Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, PVC of 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, born in village Klol Bukiana in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh, is a recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military award. He was the leading Scout of a team tasked to capturing Area Flat Top on July 4, 1999 during the Kargil war. The area was held by Pakistan military. Having scaled the cliff, the team was pinned down by machine gun fire from an enemy bunker, about 150 meters away.
Sanjay Kumar, realizing the magnitude of the problem and the detrimental effect this bunker would have in the capture of Area Flat Top, crawled alone up the ledge, along a flank, and charged towards the enemy bunker through a hail of automatic fire. Almost instantly he took two bullets in his chest and forearm that left him bleeding profusely.
Though bleeding from the bullet wounds, he continued the charge towards the bunker. In hand-to-hand fighting, he killed three enemy soldiers. He then picked up an enemy machine gun and crept towards the second enemy bunker. The enemy soldiers, taken completely by surprise, were killed by him as they fled their post. Inspired by his act the rest of the platoon charged, assaulted the feature and captured Area Flat Top.
In popular culture
Controversy: Double Demotion
The army disregarding his heroics, in 2010 demoted Sanjay Kumar two positions down from Havildar to Lance Naik. The army refused to cite any reasons for his demotion. Moreover, in an act of apparent hiding of facts, the army continues to mention him as Havildar in press releases. Param-Vir Chakra Awardees has to be saluted irrespective of his rank, which is alleged to be the bone of contention between him and his seniors. Mr. Kumar has been offered a job from Himachal Pradesh Government. He may apparently accept this offer after completing his 17 Years Service (for receiving post retirement benefits) in army.
- Jai Hind Jai Bharat
- Indian Army webpage
- Rediff.com article (Indian Heroes)
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