Pawan Kumar – Despite Being Wounded in an Earlier Encounter Refused to Proceed on Sick Leave to be With His Team for His Next Operation

Capt Pawan Kumar was born on January 15, 1993 and hailed from Jind in Haryana. Born on the Indian Army Day (15 Jan), Capt Pawan Kumar nursed the idea of joining the Armed Forces since his younger days. He pursued his interest and got selected to join the prestigious NDA after his schooling. He graduated from the 123 course of the National Defence Academy and joined the Army on December 14, 2013. He got commissioned into the Dogra Regiment, an infantry Regiment known for its gallant soldiers and numerous battle exploits.

Capt Pawan Kumar was a die hard soldier and loved adventurous life. Consequently he volunteered to join the elite special forces and got trained as a para commando. In June 2015, he eventually joined 10 Para(SF) battalion, the elite force known as “Desert Scorpions” as officers and jawans of this unit were trained specially for desert warfare. Donning maroon beret and “Balidan” badge, Capt Pawan Kumar was proud to be part of the force that had men of steel, whose physical and mental toughness was beyond compare.

During 2016, Capt Pawan Kumar was serving with 10 Par (SF) deployed in J& K for counter insurgency operations. On 20 February 2016, 4 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists armed with AK-47 Assault rifles, hand grenades and explosives attacked a CRPF convoy on the main road linking Srinagar to Jammu, killing two policemen and a civilian. The militants then took refuge in the government-run multi-storey “Entrepreneurship Development Institute” in Pampore. The security forces with elements of Army and Central Reserve Police Force rose to the occasion and cordoned off the building in a joint operation to evacuate civilians from the building.

The main objective of the security forces was to evacuate civilians to safety. However the militants responded with automatic gunfire and hand grenades. A fierce gun battle ensued thereafter with heavy exchange of fire from both sides. Capt Pawan Kumar led his men from the front and engaged the militants courageously. During the ensuing battle, Capt Pawan Kumar got hit by bullets and was seriously injured. He later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred, but his gallant action paved the way for the security forces to complete the operation successful. Capt Pawan Kumar was a committed soldier and a brave officer who laid down his life at the age of 23 years in the service of the nation. Capt Pawan Kumar was given the gallantry award, “Shourya Chakra” on 15th Aug 2016 for his exceptional courage, fighting spirit and supreme sacrifice.

According to Army officials, he had taken part in two successful operations earlier in which three terrorists were killed — including the operation on February 15 in Pulwama in which one terrorist and two civilians were killed.

“I had one child and I gave him to the Army, to the nation. No father can be more prouder. He was destined to be in the Army as he was born on the Army Day, January 15, 1993, Pawan’s father Sri Rajbir Singh said.

His last Facebook post said it all, “Kisi ko reservation chahiye toh kisiko azadi bhai, humein kuch nahi chahiye bhai bas apni razai (Some want reservations, some even freedom, but I want nothing, just my blanket).”

He had voluntarily taken upon himself to lead his men into this most difficult phase of the operation. His commitment to his men, duty and the uniform he so proudly donned, can be gauged from the fact that despite having been wounded in an earlier encounter with terrorists only last month, he had refused to proceed on sick leave to be with his team for this operation.

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