Handwara Encounter: Two Indian Army Officers Among Five Security Personnel Martyred in Gunfight, Two Terrorists Including LeT Commander Killed

The Indian Army on Sunday lost four bravehearts while fighting with terrorists in Handwara town of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district. One Jammu and Kashmir police sub-inspector also attained martyrdom. The Indian Army personnel who lost their lives in the encounter, include Commanding Officer of 21 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) unit Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, Naik Rajesh Kumar and Lance Naik Dinesh Singh. J&K police officer has been identified as Shakeel Qazi. In the gunfight, two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, including its commander Haider were also neutralised. Col Navjot Singh Bal, Shaurya Chakra Awardee, Loses Battle to Cancer; Parents Stuck in Gurugram Due to Coronavirus Lockdown.

According to reports, a joint operation was launched by the J&K Police and the Indian Army after receiving intelligence inputs that the terrorists held civilians as hostage inside a home in Changimulla, Handwara. The team comprising of the five security personnel managed to successfully extricate the civilians. However, they came under heavy firing by the terrorists. The Army carried out the final assault to neutralise the terrorists after getting re-enforcements.

Col Sharma and Major Sood belonged to 19th Battalion of the Guards, while Naik Rajesh and Lance Naik Dinesh belonged to 3 Guards and 17 Guards respectively. Col Sharma, had been part of several successful counter-terrorism operations in the past. He was the only commanding officer who was decorated for gallantry twice while carrying out operation in Kashmir. The senior officer had received gallantry as a CO when he killed a terrorist who was running towards his men with a grenade hidden in his clothes. Col Sharma was a recipient of bar to the Sena Medal. Kanika Rane, Wife of Martyred Major Kaustubh Rane of Indian Army, Set to Join Officers Training Academy in October.

Col Sharma and Major Sood knew each other since the time when the latter went on a battalion trip to Jammu and Kashmir while undergoing training at the Inian Military Academy (IMA).. At that time, Col Sharma was Major. Later, Sood was also commissioned into the 19th Battalion of the Guards. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General MM Naravane saluted the bravery of the security personnel.

 

 

 

Col Navjot Singh Bal, Shaurya Chakra Awardee, Cremated With Full Military Honours in Bengaluru.

Colonel Navjot Singh Bal, a former Commanding Officer of 2 Para Special Forces (SF), on Monday was cremated with full military honours in Bengaluru. Col Navjot Singh Bal’s final rights were attended by his family, veterans and officers and JCOs from several units and regiments in Bengaluru. Col Bal, parents reached Bengaluru on April 12, after travelling 2,100 km by road from Gurugram as the military establishment did not receive permission by the Home Ministry on time to ferry senior Bals on Indian air Force aircraft C-17.

The Army officer’s last rights were also attended by his wife, two sons and brother.Due to coronavirus outbreak in the country, people attending the cremation wore masks. Col Navjot Singh Bal passed away in Bengaluru on Thursday morning after battling with cancer for two years. Col Bal, a Shaurya Chakra awardee, was posted at the Northern Command’s Operation section when the Indian Army conducted the surgical strikes in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in 2016.

Tweet by Defence PRO Bengaluru:

 

Col Bal was also part of United Nations mission in Congo. He belonged to a military background. His father had reired from Colonel rank. Col Bal joined the National Defence Academy (NDA) in 1998 and was commissioned into 2 Para in 2002. The army officer took over as the Commanding Officer of the Bangalore-based 2 Para on 20 March 2018. In the same year he was diagnosed with cancer.

A lump in his right arm was first spotted in May 2018, and tests further revealed that he suffered from a rare type of cancer called ‘Telangiectactic osteosarcoma’. This did not deter the brave officer from doing his duties. Even though he was put on chemotherapy, he continued to do his job as the CO. Despite being ill, Col Bal ran a 21-km half-marathon. Unfortunately, In January 2019, his right arm had to be amputated. Later, it was found that cancer had spread to other parts of his body.

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Col Navjot Singh Bal, Shaurya Chakra Awardee, Loses Battle to Cancer; Parents Stuck in Gurugram Due to Coronavirus Lockdown

The Indian Army on Thursday lost a brave officer Colonel Navjot Singh Bal. He was a former commanding officer of the 2 Para (special forces). Col Navjot Singh Bal passed away in Bengaluru on Thursday morning after battling with cancer for two years. He was 39 years old and was an icon for young officers. Col Bal, a Shaurya Chakra awardee, was posted at the Northern Command’s Operation section when the Indian Army conducted the surgical strikes in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in 2016. Col Govardhan Gopal Gudur – A Passionate Officer, True Gentleman And Inspiration For Young Officers.

He was awarded Shaurya Chakra for an operation in the upper ranges of Kashmir’s Lolab Valley in 2008. During the operation, he and his buddy shot dead two of them in close combat. Col Bal was also part of United Nations mission in Congo. He belonged to a military background. His father had reired from Colonel rank. Col Bal joined the National Defence Academy (NDA) in 1998 and was commissioned into 2 Para in 2002. Lt Col Anand Subramaniam, Shaurya Chakra Winner Passes Away; Last Rites Performed at His Native Village in Kanyakumari.

According to reports, the army officer took over as the Commanding Officer of the Bangalore-based 2 Para on 20 March 2018 and in the same year he was diagnosed with cancer. A lump in his right arm was first spotted in May 2018, and tests further revealed that he suffered from a rare type of cancer called ‘Telangiectactic osteosarcoma’.

This did not deter the brave officer from doing his duties. Even though he was put on chemotherapy, he continued to do his job as the CO. Despite being ill, Col Bal ran a 21-km half-marathon. Unfortunately, In January 2019, his right arm had to be amputated. Later, it was found that cancer had spread to other parts of his body. Col Bal is survived by his wife and two sons.

Meanwhile, the Army officer’s parents are stuck in Gurugram due to the countrywide coronavirus lockdown. The Army has given the permission to decide the location of Colonel’s cremation. As per IBT report, Col Bal’s parents are waiting for approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs to travel to Bengaluru.

(Picture Courtesy: Twitter)

 

 

 

 

Gauri Mahadik, Wife of Martyred Major Prasad Mahadik, Commissioned Into Indian Army as Lieutenant After Passing Out of OTA

Gauri Mahadik, the wife of martyred Major Prasad Mahadik on Saturday joined the Indian Army as a commissioned officer after the passing out ceremony held at Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai. The 33-year-old Gauri commissined into the Indian Army as a Lieutenant after completing the 11-month training. She joined the OTA, Chennai in April last year. On Saturday, a total of 136 men and 31 lady officers commisioned into the Indian Army as commissioned officers. Nikita Kaul, Wife of Martyred Major Vibhuti Dhoundiyal, Clears SSB Interview, All Set to Join Indian Army as Commissioned Officer.

During his media interaction, a day before commissioning into the Indian Army, Lt. Gauri said, “Wearing the Army uniform will always feel his (Major Mahadik’s) presence around me.” Lt Gauri added that she would do what her husband wanted to do for the nation. The new commissioned officer stated, “Major Mahadik was in infantry, but I could not join the combant forces, but in future if I get the chance, I will definitily like to join the combat forces.” Lt Sangeeta Mall, Widow of Gorkha Rifles Jawan Joins Indian Army.

Lt Gauri Mahadik’s Interaction With Media:

Glimpse of Passing Out Parade of OTA:

Major Mahadik lost his life in a fire on December 30, 2017, in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, close to China border. The army officer hailed from Virar in Mumbai. He joined the OTA in Chennai (SSC-93 Batch) and was commissioned on 17 March 2012, into 7 Bihar Regiment.

Nikita Kaul, Wife of Martyred Major Vibhuti Dhoundiyal, Clears SSB Interview, All Set to Join Indian Army as Commissioned Officer

A year after Major Vibhuti Dhoundiyal laid down his life while fighting terrorists, his wife Nikita Kaul, is all set to join the Indian Army. Nikita Kaul cleared the Short Service Commission (SSC) exam and also got recommended in the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview. She is now waiting for the merit list. She will join the Officers Training Academy (OTA) at Chennai in April this year. Kanika Rane, Wife of Martyred Major Kaustubh Rane of Indian Army, Set to Join Officers Training Academy in October.

After 11 months of rigorous training, Nikita will be commissioned into the Indian Army as Lieutenant. While speaking to CNN News 18, she said, “I filled the SSC form six months after Vibhu’s martyrdom. It was my way to heal. When I wrote the exam and gave the interview, I could feel what he would have felt when he wrote his SSC. I connected with him, his fears and his anxiety. Somehow that gave me strength.”  Gauri Mahadik, Widow of Major Prasad Mahadik Of Indian Army to Join Officers’ Training Academy in April.

Nikita is cuurently working in an MNC in Noida. She will soon quit her job to join the OTA. Major Vibhuti Dhoundiyal attained martyrdom on February 17, 2019, almost nine months after his marriage with Nikita. Garima Abrol, Widow of Squadron Leader Samir Abrol of Indian Air Force, Clears SSB Interview, Will Join Air Force Academy in January 2020.

Major Dhoundiyal was among four Army men martyred in the encounter with Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists in Pulawama, a short distance away from the spot where 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a suicide attack on February 14, 2019. He was posted with 55 Rashtriya Rifles. Major Dhoundiyal was a resident of Dehradun.

Lt Gen Jaiveer Singh Negi Takes Charge as 49th Commandant of Indian Military Academy From Lt Gen SK Jha

Lieutenant General Jaiveer Singh Negi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VSM**, on Saturday took over as the 49th Commandant of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. Lt Gen Negi took over the Command Baton of the academy from Lt Gen Sanjay Kumar Jha, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, who superannuated after four decade of distinguished service on Jan 31, 2020. After taking the charge, Lt Gen Negi paid tributes to the martyrs at the War Memorial. General Bipin Rawat Takes Over as India’s First Chief of Defence Staff; Here is What New Uniform of CDS Looks Like.

The General Officer was commissioned into 16 DOGRA in Jun 1981. In his illustrious career spanning close to four decades, he has held many important challenging command and staff appointments in India and abroad. He has commanded his Battalion during ‘Operation Parakram’ in the Western Sector, an Assam Rifles Sector in Counter Insurgency Area in North East, a Division in High Altitude Area of Ladakh Area and a Strike Corps in Wester Sector.

Lt Gen Sanjay Kumar Jha, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, Handing Over Baton to Lt Gen Jaiveer Singh Negi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VSM__
Lt Gen Negi Taking Over The Command Baton of the IMA from Lt Gen Jha (Photo Credits: IMA)

He is an alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College, Army War College (Higher Command Course) and National Defence College. He has done instructional tenures at Infantry School, Mhow and Indian Military Training Team, Bhutan. Lt Gen Negi has also been the Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of an Indian Brigade deployed in UN peacekeeping Mission in the conflict zone of Congo. IMA POP Autumn 2019 – Multi Activity Display And “Son-Et-Lumiere” Show Held at Indian Military Academy, Rajnath Singh To Be Reviewing Officer of Passing Out Parade.

The General officer has tenanted important instructional and staff appointments in Infantry School, Mhow, Colonel General Staff of a Division, Military Secretary’s Branch and as a Maj Gen served in both Military Operations Directorate as also Military Secretariat Branch. He has vast operational experience and service experience having served in all terrains of the country.

For his dedicated and distinguished service of the highest order, he has been Awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishist Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal and Bar to Vishist Seva Medal. He has also been awarded the UN Force Commander’s Commendation for his distinguished service in United Nations. Prior to taking over the reins of Indian Military Academy, he was handling a crucial appointment of Deputy Commander and Chief of Strategic Force Command.

Republic Day 2020 Gallantry Awards – Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, VCOAS Lt Gen SK Saini Awarded PVSM; UYSM to Kargil War Hero Lt Gen YK Joshi, Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen KJS Dhillon

President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday approved awards of 409 Gallantry and other Defence decorations to Armed Forces personnel and others on the eve of 71st Republic Day celebrations. A total of 19 top Indian Army commanders were awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM). The Army Commanders who were awarded the Param Vashishth Seva Medal include – Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS)  Lt Gen Satinder Kumar Saini.

Out of the 19 Officers who were awarded the PVSM, three were Major General-ranked officers. Besides, Indian Army commnders, six Indian Air Force and ther Indian NAvy officers were also awarded the PVSM. The government of India awarded Uttam Yiudh Seva Medal (UYSM) to four Indian Army Officers including Kargil war Hero Lt Gen Yogesh Kumar Joshi and Commander of Chinar Corps Lt Gen Kanwaljeet SIngh Dhillon. The other two officers who were conferred with the UYSM were Lt Gen Paramjit SIngh Sangha and Rajiv Sirohi. General Bipin Rawat Conferred With Param Vishisht Seva Medal in Recognition of Peace-Time Services.

Besides PVSM and UYSV, other awards approved by the President include – 53 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, 10 Yudh Seva Medals, 123 Vishisht Seva Medals, four Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 107 Sena Medals (Gallantry), five Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry), fourVayu Sena Medals (Gallantry), four Bar to Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), 36 Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), eight Nao Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), one Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) and 13 Vayu Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty).

Two IAF helicopter pilots – Squadron Leaders Ninad Anil Mandavgane and Siddharth Vashisht- who were killed by friendly fire in Jammu and Kashmir, the day when the Pakistan Air Force fighter jest violated the Indian air space were also awarded Vayu Sena Medal poshumously.

This year, Shaurya Chakra was awarded to six Indian Army personnel for showing bravery against all odds. Shaurya Chakra, the third highest gallantry award during peace time, was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Jyoti Lama, Major KB Singh, Naib Subedar Narender Singh, Naib Subedar Sombir, Naik Naresh Kumar and Sepoy Karmdeo Oraon. Three policemen – Challapilla Narasimha Rao, Kamal Kishore and Aman Kumar were also awarded Shaurya Chakra (posthumously).

 

Six Indian Army Personnel Awarded Shaurya Chakra on Republic Day

Ahead of the Republic Day 2020, the government of India on Saturday released a list of gallantry awards. This year, Shaurya Chakra was awarded to six Indian Army personnel for showing bravery against all odds. Shaurya Chakra, the third highest gallantry award during peace time, was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Jyoti Lama, Major KB Singh, Naib Subedar Narender Singh, Naib Subedar Sombir, Naik Naresh Kumar and Sepoy Karmdeo Oraon. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to Get Vir Chakra, 5 IAF Pilots to be Conferred Vayu Seva Medal For Carrying Out Balakot Airstrikes; Yudh Seva Medal For Sqn Ldr Minty Agarwal.

Lt Col Jyoti Lama was awarded the third highest gallantry award for killing two terrorists in an operation in Manipur in July last year. Lt Col Lama also captured fourteen hardcore terrorists in his area of operation. Major Konjengbam Bijendra Singh of Army Air defence deployed with Assam Rifles killed two terrorits in Manipur last year.

Indian Army’s Tweet:

Naib Subedar Sombir of Jat Regiment was awarded Shaurya Chakra posthumously for killing foreign terrorist in operation in Jammu & Kashmir. Naib Subedhar Narender Singh of Parachute Regiment of the Special Forces, was awarded the Shaurya Chakra for engaging and eliminating two armed intruders along the Line of Control. President Ram Nath Kovind Approves 132 Gallantry Award For Armed Forces Personnel and Members of Paramilitary Forces, Check Full List.

Indian Army’s Tweet:

 

Naik Suresh Kumar of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry gunned down “A++ terrorist” last year. Sepoy Karmdeo Oraon, was awarded Shaurya Chakra for an operation on Line of Control where he was hit by bullet on his bulletproof patka. Even after being hit by the bullet, he lobbed nine grenades and killed two terrorists while thwarting the attack by four terrorists.

Three policemen – Challapilla Narasimha Rao, Kamal Kishore and Aman Kumar were also awarded Shaurya Chakra (posthumously). President Ram Nath Kovind Approved 409 gallantry and defence decorations on Saturday. These includes nine Shaurya Chakras, 28 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, four Uttam Yudh Seva Medals, 53 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, 10 Yudh Seva Medals, 123 Vishisht Seva Medals.

Kargil War Hero Lt Gen YK Joshi Appointed as Northern Army Commander, Will Take Charge on February 1

Kargil War hero Lieutenant General Yogesh Kumar Joshi on Thursday was appointed as the new Northern Army Commander. Lt Gen Joshi will succeed Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, who is superannuating on January 31. Lt Gen Joshi is currently serving as the Chief of Staff of the Northern Command and will take charge as the Northern Army Commander on February 1. Vishal Batra, Brother of Captain Vikram Batra, Climbs 16,000-Foot-High Peak on 29th Death Anniversary of Kargil War Hero.

The Kargil War hero also served as commander of Leh based Fire and Fury Corps till October 2019. He also commanded a Brigade and a Division in Leh and served as Director General, Infantry. Kargil Vijay Diwas 20th Anniversary Celebrations: 13 JAK RIF Organises Motorcycle Expedition From Uttarakhand’s Mana Village to Kargil.

During the Kargil war, Lt Gen Joshi, who was then Lt Col, led the 13th Battalion of the J&K Rifles to launch four successful attacks on the enemy during the Operation Vijay in 1999. For his gallant effort during the Kargil War, Lt Gen Joshi was awarded Vir Chakra.

Joshi hails from Faridabad, Haryana. He was an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy. Lt Gen Joshi was commissioned into the 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles.

Meanwhile, Lt Gen CP Mohanty has been appointed as the commander of the Southern Command. He will succeed Lt Gen SK Saini who will take charge as the Vice Chief of  Army Staff (VCOAS) on Saturday.

General Bipin Rawat Takes Over as India’s First Chief of Defence Staff; Here is What New Uniform of CDS Looks Like

A day after General Bipin Rawat was appointed as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADGPI) on Tuesday tweeted out images of the badges of his new uniform. General Bipin Rawat today retired as the Chief of Army Staff. Speaking to reporters, after receiving his farewell ‘Guard of Honour’ at South Block, General Rawat said, “I will fulfill my role as Chief of Army Staff till the handover.”

The colour of the uniform of the CDS will be olive green. However, there will be few changes in it as the CDS will represent all the three wings forces. The insignia of the Chief of Defence Staff draws elements from all the three wings of the armed forces which are encircled by laurel wreath. There will be a maroon patch on the shoulders of the uniform with golden ranks. There will no lanyard as the CDS will represent all the three service wings. General Manoj Mukund Naravane Takes Charge as 28th Indian Army Chief.

Sneak Peak Into Badges of the Uniform of Chief of Defence Staff:

 

 

 

 

 

There will also be no four stars on the collar of the uniform of the CDS. The Chief of Defence Staff will have his office in South Block. According to reports, General Bipin Rawat will reside at 3, Kamraj Marg in New Delhi. The CDS will head the Department of Military Affairs and will bring jointness in the military operations.

The creation of CDS was announced in August in 2019 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The announcement was made on the Independence Day during his address to the nation. The demand to create CDS dated back to 1998, when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government came to power. The recommendation for creating the post was first made after the Kargil War.