General OP Malhotra passed away in the morning today (29 Dec 2015) due to old age at the age of 93 years at his residence in Gurgaon. General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of Army Staff has expressed his deepest condolences towards this great loss.
General Om Prakash Malhotra was the 13th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 1978 – 1981, the Ambassador of India to Indonesia from 1981 - 1984 and Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh from 1990 - 1991.
The General was born in Srinagar, Kashmir, on August 6, 1922 and received his schooling first at Model High School, Srinagar and later at SP Higher Senior Secondary School, Srinagar. He attended Government College, Lahore, before being selected to join the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
General Malhotra was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery. He commanded different Artillery Regiments between November 1950 and July 1961, besides being an instructor at the Defence Service Staff College, Wellington. He was the Military Attache at the Indian Embassy in Moscow for over three years from June 1962.
He commanded an Artillery Brigade from August 1965 to January 1966 and thereafter took over a Mountain Brigade. He commanded an Infantry Division and was thereafter posted as the Chief of Staff in a Corps Headquarters in the Eastern Sector in September 1969 till May 1972, when he took over a Corps in the Western Sector. In 1974, General Malhotra was appointed General Officer Commanding - in - chief Southern Command and in Jan 1977 as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff. General OP Malhotra, assumed the office of the Chief of the Army Staff in June 1978.
He was also the President of the Equestrian Federation of India for nearly nine years. In 1994, the University of Jammu conferred the Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honours Causa) upon him.
The General is survived by Mrs Saroj Malhotra and two children. His son, Mr Ajai Malhotra was Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation, Kuwait, Romania and Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in New York.