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
Havildar Jagdish Chand was a soldier in the Indian Army. He belonged to the Defence Security Corps and was stationed in Pathankot as a cook. Havildar Jagdish Chand was from the Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. He had joined the army years before and retired. He was later recruited into the DSC. He had been transferred from Leh to Pathankot mere months before the attack.
PATHANKOT ATTACK: 02 Jan 2016
On 2nd 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 hid in the elephant grass. Upon infiltrating the base, they advanced towards the area where the high-value asset vehicles were kept but were soon intercepted by the Indian security forces. In the ensuing 15-hour gun battle, 4 attackers and two security force troops from the Defence Security Corps were killed along with one commando of the elite IAF’s special Garud unit, on the 3rd.
The following morning, on the 4th of January, an explosion killed Lt. Col. Niranjan of the anti-terror force National Security Guard (NSG) during combing operations, and two others were injured. Shortly after, another explosion was reported. Five National Investigation Agency officials reached the airbase. Combing operations were conducted and the army, NSG, IAF, paramilitary forces and Punjab Police were all involved.
The operation went on until the 5th of January when the last attacker was reportedly neutralised. 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’.
Havildar Chand was a cook at the base and was in the kitchen when the terrorists entered. Being a former army man, he displayed exemplary bravery as he was one of the first security personnel to engage the terrorist. He wrestled a rifle from one of the attackers and shot him with his own weapon. Soon after his commendable actions, he was caught in enemy fire. He became gravely wounded and succumbed to his injuries.
He is survived by his wife, a son, and two daughters. His courage in this unexpected incident was tremendous as he did not fear for his own life. He had no weapons in his hand and managed to take out an attacker with his bare hands. His bravery, patriotism and sacrifice will always be remembered.
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 SepoyJagdish 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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