Service No: IC-39962A

Date of Birth : 31 Dec 1960

Birth Place : Bangalore

Service: Army

Last Rank : Lt Col

UNIT: 25 RR

Regiment: The Madras Regiment

Operation: Op Rakshak (J&K)

Awards : SC

Date of Martyrdom : Oct 30, 1999

Lieutenant Colonel Ajit Bhandarkar SC

Lieutenant Colonel Ajit Bhandarkar was born in Bangalore on 31 Dec 1960. Son of Mr U V Bhandarkar, Lt Col Ajit had two brothers and one of them, Lt Col Arun Bhandarkar is also serving in the Army. Lt Col Ajit was keen in joining the Army since his childhood and he followed his dream . He was commissioned into the Madras regiment, a regiment known for its long history of outstanding service and various battle honours.

 

Lt Col Ajit got married to Shakuntala and the couple had two sons named Nirbhay and Akshay. During his service career Lt Col Ajit participated in various operations and operated in places with different terrain and environments. Consequently, the family also travelled across the country along with Lt Col Ajit and stayed at Pune, Indore, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.

 

During 1999, Lt Col Ajit was serving with 25 RR on deputation from his parent regiment. 25 RR was deployed in J & K area and was engaged in anti insurgency operations. The family continued to stay in Delhi as the unit was located in a field area.

 

Faizalabad Operation : 30 Oct 1999

 

On 30 October 1999, Lt Col Ajit’s unit had received intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in Faizalabad village in Poonch district. After assessing the situation a decision was taken to launch an operation under the leadership of Lt Col Ajit . A cordon and search operation was launched to eliminate five hardcore militants hiding in the village. Lt Col Ajit spotted the militants escaping towards a nullah and chased them, shooting down one militant at point blank range.

 

The second militant hiding inside the nullah fired indiscriminately, and injured Lt Col Ajit grievously. Despite being injured, he moved ahead and lobbed a grenade on the militants. He then crawled forward and shot down another militant. His daredevil action resulted in the elimination of three hardcore militants. Lt Col Ajit , however later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Ironically he was martyred on his birthday at the age of 40 years. For this act of courage and supreme sacrifice Lt Col Ajit Bhandarkar was awarded “Shaurya Chakra” posthumously.

 

Lt Col Bhandarkar is survived by his wife Shakuntala and two sons, Nirbhay and Akshay ,Parents and two Brothers. His wife, Shakunthala Bhandarkar , having gone through the personal experience of being a martyr’s wife, is passionate about helping other martyrs’ families. She has been a part of the Vasantharatna Foundation for Art since its inception and has contributed immensely in conducting various events and activities for the families of martyrs. Vasantharatna Foundation , based in Bangalore, is engaged in conducting various programmes for the welfare of the families of martyrs and Mrs Shakunthala Bhandarkar is an executive member of this Foundation.

 

The undying passion to serve the nation seems to have been inherited by Lt Col Bhandarkar’s sons too. Whilst the elder son Capt Nirbhay Bhandarkar has joined his father’s unit after passing out from OTA Chennai, Sub Lt Akshay Bhandarkar has joined  the Indian Navy under the University Entry Scheme (UES) after his engineering.

Citation for the Saurya Chakra awarded to him reads:-

On 30 October 1999, Lieutenant Colonel Ajit Bhandarkar led an operation in village Faizalabad (Surankot) in Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir. A cordon and search operation was launched to eliminate five hardcore militants hiding in the village. Lieutenant Colonel Ajit Bhandarkar spotted the militants escaping towards a nalla. He chased the militants inside the nalla and shot dead one militant at point blank range. The second militant hiding inside the nalla fired indiscriminately, injuring him grievously. Despite being injured, he moved ahead and lobbed a grenade on the militants. He then crawled forward and shot down a militant. His action saved the lives of other personnel. His daring action resulted in the elimination of three hardcore militants. He, However, succumbed to his injuries.

Lieutenant Colonel Ajit Bhandarkar, thus, displayed gallantry and bold leadership while facing the militants and made the supreme sacrifice.

  •  “They gave their today for our tomorrow. I feel the void he’s left behind, but his sacrifice has only made me stronger. He always wanted me to stand on my feet and I am proud that I did.”  : his wife Shakunthala Bhandarkar.
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Source
  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/My-husband-is-immortal-through-his-deeds/articleshow/4820633.cms
  • http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/With-grit-families-of-Kargil-martyrs-get-on-with-life/article16563094.ece
  • http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report-war-no-never-again-1277201
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7 Tributes
  • Lavanya Jyothi - Anjaw,Arunachal Pradesh

    2017 at 1:18 pm Reply

    Your story of courage and sacrifice is truly remarkable Lt Col Ajit Bhandarkar..My deepest respects to you..Jai Hind..

  • Kanupriya Bazaz - Bankura,West Bengal

    2017 at 4:21 pm Reply

    Salute to you Sire
    Jai Hind

  • Santhosh kumar ,plavelil house, Perissery po chengannur - Alappuzha,Kerala

    2017 at 6:53 am Reply

    JAI HIND

  • Valsan Kunnath - Thrissur,Kerala

    2017 at 11:24 pm Reply

    Big Salute to the Brave Son of Bharath Lt.Col.Ajit Bhandarkar – Shaurya Chakra
    “Duty beyond Death” “Soldiers go beyond call of Duty”
    “Some goals are so worthy,It’s glorious even to fail”
    You will always be Saluted for your Conspicuous Bravery, Indomitable Courage and Supreme Sacrifice.
    Jai Hind.

  • shashi - Raichur,Karnataka

    2017 at 11:09 pm Reply

    Salute to the braveheart…
    Your supreme scarifice will always be remembered sir…
    Jai Hind…

  • Geeshma Dhyan - Central Delhi,Delhi

    2018 at 12:31 pm Reply

    India is fortunate to have a son like you. Your story is truly inspirational. My salute to you and your family.

  • Dr Noor Jahan Begum - Bangalore Urban,Karnataka

    2018 at 5:03 pm Reply

    It should never be late for anyone to pay tribute to such a hero. U must have had a lion’s heart for doing such an act. Just words are not enough to praise your bravery and commitment. U are an examplary of a responsible son of this land. Hearty salutations to you, your parents, and your loving family. May God bless your sons to lead a successful and prosperous life ahead. May all of them be gifted with immense patience and strength for facing the grievances. U have made the nation proud. Civilians like us have no words to express Ur precious role and contribution rendered in building a stable and strong nation. Jai hind.

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