Service No : 2658592

Date of Birth : December 27, 1949

Place of birth : Bikaner, Rajasthan

Service : Army

Last Rank : Grenadier

Unit : 5 Grenadiers

Arm/Regt : The Grenadiers

Operation : Op Cactus Lily

Awards : VrC

Martyrdom : December 19, 1971

Grenadier Rafiq Khan VrC

Grenadier Rafiq Khan hailed from Bikaner in Rajasthan was and was born on 27 December 1949. Son of Shri Gani Khan, he joined the Indian Army after completing his schooling. He was enrolled into 5 Grenadiers of the Grenadiers, an infantry Regiment known for its gallant soldiers and a string of battle exploits.

 

Indo-Pak War - 19 Dec 1971

 

During Nov 1971, Gdr Rafiq Khan's unit 5 Grenadiers was deployed in the eastern sector as the war became imminent. though the war was officially over on 16 Dec 1971 when Pakistani forces surrendered en masse, but intermittent skirmishes were continuing in many pockets. One such operation was undertaken by 5 Grenadiers battalion on 19 Dec 1971. Gdr Rafiq Khan was part of the team that was assigned the task of capturing an enemy post. The enemy post was captured successfully by Gdr Rafiq Khan and his comrades but the résistance by isolated enemy troops continued in small pockets.

 

The enemy continued to the inflict casualties on the troops of 5 Grenadiers. Gdr Rafiq Khan noticed that a particularly enemy Light Machine gun located in a bunker was causing maximum casualties. Gdr Rafiq Khan realized that the enemy LMG had to be silenced at any cost and decided to attack it. With complete disregard for his personal safety Gdr Rafiq Khan then crawled forward and lobbed a grenade into the bunker which burst outside wounding him seriously. Undeterred, he threw another grenade and silenced the light machine gun. However while doing so, he was hit by a burst from the light machine gun and got seriously injured. He later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Gdr Rafiq Khan was a fearless and committed soldier who laid down his life at the age of 21 years in the line of his duty.

 

Gdr Rafiq Khan was given the nation’s nation’s third highest gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” for his outstanding courage, unyielding fighting spirit and supreme sacrifice during the operation.

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