New Delhi: Lieutenant Colonel (honorary) Mahendra Singh Dhoni who joined the Territorial Army (TA) unit in Jammu and Kashmir Thursday has begun active duty as an Army personnel. He has been deployed on patrolling duties near Srinagar. Dhoni is also likely to train with the elite special forces units based in the militancy-hit state.
Sources in the defence establishment told ThePrint that Dhoni had reached Srinagar on 30 July. The former Indian cricket team captain has been staying with the jawans in barracks. His day starts at 5am, just like everyone else.
While as a Lt Col, he is entitled to his own room, sources said the cricketer had written to the Army expressing his desire to stay with the jawans.
Dhoni will live, eat, work and sleep like any regular soldier during his two-week stint in Kashmir. He has not been extended any luxury, the sources added.
Dhoni to visit forward areas
Dhoni, who is with the 106 TA Battalion (Para) till 15 August, will be undertaking patrol duty in the villages surrounding the area where his unit is based.
Being an honorary rank officer, he is exempted from active service with the Army. But the cricketer had written to the Army headquarters some months ago requesting to serve in the force.
Sources also said that Dhoni, who is a qualified paratrooper, is likely to visit some of the forward areas. He may also train with the Special Forces units of the regiment he belongs to that are based out of Kashmir.
The Army has two permanent battalions of the Special Forces operating out of Jammu and Kashmir. While the primary focus of these units are the Lines of Control, they are also deployed time-to-time for special counter-terrorism operations.
During his stay with the Army, Dhoni will undertake guard duties too.
With the Indian Army wanting to attract youngsters into the force and Dhoni being seen as a youth icon, the latter was given the honorary rank of a Lieutenant Colonel in 2011.
Dhoni underwent training with the Special Forces in Agra in 2015 and performed five jumps to qualify as a paratrooper. He had also undergone training to fire weapons, among other activities.
Also read: This is the Spl Forces battalion Dhoni is headed for in J&K, here’s how Territorial Army works
So so sorry for such a great player of being a part of terrorist and oppressive Army….. He should not be a part of such inhuman forces who kills innocent unarmed Muslims in illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir
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