Lt Gen (retd) Srinivas Kumar Sinha, former governor of Jammu and Kashmir passed away on 17th November 2016 at a hospital after brief illness at the age of 92. General Sinha is survived by his wife, Premni Sinha, son and IFS officer Y K Sinha who is at present Indian Ambassador to Sri Lanka and is moving for his new posting to the UK, and three daughters.
Biography of Lt Gen (retd) Srinivas Kumar Sinha
Srinivas Kumar Sinha was born in 1926 in Gaya, Bihar. He was the son of Mithilesh Kumar Sinha, IP, the first Indian Inspector-General of Police of the state of Bihar.
He graduated with Honours from Patna University in 1942 at the age of 17. He joined the army soon thereafter passing out as the best cadet from the Officers Training School, Belgaum. He saw combat during the second world war in Burma and Indonesia and after independence in Kashmir.
General Sinha was perhaps the last surviving officer of the Indian Army who coordinated troops’ movement from Delhi’s Safdarjung Airport to Srinagar Airport on 27th October 1947 in the wake of tribal raid in the Kashmir Valley, which witnessed loot, plunder, rape, destruction and devastation by tribals supported by regular Pakistani army personnel.
Lt Gen Sinha commanded battalion of 5 Gorkha Rifles 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.
In 1953, General 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 U.K. He held all levels of active command in the Army from a platoon to a field army.
In recognition of his service he was awarded Param Vishist Sewa Medal in 1973.
Lt Gen Sinha resigned from service after the government superseded him and appointed General A S Vaidya as the new army chief in 1983.
Ambassador to Nepal
In 1990 Sinha was appointed India’s Ambassador to Nepal, when autocratic rule prevailed in that country.
Governor of Assam
In 1997 Sinha was appointed Governor of Assam at a time when insurgency in that State was at its peak. He crafted a three prong strategy of unified command, economic development and psychological initiatives. His effort in the state yielded positive dividend and he became popular within the people of Assam. He departed from Assam in 2003.
Governor of Jammu and Kashmir
On 4 June 2003 General Sinha took over as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. He made efforts to promote Kashmiriyat as an antidote to religious fundamentalism which was the root cause for militancy in the state.
As the head of the Amarnath Trust:
- He tried to ensure the safety of the pilgrims by deploying security forces enroute .
- He sought the assistance of the government in establishing prefabricated structures at camping grounds along the mountainous routes, which would provide shelter to the pilgrims.
- He also made a request for the transfer of 800 kanals of land in Baltal to enable pilgrims to have restrooms in an effort to make Amarnath Yatra route pollution free. But this dream project got caught in controversy and agitation.
He authored five books including one on Jammu and Kashmir Operation of 1947-48 and an autobiography, “A Soldier Recalls”.
- Lt. Gen. Srinivas Kumar Sinha, a distinguished soldier-diplomat ( Nov 18, 2016), Retrieved from http://www.sify.com