Birth Place: Chamba (HP)
Last Rank: Havildar
Unit : 546 DSC Platoon
Arm/Regt : Defence Security Corps
Awards : Kirti Chakra
Date of Martyrdom : Jan 03,2016
Hav Jagdish Chand hailed from Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. After retiring from the Army, Hav Jagdish Chand joined the Defence Service Corps, a force responsible for the security of the defence establishments. He was transferred to 546 DSC Platoon based at Air Force Base Pathankot in the late 2015 after serving for some time in Leh.
Pathankot Attack: 01 Jan 2016
On 01 January 2016, the Pathankot Air Force Station of the Indian Air Force was attacked by a heavily armed group. They were disguised in Indian Army uniforms and made use of the tall elephant grass in the Air Force Base for concealing their movement. Upon infiltrating the base, they advanced towards the area where the high-value asset vehicles were kept with an intention to cause the maximum damage. But they were soon intercepted by the Indian security forces. In the ensuing 15-hour gun battle, 4 attackers and two security force personnel from the Defence Security Corps were killed along with one commando of the elite IAF’s special Guard unit.
On 03 Jan, Lt Col Niranjan, who was commanding the Bomb Disposal Unit of the National Security Guard (NSG), was martyred during combing operations to sanitize the area for safe movement of troops. The combing operation was conducted jointly by the Army , NSG, IAF, paramilitary forces, and Punjab Police. The operation went on until the 5th of January when the last attacker was reportedly neutralized. In the entire exchange, 7 security personnel, one civilian and 4-6 attackers were killed. The operation launched to eliminate this threat by the India Army was called ‘Operation Dhangu’.
Hav Jagdish Chand was serving with 546 Defence Service Platoon attached with 18 Wing Air Force Base at Pathankot. On the night 02 Jan 2016 at 0330 hr, five to six heavily armed terrorists entered the lines and opened indiscriminate fire on the troops. The heavy firing resulted in two of Hav Jagdish Chand’s colleagues being fatally wounded. Displaying courage and presence of mind Hav Jagdish Chand in utter disregard to his own safety ran after the closest terrorist, chased and overpowered him. He snatched the terrorist’s weapon and shot him dead. However during this process, two more terrorists in vicinity opened fire at Hav Jagdish Chand wounding him seriously. He succumbed to his injuries and was martyred.
Hav Jagdish Chand was given the nation’s second highest peace time gallantry award, “Kirti Chakra” for his cold courage, fighting spirit and supreme sacrifice. He is survived by his wife, a son, and two daughters.
He was awarded Kirti Chakra 0n 26th Jan 2016 and his citation reads:
Sepoy Jagdish Chand was posted with 546 Defence Service Platoon attached with 18 Wing Air Force. On the night 01/02 Jan 2016 at 0330 hr while the individual was working on bonafide military duty at Defence Service Corps lines, five to six heavily armed terrorists entered the lines and opened indiscriminate fire on the troops working in the said location. The heavy firing resulted in two of his colleagues being fatally wounded. Showing presence of mind and conspicuous bravery Sepoy Jagdish Chand unmindful of his own safety ran after the closest terrorist, chased and overpowered him. Sepoy Jagdish Chand snatched the terrorist’s weapon to shoot him dead. In the process, two more terrorists in vicinity opened fire on Sepoy Jagdish Chand killing him on the spot.
The great presence of mind, unmatched bravery, and valour by Sepoy Jagdish Chand minimized further loss of lives and gave time for the quick reaction teams in the vicinity to react. Sepoy Jagdish Chand’s actions was also a setback to the terrorists. For his unparalled act of bravery Sepoy Jagdish Chand is awarded ‘KIRTI CHAKRA (POSTHUMOUS)’.
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