New Delhi. 17 November 2016. Indian Army lost a great soldier and the nation a forthright statesman. Lt Gen S K Sinha, PVSM (Retired), ex Amabassador and Governor, passed away after a brief illness at 90.
The General commanded battalion of 5 GORKHA RIFILES in Ladakh, a brigade in Manipur, a Mountain Division in Assam, Infantry Division in Jammu, a Corps and a field Army in the Western Theatre. He also had the distinction of serving as Adjutant General and Vice Chief of Army Staff.
During his varied career, Lt Gen Sinha, in 1949 was appointed Secretary of the Indian delegation for delineation of the Cease Fire Line in Kashmir. In 1972 he led the Indian delegation to Italy for a conference on application of human rights to warfare. In recognition of his service he was awarded Param Vishist Sewa Medal in 1973.
As a Statesman, Lt Gen Sinha was appointed India’s Ambassador to Nepal in 1990. Appreciative of his work the then Prime Minister of Nepal had said, “General Sinha was as much India’s Ambassador to Nepal as Nepal’s Ambassador to India”. He also had been Governor of two insurgency prone States of Assam and J&K.
A prolific writer, he authored five books including one on Jammu and Kashmir Operation of 1947-48 and his autobiography, “A Soldier Recalls”.
In 1953, Sinha secured the top position at the Defence Services Staff College in India and in 1962 again, at the Joint Services Staff College in the United Kingdom. He held all levels of active command in the Army from a platoon to a field army. He commanded a battalion in Ladakh, a brigade in Manipur, a mountain division in Assam, an infantry division in Jammu, a corps in the Punjab and a field Army in the Western Theatre.
He held key staff and instructional appointments. He served as Director, Military Intelligence, Adjutant General and Vice Chief of Army Staff at Army Headquarters. He also served as an instructor at Mhow and Staff College, Wellington. In 1949, he was appointed Secretary of the Indian delegation on delineation of the Cease Fire Line in Kashmir at a meeting convened by the United Nations. He led the Indian delegation to Italy in 1972 for a conference on application of human rights to warfare. He was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 1973. He was made Honorary ADC to the President of India and also President of the Gorkha Brigade.
In a publication in the US by the noted South Asian expert, Stephen Cohen, he has been referred to as one of India’s most outstanding post-independence Generals
Gen Dalbir Singh, the Chief of the Army Staff, serving and retired army personnel will pay homage to the ‘Soldier Statesman’ on 18 November 2016 at Brar Square, New Delhi.