August 28, 1975|
|Died||July 7, 1999
KIA in Kargil, Jammu & Kashmir
|Allegiance||Republic of India|
|Years of service||1997-1999|
|Awards||Maha Vir Chakra|
Anuj Nayyar (August 28, 1975 - July 7, 1999) was an officer of the 17 Jat Regiment of the Indian Army, who was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, India's second highest gallantry award, for exemplary valour in combat during operations in the Kargil War in 1999.
Early years and career
He was born and grew up in Delhi, India in a Hindu family. His father, S.K. Nayyar, worked as a visiting professor in Delhi School of Economics while his mother, Meena Nayyar, worked for the South Campus library of Delhi University.
Capt. Nayyar received his high-school education from Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi (1993 batch). He was a bright student who consistently performed well in academics and sports. He graduated from the National Defence Academy (90th course, Echo Squadron) and later was commissioned into the 17th Battalion Jat Regiment in June 1997 from the Indian Military Academy (100 Reg).
In 1999, the Indian Army detected a massive infiltration by Pakistani military and paramilitary forces in the Kargil region of Jammu and Kashmir. The army quickly mobilized its forces to drive out the Pakistani infiltrators from Indian territory. Capt. Nayyar, a junior commander in the 17 Jat Regiment, was one of the more than 500,000 Indian troops deployed in the region. His first major operation involved securing Pt. 4875, also known as Pimple II, a strategic mountain peak on the western side of Tiger Hill which was occupied by Pakistani infiltrators.
Due to its strategic location, securing Pt. 4875 was a top priority for the Indian Army. The peak, which stood at 15,990 feet above sea level, had extremely steep slopes and capturing the peak without aerial support was considered near impossible. In a last-ditch attempt, Nayyar's Charlie Company decided to secure the peak without waiting for any aerial support on July 6, 1999.
During the initial phase of assault on Pt. 4875, the Company Commander of the platoon was injured. After the initial setback, the assault team split into two groups, one led by Captain Vikram Batra and other by Capt. Nayyar. The Pakistani infiltrators had constructed several bunkers on Pt. 4875. Nayyar's company, which consisted of 7 personnel, located 4 enemy bunkers. The company began to ascend Pt. 4875 during which it came under heavy artillery and mortar fire from Pakistani infiltrators. However, the team counter-attacked, which also included hand-to-hand combat, forcing the Pakistani soldiers to retreat. During the battle, Nayyar killed 9 Pakistani soldiers and destroyed three medium machine gun bunkers.
Under Captain Nayyar's leadership, the company had successfully cleared three of the four bunkers and began its assault on the last remaining bunker. While clearing the fourth bunker, an enemy rocket propelled grenade fell directly on Nayyar. Despite being grievously injured, Nayyar continued to lead the remaining men in his company. He succumbed to his injuries but not before clearing the last bunker on Pt. 4875.
None of the soldiers from Nayyar's team of the Charlie Company survived the battle. Two days after Pt. 4875 was secured, it was counter-attacked by Pakistani infiltrators during which the second team of the Charlie Company, led by Captain Batra, successfully defended the peak. During the entire battle for the Pimple complex area, 46 regular members of Pakistani Army, an unknown number of Pakistani paramilitary troopers and militants, and 11 Indian Army men, including Captain Nayyar and Captain Batra, were killed. The securing of the Pimple Complex area paved the way for the recapture of Tiger Hill which finally forced Pakistan to retreat its forces to pre-conflict positions.
Recognition and legacy
Capt. Nayyar was posthumously awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his bravery and leadership in combat.
Mahavir Chakra Citation
Gazette Notification: 17 Pres/2000,15.8.99 Operation: Vijay - Kargil Date of Award: 1999
Citation: On 06 July 1999, Charlie Company was tasked to capture an objective, which was a part of the Pimple Complex on the Western Slopes of Point 4875, in the Mushkoh Valley. At the beginning of the attack the Company Commander got injured and the command of the company devolved on Captain Anuj Nayyar. Captain Nayyar continued to command his leading platoon into the attack under heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire. As the platoon advanced, the leading section reported location of 3 to 4 enemy positions. Captain Nayyar moved forward towards the first enemy position and fired rocket launcher and lobbed grenades into it.
Thereafter, the section, along with Captain Nayyar, physically assaulted and cleared the position. The enemy, which was well entrenched, brought heavy volume of automatic fire. Captain Anuj Nayyar, unmindful of his personal safety, motivated his men and cleared two more enemy positions. While clearing the fourth position an enemy rocket propelled grenade hit the officer killing him on the spot. This action led by Captain Anuj Nayyar resulted in killing nine enemy soldiers and destruction of three medium machine gun positions of the enemy. The success ofthis operation after a brief setback was largely due to the outstanding personal bravery and exemplary junior leadership of this daring officer. Captain Anuj Nayyar displayed indomitable resolve, grit and determination and motivated his command by personal example acting beyond the call of duty and made the supreme sacrifice in true traditions of the Indian Army.
S.K. Nayyar, Anuj's father, was allotted a gas station in Delhi by the Government of India in recognition of the services of his son. Tejbir Singh, a fellow soldier of the Jat Regiment, named his son Anuj in honour of Captain Nayyar.
Following Capt. Nayyar's death, his heroics during the war were widely covered by Delhi's print media with editorials like Times of India and Hindustan Times running full-page description of his Kargil mission. The plight and ill-treatment of his parents by Indian government officials after his death became the subject of several short telefilms and was widely reported in the Indian news media. Several books and Indian films were made to depict Anuj's life and glorify his contribution to the Indian Army.
- In 2003, LOC Kargil, a Hindi film directed by J.P. Dutta which depicted the endeavours of the Indian Army during the Kargil War, was released in which Bollywood superstar Saif Ali Khan played the role of Anuj Nayyar.
- In 2003, Hindi movie named "Dhoop" directed by national award winner, Ashwini Chaudhary, was released which depicted the life of Anuj's parents after his death. Om Puri plays the role of S.K. Nayyar, Anuj's father.
- The soldier who became a legend
- Captain Anuj Nayyar - Bharat-Rakshak
- 'Did he die fighting?'
- Leading From The Front
- Shaheed Capt Anuj Nayyar
- Captain Vikram Batra, PVC
- Fighting gets bloodier in Drass, Batalik
- Connecting to Kargil with Express-Iridium
- No dhoop for Kargil martyr's kin-Delhi Times-Cities-The Times of India