New Delhi: Former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is likely to unfurl the tricolour on the occasion of Independence Day in Leh in the newly-created union territory of Ladakh.
Dhoni, an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Indian Army, is at present stationed in Khrew in the Pulwama district of Jammu & Kashmir, along with members of his Territorial Army battalion.
The Territorial Army is deployed in the south Kashmir region where Dhoni joined it on July 30. Defence sources said on Thursday that Dhoni is scheduled to travel along with his regiment to Leh on August 10.
“Dhoni is a brand ambassador of the Indian Army. He has engaged in motivating members of his unit and has often been playing football and volleyball with the soldiers. He is also undertaking battle training exercises with the corps. He will remain in the valley till August 15,” said a senior army official.
The 38-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has taken a two-month break from active cricket, after India was edged out of the World Cup following a loss to New Zealand in the semi-final, to serve his regiment in the Kashmir Valley.
However, officials did not disclose the exact location at which Dhoni is likely to hoist the national flag on August 15.
The Union government has undertaken a programme to hoist the tricolour in each and every village of Jammu & Kashmir as part of Independence Day celebrations in the state.
The central government had launched a community mobilisation programme across all 4,900 gram panchayats of Jammu & Kashmir from June prior to the withdrawal of special category status to the state.
In his ‘Mann ki Baat’ address to the nation on July 28, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had elaborated how it had emerged during this community mobilisation programme that the average citizens of Jammu & Kashmir were eager to join the mainstream development in other parts of the country.
Amid massive troop deployment across the Valley, the government on August 5 revoked Article 370 of the Constitution and withdrew special status to Jammu & Kashmir while the state was bifurcated into two union territories through a legislation passed by both Houses of Parliament later on.
Dhoni has remained stationed in the Valley throughout the security build-up exercise when all communication networks across the state have also been snapped by the central government to prohibit any break down in law and order.