Service No: IC-48714L

Date of Birth : March 25, 1967

Birth Place : Bangalore, Karnataka

Service: Army

Last Rank: Colonel

Unit : 9 Maratha LI

Arm/Regt : The Maratha Light Infantry

Operation: Op Rakshak

Award : Ashoka Chakra, VSM

Date of Martyrdom : 31 Jul, 2007

Col Vasanth Venugopal AC VSM

Colonel Vasanth Venugopal was born to Praphulla and NK Venugopal in Bangalore, India. His father’s work required the family to travel throughout the state of Karnataka, which made him study in a number of schools in various places including Udupi, Shimoga and Bangalore. He graduated from MES College, Bangalore in 1988. Col Vasanth in his student days was a brilliant student and a very good athlete as well. While in college, he was a member of the National Cadet Corps, through which he participated in the Indo-Canada World Youth Exchange Program of 1986-87.


Col Vasanth joined the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun in 1988 and on 10 June 1989, he was commissioned into 9 Maratha Li of the famed Maratha Light Infantry Regiment. In a military career spanning over eighteen years, he served in Pathankot, Sikkim, Gandhinagar, Ranchi, Bangalore and various sectors of Jammu and Kashmir.”I go where my men go”, he told his mother when she asked him if a colonel should participate in all operations conducted by his men. On 28 October 2006 he took over as Commanding Officer of 9 Maratha Light Infantry and the battalion was at that time deployed in Uri Sector of Jammu and Kashmir.


Uri Operation : 31 July 2007


By July 2007, Col Vasanth had completed about 9 months as the Commanding Officer of his unit and faced numerous challenging situations by then. On 31 July 2007, his unit received information from the intelligence sources about a group of terrorists attempting to sneak across the Line of Control in Uri sector. Col Vasanth after analyzing the situation, decided to launch a search and destroy operation to deal with the terrorists. Realizing the critical importance of the mission, Col Vasanth himself took over the command of the operation and led a pre-dawn raid, against the terrorists.


On reaching the suspected area Col Vasanth and his troops soon spotted the terrorists and challenged them. Col Vasanth ordered his men to take tactical positions to outmanoeuvre the terrorists. Outflanking them, Col Vasanth engaged the terrorists from close quarters, killing one of them. A heavy gun battle ensued thereafter and Col Vasanth got injured during the exchange of fire. But unmindful of his injuries Col Vasanth continued leading his troops and giving directions to block all escape routes and killed two more terrorists, before succumbing to his injuries. Col Vasanth was a committed soldier and a commanding officer par excellence who led his troops form the front like a true military leader. Col Vasanth was awarded the nation’s highest gallantry award during peace time, “Ashoka Chakra” for his exceptional leadership, bravery and supreme sacrifice.


Col Vasanth is survived by his wife Subhashini and daughters Rukmini and Yeshodha. His wife Mrs. Subhashini Vasanth is a renowned Bharatnatyam dancer and trains young aspirants in the classical art formHer own experiences of being a martyr’s wife motivated her to reach out to other martyr families in her capacity as Founder, Director of Vasantharatna Foundation for Art which was set up in the memory of her husband.

The citation for the Ashok Chakra awarded to him reads:

On 31 July 2007, Colonel Vasanth V. Venugopal was commanding a Battalion of Maratha Light Infantry, on the Line of Control in the Uri Sector of Jammu & Kashmir. Colonel V  Venugopal received information about a group of terrorists attempting to sneak across the Line of Control. He personally took command of a body of troops and led a pre-dawn raid, against the terrorists. Outflanking them, Colonel Vasanth engaged the terrorists from close quarters, killing one of them. However, he himself was injured in this action. Unmindful of injuries, along with his troops blocked, all escape routes and killed two more terrorists before succumbing to his injuries. A brave leader of men Colonel Vasanth V. Venugopal led from the front in the true spirit of Indian Army and was awarded the Ashoka Chakra posthumously.

Forever Forty: Colonel Vasanth, Ashoka Chakra

by Subhashini Vasanth, Veena Prasad
Forever Forty is a celebration of life. The life of Col Vasanth, AC – a life well lived – from growing up in a loving household and making wonderful friends, to marrying the woman he loved, raising beautiful children, and staying true to his calling till the very end. It is also a celebration of love. Love, expressed eloquently in more than four hundred letters he wrote home while posted on cold, rugged, inhospitable mountains, spending almost every New Year, birthday and anniversary away from family, while keeping intact his characteristic sense of humour, and writing so evocatively as to bring everything alive. These letters are juxtaposed with the stories related by his close friends and family, giving one a glimpse into his amazing personality – nothing short of inspiring.
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  • Raghuram prasad

    2017at5:28 pm Reply

    Great leader

  • Vishal

    2017at3:58 pm Reply

    Your sacrifice is truly inspirational. My deepest respects to your family.

  • Mala Kulkarni

    2017at3:59 pm Reply

    Your story of courage and sacrifice is truly remarkable. It will continue to inspire the future
    generations of India… Jai Hind

  • Glorie

    2017at12:42 pm Reply

    Your story of courage and sacrifice is truly remarkable. It will continue to inspire the future generations of India.
    Jai hind..

  • Jagdish soni

    2018at4:48 pm Reply

    On eve of your fifty HAppy birthday Sir our bets wishes …

  • Reeta Jamwal Sumbria

    2019at7:59 am Reply

    I salute your valour and supreme sacrifice Brave Heart.Jai Hind.

  • Rekha

    2019at8:49 pm Reply

    We read about your husband in my daughter’s English reader
    What a noble soul,laid down his life for the country

  • Srinidhi Nadig

    2021at10:12 pm Reply

    Stepping out of your comfort zone, you choose to live for those million people by standing in the border to protect us. The tensions in the border is being observed and is increasing day by day, but we salute the way you are managing it. There are a lot of luxury that we often chase, but then I think of you who has scarified a lot to let us leave in peace. I bow to the defense force of my country with all the pride. I say that our men are brave and will remain to be so.

    We have no words to measure everything you do, we are always grateful to you for defending our country. Today we are able to work and live peacefully all because of our solders at our borders. I will be very fortunate if I would come and meet you all one day. A big salute to you Sir and your family members who are supporting in every aspect of life. Your sacrifice for protecting the country is immeasurable.

    We shall always pray for your long life, happiness and good health. Jai Hind.

  • Priscilla Shamin

    2022at9:39 pm Reply

    Great work Sir. Your work will be remembered forever. May your family be blessed abundantly.

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