ON the occasion of the 75th Republic Day, President Droupadi Murmu has approved Gallantry awards to 80 Armed Forces personnel, including 12 posthumous. These include six Kirti Chakras, including three posthumous; 16 Shaurya Chakras, including two posthumous; 53 Sena Medals, including seven posthumous; one Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry) and four Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).
Lt. Gen Upendra Dwivedi, GOC-Northern Command, has been awarded the highest recognition of the armed forces – the ‘Param Vishishth Seva Medal’. The award is in recognition of the professional work Northern Command has been delivering in the recent times.
The Indian Army remains steadfast in its commitment towards ensuring security, stability, and development in the region of Jammu and Kashmir. Led by Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Command, the Army’s present role underscores its multifaceted approach to address security challenges and contribute to the overall well-being of the region.
As a part of 75th Republic Day commemoration, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi laid the wreath at Dhruva War Memorial, Udhampur to honour the supreme sacrifices of soldiers.
- General Upendra Dwivedi: Soldiering on
After the superannuation of Lieutenant General Yogesh Kumar Joshi, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi took the charge of GOC-Northern Command, one of the most important positions of the Indian Army. He previously served as the Deputy Chief of the Army Staff (Information Systems and Coordination) and as the General Officer Commanding IX Corps. Lt. Gen Dwivedi was commissioned into the 18th battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles in 1984. He has served the country as a part of the Assam Rifles too.
Prior to his appointment in Northern Command, he was commissioned as Commander of IX Corps in 2020, and as Deputy Chief of the Army Staff (Information Systems and Coordination) in April 2021. Two years ago, President Kovind had presented the ‘Ati Vishisht Seva Medal’ to Lt. Gen Dwivedi for his services in the infantry.
Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi has commanded the Rising Star Corps based at Yol and has also served as staff officer in an armoured brigade, Directorate General of Military Operations, Military Secretary Branch and at Divisional and Corps Headquarters. He has also had two overseas tenures in Somalia and Seychelles.
* The Northern Command
General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Command in the Indian Army plays a crucial role in addressing security challenges in the region, including the containment of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The Northern Command is one of the six operational commands of the Indian Army and is responsible for the defense of the northern borders of India. Given the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the GOC Northern Command is actively involved in counter-terrorism operations and maintaining law and order in the region. It is a very important operational command which is entrusted with the defense of borders with China and Pakistan, apart from tackling the counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Counter-terrorism operations
The GOC Northern Command leads and coordinates military operations against terrorist groups operating in the region. This involves planning and executing operations to neutralise terrorist threats and to ensure the security of the local population.
Under Lieutenant General Dwivedi’s leadership, the Northern Command has intensified its operational vigilance along the Line of Control (LoC) and other sensitive areas. The Command has been actively engaged in counter-terrorism operations, targetting and dismantling terrorist infrastructures to ensure the safety of the local population. The present situation in Poonch and Rajouri is challenging but the efforts to contain terrorism in the terrains of Poonch district are ongoing.
After the insurgency of the 1990s in the Valley, the Army was always at the forefront to fight proxy war instigated by Pakistan and its beneficent leaders of Kashmir. The insurgency was massive at that time with underground local support by both men and women. The Indian Army, with the help of the Intelligence, controlled terrorism to the level that it was unable to rear its head on a massive scale. Presently, the individual terrorist incidents and ambushes are a concern but the Indian Army is more than capable of bringing the number down in the near future.
- Coordination with other security forces
The Northern Command collaborates with other security forces, including paramilitary forces and the Jammu and Kashmir Police, to enhance the effectiveness of counter-terrorism efforts.
Recognising the need for synergy among various security forces operating in the region, the GOC Northern Command has fostered close coordination with paramilitary forces, the Jammu and Kashmir Police, and other relevant agencies. Joint operations and intelligence sharing have been pivotal in addressing security threats comprehensively.
- Civil military cooperation
The GOC Northern Command works closely with civil authorities to maintain law and order, provide humanitarian assistance, and engage in community outreach programmes. This cooperation is essential for building trust and fostering a sense of security among the local population. This involves the military working alongside civilian agencies to address developmental needs, provide assistance during natural disasters, and contribute to community development projects.
- Infrastructure development
In some cases, the military participates in infrastructure development projects that contribute to the overall development of the region. This could involve the construction of roads, bridges, schools, and other facilities that benefit the local populace here.
- Training and preparedness
The command focusses on training its personnel for the specific challenges posed by the terrain and vicious weather conditions in the northern regions. Preparedness for any potential threats, including conventional warfare and asymmetric warfare, is a key aspect of its role.
- Technological advancements and intelligence-driven operations
Employing state-of-the-art technology and intelligence-driven strategies, Lieutenant General Dwivedi has emphasised the importance of precise and targetted operations in his various addresses. The use of drones, surveillance equipment, and real-time intelligence sharing has enhanced the effectiveness of the military’s efforts in countering terrorist activities.
The Northern Command actively engages in intelligence gathering to identify and preempt potential terrorist threats. Timely and accurate intelligence is crucial for planning and executing successful counter-terrorism operations.
- Community engagement and civil-military cooperation
In addition to its primary defense role, the Northern Command, under Lieutenant General Dwivedi’s guidance, has actively engaged in community outreach programs. These initiatives aim to build trust among the local population, foster cooperation, and address developmental needs, contributing to a stable and secure environment.
The terrorism in Poonch can be subdued with local support and the Army has to deal with the local populace with inclusivity without furthering any damage to the ethos. There was an unfortunate incident recently in which three civilians were killed. Taking prompt action, an internal inquiry of the incident was conducted in which Brigadier level officer was taken off duty and moved out of Jammu and Kashmir. According to sources, the Army took disciplinary action against some officers and rejigged the postings of others in the wake of the civilian deaths in the region amid allegations of custodial torture by the families of the deceased.
While visiting and taking stock of the situation in the hinterlands of Poonch, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi emphasised upon executing operations with utmost professionalism and remaining steadfast against all challenges.
- Continued commitment to regional stability
As the security situation evolves, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi remains committed to ensuring regional stability and peace. His leadership underscores the Indian Army’s dedication to safeguarding the nation against external threats and maintaining the security and well-being of the people in the region.
Lieutenant General Dwivedi’s command continues to actively engage in counter-terrorism operations. The Army’s efforts are aimed at dismantling terrorist networks, ensuring the safety of civilians, and maintaining peace in the region. Operations are intelligence-driven and leverage advanced technology to enhance precision and effectiveness.
Lieutenant General Dwivedi’s strategic approach, coupled with the dedication of the Northern Command, reflects the Indian Army’s unwavering commitment in combating terrorism and ensuring the safety and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir. The GOC Northern Command’s leadership is poised to play a crucial role in shaping the security landscape in the region and safeguarding the future.