Lieutenant General BS Raju of the Chinar Corps Wednesday handed over the command of the strategic Kashmir-based 15 Corps to Lt Gen DP Pandey.
The General commanded the Corps in critical phase in 2020 where Kashmir was confronted with the twin challenges of militancy and COVID-19.
As per an army statement, Raju's tenure over the last one year is defined by an "improved security environment prevailing on the Line of Control and in Kashmir".
It said that Raju's approach on the Line of Control combined a forward heavy deployment enabled by a dense electronic and surveillance grid adding Pakistani ceasefire violations were "dealt with punitive responses resulting in operational ascendancy by the Indian Army".
Lt Gen Raju also ensured an "improved soldier-citizen connect" "to complement relentless and successful" anti-militant operations including "many successful events all over the Kashmir valley co-opting people in various sports, culture, arts, education, skilling and health initiatives, army said.
As per the army statement, Gen Raju "strongly propagated for a second chance to the misguided youth as he believes this to be critical to achieving lasting peace in J&K".
Having served as Uri Brigade Commander, GOC of Victor Force and now as GOC Chinar Corps, Gen Raju reinforced and institutionalized high professional standards and ethical conduct in combat operations, it added.
General Raju moves to assume higher responsibilities as Director General of Military Operations of the Indian Army.
He was recently awarded the prestigious Uttam Yudh Seva Medal (UYSM) for his duties in Kashmir.
In his farewell message, Gen Raju complimented all ranks of Chinar Corps for their dedication and hard work and also thanked police paramilitary and civil administration besides people for their support.
He conveyed his greetings and best wishes to the people of Kashmir and the entire Chinar Corps.
The Army said in the statement that it has taken "proactive steps to connect with the youth including those who have picked up the weapons against the state" adding there has been a "collaborative effort along with society members, families and other stake holders" to encourage and facilitate return of militants into mainstream.
"The effort has got an encouraging response, success in terms of surrenders and support from all sections of the society, and will get additional impetus in the coming months," the Army claimed.