Martyr's Diaries: PVC Captain Manoj Pandey


Manoj Pandey was born on 25 June 1975 in Rudha village, Sitapur district, Uttar Pradesh, India. He was educated at Uttar Pradesh Sainik School, Lucknow and Rani Laxmi Bai Memorial Senior Secondary School. Prior to his selection, during his Services Selection Board (SSB) interview, the interviewer asked him, "Why do you want to join the Army?" He immediately replied, "I want to win the Param Vir Chakra."  He graduated from the National Defence Academy in 90th course and belonged to MIKE squadron. He commissioned into the 1st battalion, 11 Gorkha Rifles (1/11 GR).

OPERATION VIJAY: HERO OF BATALIK


After commissioning, his first assignment was in the Kashmir valley and thereafter he was posted to Siachen. Whilst in Siachen he received orders to move to Batalik sector, where the first intrusions by the Pakistani forces were detected and the Army was preparing for a well-coordinated retaliatory action. Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey took part in a series of boldly led attacks during Operation Vijay; forcing back the intruders with heavy losses in Batalik including the capture of Jubar Top.

On the night of 3 July 1999 during the advance to Khalubar as his platoon approached its final objective for the Pahalwan Chowki located 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 tasked to clear the interfering enemy positions to prevent his battalion from getting day lighted, being in a vulnerable position. He quickly moved his platoon to an advantageous position under intense enemy fire, sent one section to clear the enemy positions from the right and himself proceeded to clear the enemy positions from the left. Capt Manoj fearlessly charged ahead with the booming battle cry, “Jai Mahakali, Aayo Gorkhali” clearing two enemy bunkers. While clearing the third bunker a barrage of bullets hit him on the shoulder and legs. Undaunted and without caring for his grievous injuries, he continued to lead the assault on the fourth bunker and destroyed the same with a grenade. As he hit his target he himself got hit in the forehead with a bullet. Capt Manoj later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred at the age of 24  years. The troops under the command of Capt Manoj gained control over six bunkers and killed eleven enemy soldiers.

Some goals are so worthy, it’s glorious even to fail.

LEGACY


  • The Army Welfare Housing Organization (AWHO) designed and constructed an apartment complex for veterans in Ghaziabad district, Uttar Pradesh, and named it after him as “Manoj Vihar”.
  • The Army quarters near the Cardio-Thoracic Center(CTC) hospital in Pune is named after Martyr Capt Manoj Pandey as ‘Capt Manoj Pandey Enclave’
  • The National Defence Academy named the science block as the ‘Manoj Pandey Block’.
  • A roundabout is also named after him as “Captain Manoj Pandey Chowk” in his home district Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh and in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow.
  • An assembly hall has been made in Sainik school Lucknow where he was educated to motivate the school cadets.
  • A hall is has been named after him at Service Selection Center Allahabad as “Manoj Pandey Block”.

  • A gallery in the Kargil War Museum at Drass is named after him.
  • In the memory of his greatest efforts to save the nation from the enemy forces, Rani Laxmi Bai Memorial Senior Secondary School constructed an auditorium in his name, which was inaugurated by his parents.
If death strikes before I prove my blood, I swear, I will kill death.

CITATION

Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey took part in a series of boldly led attacks during Operation Vijay, forcing back the intruders with heavy losses in Batalik including the capture of Jubar Top. On the night of 2/3 July 1999 during the advance to Khalubar as his platoon approached its final objective, it came under heavy and intense enemy fire from the surrounding heights. Lieutenant Pandey was tasked to clear the interfering enemy positions to prevent his battalion from getting day lighted, being in a vulnerable position. He quickly moved his platoon to an advantageous position under intense enemy fire, sent one section to clear the enemy positions from the right and himself proceeded to clear the enemy positions from the left. Fearlessly assaulting the first enemy position, he killed two enemy personnel and destroyed the second position by killing two more. He was injured on the shoulder and legs while clearing the third position. Undaunted and without caring for his grievous injuries, he continued to lead the assault on the fourth position urging his men and destroyed the same with a grenade, even as he got a fatal burst on his forehead. This singular daredevil act of Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey provided the critical firm base for the companies, which finally led to capture of Khalubar. The officer, however, succumbed to his injuries.

Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey, thus, displayed most conspicuous bravery, indomitable courage, outstanding leadership and devotion to duty and made the supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.

Dead upon the field of glory, Hero fit for song and story. 

Sir, May your soul REST IN POWER.  

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