18 Dogra in Kashmir remembers Martyr
Srinagar, Aug 8 (UNI) The 18 Dogra today remembered Hero Major Sandeep Shankla who won India's highest peace time gallantry award the ''Ashok Chakra'' for them.
It was on this day in 1999, Major Sandeep learnt about the presence of a large number of militants in north Kashmir.
Leading from the front, he immediately cordoned off the area and asked militants to surrender.
Finding themselves trapped, the militants opened indiscriminate firing and also lobbed hand grenades.
Troops also retaliated and in the encounter Major Sandeep was injured. However, without caring for himself, he continued the operation and killed nine militants and apprehended 22 others.
Major Sandeep was given the galantry award to recognise his supreme sacrifice.
Sepoy Swaran Singh of the unit also showed exemplary courage and died during the operation. He was awarded the 'Kirti Chakra' (Posthumous). Capt BJS Sandhu was awarded the 'SHAURYA CHAKRA' for exemplary chivalry.
The battalion also earned five Sena Medals, two COAS Commendation Cards and one GOC-in-C Commendation Card in the same operation.
The operation had the maximum tally of gallantry awards, in a peacetime operation, during the period.
The government of Haryana has constructed an impressive memorial dedicated to the Officer at Panchkula where the battalion has been traditionally presenting a guard of honour to pay homage to the gallant Officer.
To commemorate the day, a wreath laying ceremony was organized at Shankla Memorial, Panchkula. Senior serving and retired Army Officers and civilian dignitaries of the State Government paid homage.
Lt Colonel J S Kanwar, father of late Major Sandep Shankla, was also present during the occasion.
UNI BAS SI ND1522