Captain Tushar Mahajan – Who Through His Dare-Devil Operation Killed the Terrorists in Pampore Attack

Captain Tushar Mahajan was born on 20 April 1989 in a family of academicians. His father Dev Raj Gupta was a well-known educationist in Udhampur and retired as a principal. Captain Mahajan always nurtured the dream of becoming a soldier for taking on terrorists and eliminating them. Before getting selected for National Defence Academy training, Capt Tushar had completed his schooling from Little Flowers Convent School up to class VIII and later Happy Model Higher Secondary School up to Class 12 in Udhampur. He joined NDA in the year 2006 (batch 116) and thereafter went to IMA in the year 2009 (Batch 126).

Capt Tushar Mahajan, according to close friends, had joined the Indian Army against the wishes of his parents. His father wanted him to become an engineer like his elder brother but he followed his passion and became an officer in the army. He got commissioned into the famed Parachute Regiment and joined the elite 9 Para(SF). Capt Tushar loved the adventurous life and took great pride in being a commando from the prestigious Special Forces unit, known for its daredevil operations.

Pampore attack: 21 Feb 2016

During the year 2016, Captain Mahajan’s unit was deployed in J & K area and was undertaking counterinsurgency operations on a regular basis. On 20 Feb 2016, the militants attacked a convoy of CRPF in Pampore when they were returning from a search operation. A total of 11 CRPF Jawans got wounded in the attack and then the militants entered the nearby multi-storeyed Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) at Pampore in Pulwama district, about 15 km south of Srinagar city. The police and security forces evacuated more than 100 people, including students and EDI employees, from the building before cordoning off the area. Subsequently, a decision was taken to launch an operation to flush out the militants using the elite forces of 9 Para(SF) along with other elements of the security forces.

9 Para(SF) decided to launch a late-night commando operation to neutralize the hardcore militants. The assault team that spearheaded the operation was led by Capt Tushar Mahajan. He along with his troops stormed the huge building in a daring manner and forced the militants to move to other areas in the building, thus clearing a large area of the building to launch subsequent operations. The militants were heavily armed and were using automatic weapons and grenades. During this daredevil action Capt Tushar Mahajan, got hit by four bullets and was seriously injured.  He was evacuated to 92 Base hospital in Srinagar where he succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Capt Tushar Mahajan displayed exceptional courage and fighting spirit during the operation and led from the front like a true military leader. His sacrifice paved the way for subsequent coordinated assault wherein all the militants were successfully neutralized. Capt Tushar Mahajan was given the gallantry award “Shaurya Chakra” for his bravery, unyielding fighting spirit, and supreme sacrifice.

“He was such a boy that when he was asked to write an essay in the class he wrote that his aim was to join the Army and kill terrorists. That was the time when his other classmates did not even know what terrorists or the army was,” his classmate and childhood friend Sushant said.

Recalling Capt Mahajan’s passion for the army, his inconsolable father, Dev Raj said, “Though I have lost my son I am proud that he laid down his life for the nation, an honour which only a few can get.” A statue of Captain Tushar Mahajan, the braveheart of Udhampur, was unveiled at the ‘T Morh’ of Udhampur on his birthday.

Image credit: https://www.gallantryawards.gov.in/Awardee/tushar-mahajan-posthumous

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