Service No : 2600705W
Birth Place : Adukkamparai (TN)
Last Rank: Havildar
Unit : 19 Madras
ARm/Regt : The Madras Regiment
Awards : Sena Medal
Date of Martyrdom: Feb 03, 2016
Havildar Elumalai M had joined 19th Battalion of the Madras Regiment on October 28, 1996. He was married to E Jamuna Rani and blessed with two sons namely E Kavirasu, six years old and E Sri Priyadarshan, four years old. Havildar Elumalai M was a highly motivated Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), who had a high level of initiative and was always willing to carry out any task assigned to him. He had conducted several successful small team operations against terrorists in both Jammu & Kashmir and North East during his nine years of field service. Because of his ability to motivate his juniors and leading them from front, the NCO was selected to be part of Sonam Post which required men with nerves of steel and high level of physical fitness.
Havildar Elumalai was a charismatic leader and had attained instructor grading in Weapon Course at Infantry School, Mhow. He had had a tenure as Instructor at The Madras Regimental Centre, Wellington where he trained several recruits and his work was praised by his superiors. He was also part of the Unit Training Team prior to induction of the unit to Siachen Glacier.
He was awarded Sena Medal posthumously for his bravery in August 2016.
2016 Siachen Glacier Avalanche :
He was one of the ten soldiers who got buried under snow after their camp in the northern part of the Siachen glacier was hit by a major avalanche in Feb 2016. The avalanche struck the camp located in the northern Siachen Glacier, at a height of 19,600 feet, in the early hours of 3rd Feb 2016. The post was manned by a Junior Commissioned Officer and nine soldiers. The rescue operations were carried out by specialized teams of the Army and the Air Force which were being coordinated from Leh and Udhampur.
Soldiers face extreme risks in manning the inhospitable terrain at heights of 21,000 feet under extreme weather conditions on the world’s highest battlefield. Avalanches usually take place due to the accumulation of snow and are triggered by morning sunlight. In other cases, when the slope of accumulated snow is between 60 to 80 degrees, the instability leads to an avalanche. Although the Army has 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 and the cause also could not be known.
The teams of Army and the Air Force undertook massive rescue operations under extreme weather conditions but could not save the life of this brave soldier. The nation will remain grateful to him for his courage and supreme sacrifice.