Indian cricketing legend MS Dhoni gearing to serve the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir and will perform the duties of patrolling for about 15 days, the Indian Army said in a statement on Thursday.
While MS Dhoni is all set to commence the duty, Indian Army chief, General Bipin Rawat, stated that after undergoing training, Dhoni will be protecting other civilians just like other soldiers and the Indian army does not need to worry about protecting the former Indian captain.
“I don’t think we will need to protect him, he will protect the citizens and garrison entrusted to his task,” General Rawat told Indian Channel – NDTV during an exclusive conversation.
MSD holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army unit of the Parachute Regiment (106 Para TA battalion). The honour was accorded to him by the Indian Army in 2011. MS Dhoni was given this honour along with Abhinav Bindra and Deepak Rao.
MS Dhoni will not be part of any counter-terror operations. Dhoni had earlier written to the Indian Army authorities for wanting to spend two months his battalion. Dhoni’s battalion (parachute regiment), is currently posted in the Kashmir Valley.
Earlier, Dhoni’s request to train with the Parachute regiment was approved by the Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat. The wicket-keeper batsman had requested the Indian Army to allow him to train with a territorial army battalion of the Parachute regiment for two months.
“The request has now been approved by the Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat and the honorary Lt Col would train with the Parachute regiment battalion,” top Army sources was quoted by ANI.
Dhoni has trained with the Special Forces and carried out five jumps to qualify as a paratrooper. Dhoni has also undergone training in the firing of weapons and other activities.
Experts talking to EurAsian Times suggested that MS Dhoni’s deployment in Kashmir probably might be the first time that local people in the Valley would wholeheartedly welcome an Indian Army official and would want to meet and seek inspiration.
Dhoni is famous throughout the world and Kashmir is no exception. This could actually turn out to be a great PR exercise for the Indian Army who are trying the win the hearts and minds of people.