Salute To The Hero Of Mandhol Gun Raid, The Saviour Of Poonch – Major Chander Mohan Malhotra
This is how Poonch got saved in 1971
How Indian Parachute Commandos Destroyed Complete Pakistan Artillery Battery at Mandhol And Saved Poonch
Major Malhotra passed away on 06 May 2022 …..RIP
Major Chander Mohan Malhotra
Major Chander Mohan Malhotra was the Group Commander, CHARLIE GROUP. CMM was commissioned in December 1962 from IMA, Dehradun into 3 GUARDS. At that time Major Megh Singh was in 3 GUARDS as a Company Commander and later as the 2 IC. After a massive ambush by the Nagas,of a company column just a km or two from their Start Point, Major General K P Candeth, then GOC of newly raised 8 Mountain Division, gave clearance to a plan put up by Major Megh Singh. This was basically to operate in small teams inside the jungle and beat the insurgents in their own game. Thus Chander had participated in many operations against the Naga Insurgents in the early sixties, displaying not only exemplary valour, tactical acumen but also marksmanship. He had been recommended several times for both Ashok Chakra Class 2 (present day Kirti Chakra) and Ashok Chakra class 3 (present day Shaurya Chakra). Malhotra had made a great impression on the legendary Megh Singh. In fact his was the first name in the list of Officers, Megh Singh wanted to be posted to the new Commando Force during the 1965 War when GOI approved the war establishment. The GOC 15 Corps, Lt General KS Katoch had then sent a Flash Signal to Military Secretary to make the said officer available for the New Force.
Captain Malhotra now Adjutant of newly raised 10 GUARDS had rushed all the way from Sikkim and was the first officer to report to HQ 15 Corps. His Commanding Officer Lt Colonel Ashok Handoo (later Army Commander Northern Command) though did not want to lose such an officer, had dispatched him with his full blessings.However by time Chander reached J&K, Megh Singh was already a casualty and recuperating in military hospital Jammu. Chander remained attached to HQ 15 Corps, working on refining the War Establishment of the new Force. Soon erstwhile MEGHDOOTS started reporting to Udhampur and for a brief period Captain CM Malhotra moved to a camp in Suran Gali with his men and commenced training in earnest. The FORCE even did a Cross Pirpanjal move SURANKOTE -SHOPIAN. Eventually everyone was asked to move to Gwalior where raising finally commenced on 01 July 1966.
Sometime in 1967, CMM after getting vetted by several underlings was interviewed by the First Citizen himself. Thus was appointed Captain C M Malhotra an ADC to the Third President of India, Dr Zakir Hussein in October 1967. While still in school I remember having read a book WITH TWO PRESIDENTS written by C L Dutta who had been ADC to both Dr Rajendra Prasad and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. However due to untimely demise of Dr Zakir Hussein, Captain Malohtra had to remain ADC right up to mid October 1970. He therefore Served not only two Presidents Dr Zakir Hussein and Shri V V Giri but also two acting Presidents VV Giri and Mohammed Hidyatullah.