Service No : IC-69022K
Date of Birth : December 13, 1984
Place of birth : Indore, MP
Service : Army
Last Rank : Captain
Arm/Regt : The Grenadiers
Operation : Op Parakram
Martyrdom : February 8, 2010
Captain Prateek Puntambekar hailed from Indore district of Madhya Pradesh and was born on 13 Dec 1984. Son of Shri Ravindra Puntambekar, Capt Prateek did not come from a family of armed forces veterans, but had the inclination to serve in the Armed Forces right from his growing-up years. Eventually, he got selected to join the Army and became a commissioned officer. He was commissioned on 07 June 2007 as a Lieutenant at the age of 22 years. He was commissioned into 11 Grenadiers battalion of the Grenadiers Regiment, an infantry Regiment known for it's brave soldiers and having a glorious history of various battle honours.
Avalanche- (Gulmarg J&K): 08 Feb 2010
During Feb 2010, Capt Prateek Puntambekar was undergoing a special course in winter warfare at the High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS), a school which specialized in snow–craft and winter warfare. The course trained personnel in High Altitude warfare, counter intelligence and survival skills. Army personnel deployed to the Siachen Glacier and to other high altitude forward posts on the borders were normally detailed to undergo this course. The training school was located at Gulmarg (Jammu and Kashmir) and was prone to snow blizzards and avalanches. On 08 Feb 2010 at around 1100 hrs, a massive avalanche rolled down the mountain side in Khilanmarg area, 10,000 feet above sea level, when Capt Prateek Puntambekar and other soldiers were undergoing the high altitude survival course. The avalanche was very sudden and did not give any time to the soldiers to take any evasive action.
Although the Army had a unit of the Snow Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) in Jammu and Kashmir, with several observatories at various locations to issue warnings and alerts to the Army formations and units, it could not detect this avalanche. Immediately a massive rescue operation was launched by the Army, but the magnitude and intensity of the avalanche made the task very difficult. After six hours of intensive search the bodies of 17 soldiers were recovered and 53 other soldiers were rescued, who were shifted for immediate medical care. However Capt Prateek Puntambekar and 16 other soldiers could not be saved owing to their prolonged exposure to extreme cold. Capt Prateek Puntambekar was a valiant soldier and fine officer, who laid down his life at the age of 25 years, in the service of the nation.
Capt Prateek Puntambekar is survived by father Shri Ravindra Puntambekar and mother Smt Puntambekar.
Shaheed Capt Prateek Foundation:
A foundation has been started by the family of Capt Prateek Puntambekar in his memory in Indore. This foundation offers monetary assistance for education to the children from weaker sections of society.