Service No : 13613007
Date of Birth : February 14, 1959
Place of birth : Amritsar, Punjab
Service : Army
Last Rank : Havaldar
Unit : 9 Para(SF)
Arm/Regt : The Parachute Regiment
Operation : Op Pawan
Awards : Vir Chakra
Martyrdom : April 12, 1989
Havaldar Jash Thakur hailed from Amritsar district in Punjab and was born on 14 Feb 1959. He joined the Army after completing his initial education. He was recruited into the Parachute Regiment, an infantry Regiment well known for its daredevil operations. Later he volunteered to be part of 9 Para(SF) battalion of the Parachute Regiment, the oldest Indian Army SF battalion, which came into existence in July 1966. The battalion specially trained in mountain warfare, was headquartered in Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir(J&K).
Sri Lankan Operations (Op Pawan) : 12 Apr 1989
After the induction of Indian forces in Aug 1987 in Sri Lanka, as part of Indo-Sri Lankan accord, the militants were supposed to surrender but the dreaded LTTE backed out and unleashed war on Indian forces. The IPKF launched its first operation on 9 October 1987 after formulating a multi-pronged strategy to take on LTTE. Code-named Operation Op Pawan, it was expected to neutralize LTTE operational capability in and around Jaffna. This included the capture or neutralization of the LTTE’s chain of command, which was expected to leave the rebel movement directionless in the face of the impending assault on the LTTE strongholds by the IPKF. Hav Jash Thakur's unit 9 Para(SF) battalion was inducted into Sri Lanka as part of IPKF and got involved in the operations right after its induction.
Hav Jash Thakur participated in almost all special missions launched by the unit since October 1987 in Sri Lanka. As part of ongoing operations, on 12th Apr 1989, Hav Jash Thakur along with some soldiers of 9 Par(SF) and 12 Jat battalion was tasked for an operation against the LTTE militants. However as Hav Jash Thakur and his comrades were on the way to the suspected area, they were attacked by a group of approximately 20 to 25 LTTE militants. In the ensuing encounter, some of his squad members got wounded and their vehicle came to a halt. Sensing the gravity of the situation, Hav Thakur took charge and brought down effective fire on the militants from the Light Machine Gun mounted on the vehicle. The militants attempted several times to rush to the vehicle to cause more damage, but Hav Thakur along with Capt Sanjay Kumar Thapa successfully foiled all such attempts.
In the meantime, Hav Thakur exhausted his Light Machine Gun ammunition but undeterred he grabbed a weapon from one of his wounded comrades and jumped out of the vehicle to continue the fight. He charged at a militant who was trying to remove the weapons from the wounded soldiers. However while doing so, Hav Thakur received gun shots and got seriously injured. He later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Hav Jash Thakur was a valiant and committed soldier, who laid down his life in the line of his duty, following the highest traditions of the Indian Army.
Hav Jash Thakur was awarded “Vir Chakra”, for his exceptional courage, unyielding fighting spirit and supreme sacrifice during the operation.
Citation for the Vir Chakra Awarded to him reads:-
Havaldar Jash Thakur was a Squad commander of Bravo Team 9 Para Commando. He had participated in almost all special missions launched by the unit since October, 1987 in Sri Lanka. On the 12th April, 1989, he and his Squad accompanying a platoon of 12 JAT had an encounter with a group of approximately 20 to 25 militants. In the Initial phases of the encounter, his squad members were wounded and their vehicle came to a dead stop. Havaldar Jash Thakur stood his ground amongst the wounded and brought down effective fire on the militants from the Light Machine Gun mounted on the vehicle. The militants attempted several times to rush to the vehicle. Havaldar Thakur along with Captain Sanjay Kumar Thapa successfully foiled all such attempts. F our to five militants were killed and 7 militants injured. Havaldar Thakur having exhausted his Light Machine Gun ammunition, grabbed a weapon from one of his wounded squad members jumped out of the vehicle and charged at a militant who was trying to remove the weapons from the wounded. In this process, Havaldar Thakur was fatally wounded and made the supreme sacrifice of his life.
Havaldar Jash Thakur, thus displayed conspicuous courage and valour in the face of the militants.