Meet Rifleman Sanjay Kumar: The second recipient of Param Vir Chakra from his unit


Sanjay_Kumar_PVCBy Ila Garg

Kargil War Heroes – Part 10

16 years of the tragic war at Kargil could not take the painful memories away. They continue to haunt us deep inside. The bloodshed that accompanied the war still makes the families of the martyrs cringe. Then how can the denizens of India ever forget the soldiers who fought with great tenacity for the love of nation?

While many soldiers sacrificed their lives at the war front, only a few managed to survive. Amidst the valiant, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar is the proud recipient of country’s highest gallantry award, Param Vir Chakra. Last year, he was promoted as junior commissioned officer on the post of Naib Subedar.

During the Kargil war, he was with the 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. The 13 JAK Rifles is the only unit in the history of independent India to be awarded two PVCs in a single operation. The other one was awarded to Capt. Vikram Batra who laid down his life in the defence of the country.

On 4 July 1999, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar and his team were given the task of clearing Point 4875 also known as “Flat Top” situated in Mushkoh Valley. He was the leading scout man. It was a dangerous mission though, and the intruders who were occupying the post had all advantages. Somehow Sanjay Kumar and his platoon managed to scale the cliff and were pinned down by machine-gun fire from an enemy bunker that was about 150 meters away.

The initial assault thus failed. In the wee hours of 5 July 1999, the Indian army planned a final attack. It was a defining moment in the career of Rifleman Sanjay Kapur when he was asked to lead the attack. He took the golden opportunity to serve his nation and charged at the enemy bunkers, killing several intruders. After destroying the first bunker, he ran out of ammunition and was hit by two bullets in his thigh. But he didn’t give up easily. He went ahead and snatched a machine gun from a Pakistani solider. Subsequently, he captured the second bunker too. His bravery resulted in the successful accomplishment of the mission.

The unit recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition too.Havaldar-to-Lance-Naik

Very few people know that before selection into Army in 1996, Sanjay Kapur, who is a native of Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh, used to drive a taxi on the jam-packed roads of Delhi to earn a livelihood. He was selected by the Indian Army on 4 June 1996 after being rejected twice earlier. Now, his second brother is a sepoy too.

Sanjay was only 23 when he was awarded the PVC, an honour bestowed only on 21 soldiers since 1950.

More in this segment:

Kargil War Heroes – Part 1
Kargil War Heroes – Part 2
Kargil War Heroes – Part 3
Kargil War Heroes – Part 4
Kargil War Heroes – Part 5
Kargil War Heroes – Part 6
Kargil War Heroes – Part 7
Kargil War Heroes – Part 8
Kargil War Heroes – Part 9
Kargil War Heroes – Part 11
Kargil War Heroes – Part 12
Kargil War Heroes – Part 13
Kargil War Heroes – Part 14
Kargil War Heroes – Part 15