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Archive for February, 2008

I found this excerpt about this young brave, while searching for an article. Isnt that sad that nothing much has been published about him anywhere ?

Read on for this brave soldiers sacrifice

On 19 July 1988, a convoy of a two vehicles of the 7th Battalion of the Assam Regiment was making its way from Madurengkenikulam to Mangani to collect dry rations. In charge of the detail was a young subaltern, 2nd Lt. Rajeev Sandhu, who was barely six months out of the IMA. 2nd Lt. Sandhu was traveling in the Mahindra Jeep, leading the way to the 1 Ton Nissan truck which was trailing 50 meters behind the jeep. Driving the jeep was Sepoy NKKS Rajkumar, 2nd Lt. Sandhu was in the next seat. Sitting in the rear was L/Nk Nandeshwar Das and Sepoy Lalbuanga. As the vehicles reached a track junction, a rocket fired from the undergrowth hit the jeep, lifting it into the air and overturning it to the side. Immediately a fusillade of fire from the AK-47s straddled the overturned Jeep. When the volley of fire ended, and silence descended on the ambush site, the LTTE militants knew that this was one convoy that never made it to the Army base. They came out of their ambush positions to pick up the weapons and equipment of the fallen soldiers.

 Second Lieutenant Rajeev Sandhu earned the Assam Regiment its first Maha Vir Chakra during the Operations in 1988.
But one Indian Soldier still had his wits around with him. Out of the view of the militants, 2nd Lt. Sandhu, was dragging himself with his 9mm SMC Carbine out of the wreck. Both his legs were smashed when the rocket hit the jeep, the subsequent volley of fire had wounded him and he was bleeding profusely. He checked the other occupants of the jeep. None of them were conscious. In fact the initial blast of the rocket was borne by 2nd Lt. Sandhu. The machine gun fire that followed killed both Lance Naik Das and Sep Lalbuanga in the rear. Driver Rajkumar was wounded and unconscious. Sandhu tumbled out of the Jeep and crawled to a fire position. As one of the LTTE militants by the name of Kumaran approached the Jeep. Despite his legs being totally smashed and his body ridden with bullets, 2nd Lt. Sandhu lifted his carbine with blood soaked hands and sprayed Kumaran with bullets, killing him instantly.
However, the bleeding had already taken its toll. 2nd Lt. Sandhu succumbed to his wounds and injuries.

A grateful nation recognised his bravery with the award of a Maha Vir Chakra in 1990. 2nd Lt. Sandhu was just 22 years old when he died in Sri Lanka. Incidents like these were what kept the LTTE from underestimating the fighting prowess of the Army. They knew that they could not compare the fighting calibre of the Indian Soldier to that of the Sri Lankan Army. The Indian Soldier was coming from a background of operational exposure in areas like the Jungles of North east and the Mountains of the North. Death and Hardship were not a stranger to him, thus He was more ready and more experienced in fighting back to the hit and run tactics of the LTTE.

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