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Indian army won’t shy away from flexing muscles: says new chief

NEW DELHI: New Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat – who took over as the 27th Army chief on Saturday – said on Sunday that the role of the force is to maintain peace and tranquillity at the border but it will not “shy away from flexing its muscle, if the need be”, according to local media reports.

Eastern Army commander Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi and Southern commander Lieutenant General P.M. Hariz would continue to serve the army, he added.

“The force is to maintain peace and tranquillity at the border but it will not shy away from flexing its muscle if the need be,” General Rawat said while speaking to reporters in New Delhi.

He added, “All units and services of the Army are together and he would always look at each one of them as one unit.”

He has served in the disputed region of Kashmir along the frontier with Pakistan, where troops of the nuclear-armed nations have been locked in almost daily cross-border firing for months.

General Rawat has also served in the insurgency-hit northern states and along the border with China.

The new chief was handpicked for the top job over two senior officers, Praveen Bakshi and P.M. Hariz, a rare decision for the Indian army which follows seniority in appointments.

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