Three posts of Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO), Military Secretary (MS), and Engineer-in-Chief (E-in-C) are lying vacant since last Wednesday. Normally these appointments, being extremely crucial to defence of the country, are done well in advance. This time-tested practice has run into “some kind of obstacles” at the Appointments Committee of Cabinet, even as rumours are rife that the MS office, which is the nodal point of all military postings all over the country, has been “sealed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
DGMO Lt Gen P R Kumar, MS Lt Gen Rajiv Bhalla, and E-in-C Lt Gen Jatinder Sikand retired on September 30. While the first two handed over their charge to the designated officers, Lt Gen Sikand did not even hand over his charge to any one. Further, on the day of retirement of the E-in-C, scores of orders were issued transferring civilian engineering staff of the Military Engineering Service (MES), which handles contracts involving thousands of crores of rupees of all the three services. The transfer orders are said to have caused a lot of dissatisfaction among civilian engineers who have started wearing black arm bands and are boycotting social functions to mark their protest.