Author of “Operation Maa” in Kashmir, Lt Gen Dhillon hangs up his boots: The Tribune India
New Delhi, January 31
After serving in various strategic positions in the Indian Army during his 39-year career, Lt. Gen. KJS Dhillon retired on Monday, his last assignment being as Director General of the Defense Intelligence Agency and Deputy Chief of the integrated defense staff (intelligence).
Commissioned into the army in December 1983, the illustrious officer, popularly known as ‘Tiny Dhillon’, was widely praised for launching Operation Maa ‘during his tenure as head of the Kashmir-based XV Corps, where he approached families, especially mothers of wayward youths, who had joined activism and asked them to bring their children back into the national mainstream.
“Do good and serve your mother, then your mother and then your father. This is the importance of the mother in the Holy Quran. This was the message I used to say to all the lost young people,” Lt. Gen. Dhillon had said.
Lt. Gen. Dhillon came into the limelight immediately after taking over as commander of the strategically located XV Corps when security forces eliminated Kamran aka ‘Ghazi’, the mastermind of the February 2019 terrorist attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama which killed 40 people.
“Kitne Ghazi aaye aur kitne gaye, hum yahin hain dekh lenge sabko (Many of these terrorists have come and gone, we stand where we are rock solid),” they said at a press conference for announce success.
The statement, which has gone viral on social media with thousands of hits recorded on YouTube and Twitter, was seen as a reflection of the military’s determination to fight terrorism along the Line of Control as well as in the hinterland.
During his stint in Kashmir, which was the third of his career, Lt. Gen. Dhillon ensured an appropriate response in Pakistan which used unprovoked fire to cover terrorists for infiltration.
Lt. Gen. Dhillon had assumed command at a crucial time when the Center carried out its plan to repeal the JK’s special status and split the state into two union territories – Ladakh and Jammu. -and-Kashmir.
After successfully completing his term in Kashmir, General Dhillon took over as DG, DIA, an intelligence unit, created in 2002 on the recommendations of a group of ministers who looked into the shortcomings that had led to the Kargil intrusion in 1999.
His assignment to the DIA, which handles the intelligence needs of the armed forces, came at a time when US-led allied troops were withdrawing from war-ravaged Afghanistan.
He received several medals during his career including the Param Vishist Seva Medal and the Uttam Yudh Seva Medal.
Lt Gen Dhillon handed over the charge of DIA to Lt Gen GAV Reddy. —