Rajesh Singh Adhikari
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Rajesh Singh Adhikari
|Born||25 December 1970|
Nainital, Uttar Pradesh (now Uttarakhand), India
|Died||30 May 1999 (aged 28)|
Tololing, Kargil, Jammu and Kashmir, India
|Allegiance||Republic of India|
|Years of service||1993-1999|
|Awards||Maha Vir Chakra|
Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari, MVC (25 December 1970 – 30 May 1999), was an Indian Army officer who died during the Kargil War. He was posthumously awarded the second highest Indian military honour, the Maha Vir Chakra for bravery on the battlefield.
Adhikari was brought up in Nainital, a hill station in northern India. He completed his schooling from St. Joseph's College in 1987, Intermediate from Government Inter College, Nainital and B.Sc. from Kumaon University in the year 1992.
He attended the Indian Military Academy, a premier military academy in India.Major Rajesh Singh was commissioned on 11 December 1993 from the Indian Military Academy. After graduating from the Academy, he joined the 2 Mech. Infantry of the Indian Army. He was posted in 18 Grenadiers at the time of Kargil War.
When heavy fighting broke out in the Kargil region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir owing to planned infiltration by militants backed by the Pakistan army, the Indian Army was ordered to clear the heights of those intruders. Many tough battles took place in the region. The Mechanized Infantry's Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari, the second army officer to die in the operations against infiltrators, had caused heavy casualties to the intruders and forced them to withdraw before succumbing to injuries in Drass sector. It was one of the most significant battles, the Battle of Tololing, where Rajesh made a valiant sacrifice.
On 30 May 1999, as a part of battalion operations to capture the Tololing feature, Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari, 18 Grenadiers was tasked to secure the initial foothold by capturing its forward spur where the enemy held a strongly fortified advance position. The post was located in a treacherous, mountainous terrain at about 15,000 feet and covered with snow. While Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari was leading his team towards the objective, he was fired at from two mutually supporting bunkers with universal machine guns. The officer immediately directed the rocket launcher detachment to engage the bunker and without waiting, rushed into the bunker and killed two intruders in close quarter combat.
Thereafter, the officer, displaying presence of mind under heavy fire, ordered his medium machine gun (MMG) detachment to fix position behind a rocky feature and engage the enemy. The assault party continued to inch their way up. Despite suffering grievous bullet injuries, Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari continued to direct his sub unit. Refusing to be evacuated, the officer charged at the second bunker and killed one more occupant, thus capturing the second bunker at Tololing which later facilitated capture of Point 4590. For conspicuous gallantry and supreme sacrifice, Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari was posthumously awarded the second highest Indian Army decoration Maha Vir Chakra for his actions in the battle.
Maha Vir Chakra Citation
The citation for the Maha Vir Chakra reads as follows:
Gazette Notification: 17 Pres/2000,15.8.99
Operation: Vijay - KargilDate of Award: 1999
Citation: On 30 May 1999, as a part of battalion operation to capture the Tololing feature, Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari was tasked to secure the initial foothold by capturing its forward spur where the enemy held a strong position. The enemy position was located in a treacherous mountainous terrain covered with snow at a height of about 15,000 feet. While Major Adhikari was leading his company towards the objective, he was fired at from two mutually supporting enemy positions with Universal machine guns. The officer immediately directed the rocket launcher detachment to engage the enemy position and killed two enemy soldiers in close quarter combat. Thereafter, the officer, displaying presence of mind under heavy fire, ordered his medium machine gun detachment to take position behind a rocky feature and engage the enemy. The assault party continued to inch their way up. While so advancing forward, Major Adhikari suffered grievous bullet injuries, yet he continued to direct his sub-unit. Refusing to be evacuated, then he charged at the second enemy position and killed one more occupant, thus capturing the second position at Tololing which later facilitated capture of Point 4590. However later he succumbed to his injuries.
Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari displayed exceptional valour, outstanding leadership in the presence of the enemy and laid down his life in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.
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