“If death strikes before I prove my blood, I swear, I will kill death”
-the voice of Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey (PVC).
These were the words, our warrior brings in with all their confidence and Zeal, which might be a quotation for us but these are their lifelines. We all have heard about the great warriors who have always inspired us with their bravery, passion, and love for their Motherland. One of them is Hero of Kargil War, Capt Manoj Pandey, we will be going to walk through his life and get to know what makes him different from rest.
OPERATION VIJAY: HERO OF BATALIK
Capt Manoj Pandey PVC is one of those brave warriors who only find his life, love, and career in Army, he was born on 25 June 1975 in Rudha village, Sitapur district, Uttar Pradesh, India. He had completed his education from Uttar Pradesh Sainik School, Lucknow, and Rani Laxmi Bai Memorial Senior Secondary School. You will feel more warmth with his reply given in his SSB (Services Selection Board) interview, the interviewer asked him, “Why do you want to join the Army?” His immediate reply was, “I want to win the Param Vir Chakra.” He was passed out from the National Defence Academy in the 90th course and belonged to MIKE squadron. He was commissioned in the Indian Army’s 1st battalion, 11 Gorkha Rifles (1/11 GR).
After commissioning, his first posting was in the Kashmir valley and thereafter he was posted to Siachen. While serving in Siachen he received orders to go to the Batalik sector, where the intrusions by the Pakistani forces have been acknowledged and the Army was preparing for a well-coordinated retaliatory action. Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey was part of Operation Vijay; forcing back the Pakistani intruders with heavy losses in Batalik including the capture of Jubar Top in Kashmir region.
How did Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey martyr in Kargil?
It was the night of 3 July 1999 during the advance to Khalubar as his platoon approached its final objective for the Pahalwan Chowki that was situated at a height of 19700 feet on his way to Khalubar., it came under heavy and intense enemy fire from the surrounding heights. Captain Manoj was assigned the task to clear the interfering enemy positions to prevent his battalion from getting day lighted, being in a vulnerable position.
Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey quickly moved his platoon to an advantageous position under intense enemy fire simultaneously sent one section of the battalion to clear the enemy positions from the right and he himself moved ahead to clear the enemy positions from the left. Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey fearlessly charged ahead with the booming battle cry, “Jai Mahakali, Aayo Gorkhali” clearing two enemy bunkers.
“Jai Mahakali, Aayo Gorkhali”
Capt Manoj got hit by bullets on the shoulder and legs. Fearlessly, without any second thought about his grievous injuries, he continued to lead the assault on the fourth bunker and destroyed the same with a grenade. While he hit his target he himself got hit in the forehead with a bullet. Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred at the age of 24 years.
The troops under the command of Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey gained control over six bunkers and killed eleven enemy soldiers. This daredevil act of Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey provided a critical firm base for the companies, which finally led to capture of Khalubar. Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey, thus, displayed most conspicuous bravery, indomitable courage, outstanding leadership and devotion to duty and made the supreme sacrifice to the Nation in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.
May his soul rest in peace and Power, all the efforts made by him, sacrificing his life gave us the chance to live more without any fear.