern Command of Indian Army in Kolkata’s Fort William.

Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita succeeded Lieutenant General Manoj Pandey, who got promoted as the Vice Chief of the Indian Army. He assumed office after paying homage to the Veer Swahids at the ‘Vijay Smarak‘. He also received a Guard of Honour at the Garrison Battalion Parade Ground at Fort William.

Earlier, he served as the Director-General of Manpower Planning and Personnel Service at the Army HQ in New Delhi.

Eastern Command is one of the six operational commands of the Indian Army formed on November 1, 1920. Eastern Command has formations — III Corps in Rangapahar, Dimapur in Nagaland, IV Corps at Tezpur in Assam, XVII Corps at Panagarh in West Bengal, XXXII Corps at Sukna in North Bengal and 23rd Infantry Division at Dipatoli Cantonment, Ranchi in Jharkhand.

The prominent GOCs-in-C of Eastern Command were Field Marshal KM Carriappa, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, General KS Thimaya, General Dalbir Singh Suhag and present Chief of Indian Army General MM Naravane. Lieutenant General Kalita, an alumnus of Sainik School, Goalpara (SSG), was earlier awarded ‘Sena Medal (SM)’, ‘Vishist Seva Medal (VSM) (twice)’, Ati Vishisht Sewa Medal (AVSM), and Uttam Yudh Sewa Medal (UYSM) for his outstanding service with the highest degree of dedication, courage, valour, and commitment with integrity for the nation.

General Rana Pratap Kalita also rendered outstanding services twice in the United Nations as a Military Observer in Sierra Leone and Chief Operational Officer in Sudan. He was conferred with the AVSM award for his excellent performance and service as the General Officer Commanding of XIX Infantry Division at Baramulla in the aftermath of the ‘fedayeen attack‘ in the Uri sector in Kashmir Valley. He also commanded the III Corps at Rangapahar, Dimapur in Nagaland as the GOC a few years back.

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Lieutenant General Kalita is a proud son of an ideal teacher of high repute Jogendra Nath Kalita and Renu Kalita of village Shantipur of Rangiya town in Kamrup district of Assam. He got commissioned in the 9 Kumaon Regiment in June of 1984. His son Captain Nishanta also got commissioned in the 9 Kumaon Regiment- once commanded by Lieutenant General Kalita.

He coordinated the funeral of former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee conducted by the Indian Army most professionally and flawlessly. Earlier, he was appointed in several coveted posts to command 13 Rashtriya Rifles in Kashmir, 71 Infantry Brigade in Lucknow, and strategically important XV Corps at Srinagar.

As per the request of the members of Mangaldai Media Circle, he assured to visit the historic ‘Pothorughat‘ to offer his homage in memory of the 140 Krishak Swahids who made their supreme sacrifice while taking part in the historic Peasants Uprising on January 28, 1894.

All members of Mangaldai Media Circle and a cross-section of the people of Darrang district have expressed their pleasure over his taking over as the GOC-in-C.