Service No : IC-66162L

Date of Birth : May 2, 1981

Birth Place: Bangalore

Service: Army

Last Rank: Lt Col

Unit: NSG (BDU)

Arm/Regt : The Corps of Engineers

Award : SC

Date of Martyrdom: 03 Jan 2016

Lt Col Niranjan EK SC

Lt Col Elambulassery Kalarikkal Niranjan was born on 02 May 1981 in Palghat district of Kerala. Lt Col Niranjan’s ancestors hailed from a village called, Elambulassery in Palghat district and they belonged to Kalarikkal lineage. The second youngest of the four siblings, Lt Col Niranjan grew up with his two brothers and a sister in Bangalore where his father was employed in Bharat Electronics Limited.  He studied from Steilla Mary’s school Bangalore up to 3rd standard and then went on to complete his matriculation from BP Indian Public school Bangalore. Thereafter he did his PU degree from BEL PU composite college Bangalore and then his degree in engineering from Sir MVIT college Bangalore.


He always nursed the idea of joining the Army since his childhood and worked towards his dream form his younger days. His joy knew no bounds when he got selected in the Army and joined OTA Chennai in Sep 2003. He got commissioned into the Corps of Engineers on 17 Sep 2004 and was posted to 10 Engineers Regiment at Tezpur in Assam. Subsequently, Lt Col Niranjan served in various units located at Udhampur, Vairangty Gate(Mizoram), Ranchi and Srinagar in J & K. Later he went on deputation to the elite NSG and worked in its Bomb Disposal Squad.


Lt Col Niranjan got married to Radhika KG on 31 Mar 2013 and was blessed with a daughter on 04 Apr 2015. On joining the NSG, Lt Col Niranjan got inducted into the Bomb Disposal Squad and became the officer commanding of the unit on 24 May 2014.


IAF Base Attack: 01 Jan 2016


On 1st January 2016, the Air Force Station Pathankot of the Indian Air Force was attacked by a heavily armed terrorist group. Disguised in Indian Army uniforms the terrorists infiltrated the base, after breaching the station security perimeter.  They advanced towards the area where the high-value assets were kept but were soon intercepted by the Indian security forces. In the ensuing 15-hour gun battle, 4 attackers and two soldiers from the Defence Security Corps were killed along with one commando of the elite IAF’s special Garud unit.


The following morning, the Bomb Disposal Team under the leadership of Lt Col Niranjan was launched to undertake Render Safe Procedure(RSP) and Post Blast Operations Analysis(PBOA). Lt Col Niranjan led his team by example in motivating them to do the assigned task. The thick vegetation and undulating terrain made the task very challenging. The presence of grenades and other explosive devices rendered the approach to the dead bodies of the slain soldiers extremely difficult.  However nothing could stop Lt Col Niranjan and his team and they swung into action with utmost courage and exemplary professional acumen. Lt Col Niranjan led from the front and effectively handled two dead bodies after neutralizing the booby traps.


With utter disregard to his own life Lt Col Niranjan continued to carry out the area sanitation during which a booby trap got activated. Lt Col Niranjan absorbed most of the splinters , hence screening his comrades behind him. Lt Col Niranjan later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. For his act of bravery, indomitable spirit and sacrifice Lt Col Niranjan was awarded with “Shaurya Chakra” posthumously on 15 August 2016.

  • Lt Col Niranjan’s body was flown from Bengaluru to Palakkad by chopper. The Chief Minister of Kerala Mr Oommen Chandy and other ministers also paid their last respects. His funeral was conducted  with full military honours and a gun salute.


  • Lt Col Niranjan was given a befitting tribute by the armed forces along with his widow, K.G. Radhika. His body was shifted to a local school, where people paid floral tributes to the brave officer. His body was moved in an armoured truck while motorcyclists and civilians followed as a mark of respect. The village and nearby areas put up banners and wore badges to honour the officer.

  • “My son always wanted to join the army since his childhood… I am very proud that he has done his job well,” said his father, Mr Sivarajan.
  • Shashankan E.K., his younger brother, said that the family was broken, but they were also proud that he had served the country. “He was so stylish and smart. We always joked that he would have made it big in films if he had not chosen to become a soldier. Today, he lies in a coffin,” he said.
  • “He was always jovial and cared for us a lot. He loved his daughter a lot. From his young age, he was very passionate about joining the armed forces. We feel proud he has died serving the nation, but we have lost someone precious,” his brother said.
  • Sanal K, one of Lt Col Niranjan’s pre-university classmates at BEL College said, “He was a jovial guy and loved to bat, but once he used to slip into his NCC uniform he would be transformed”.
  • “It is motivating for us to see so many people are coming forward to pay respect to the soldier. We want to stand by the family and support them in every way possible,” said Major General KS Nijjar.
  • “We are here to salute this brave Martyr. I remember Lt Col Niranjan Kumar for three qualities. He was a man who knew no fear and was exceptionally brave. He topped his bomb disposal course in NSG and was selected for training in the U.S. He was a brilliant mind and always led by example. It’s a big loss to me and NSG.” Maj General M Chandy said.
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh mourned his death on Twitter: “Pained to know about the demise of Lt. Col. Niranjan of NSG during mopping out operations at Pathankot. The nation salutes his sacrifice”.
  • C Vinod, a villager, said, “We all knew that there was a young pattalakkaran (army man) at Kalarikkal. But we did not know he was a Lt Col who worked with the elite NSG.”
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8 Tributes
  • Manya Shukla - Kurnool,Andhra Pradesh

    2017 at 3:08 pm Reply

    Salute to his bravery …

  • Meena - Bagalkot,Karnataka

    2017 at 11:42 am Reply

    Your sacrifice will always be remembered and you will remain a hero for countless Indians. I salute you. Jai Hind

  • Valsan Kunnath - Thrissur,Kerala

    2017 at 11:17 pm Reply

    Big Salute to You the Brave Son of Bharath. “Duty beyond Death” “Soldiers go beyond call of Duty”
    You proved the patriotism in the most inspiring way to the Nation. You will never be forgotten and always be
    Saluted for your ultimate sacrifice. Jai Hind.

  • Viswañathan Manikan - Thrissur,Kerala

    2018 at 11:48 am Reply

    I salute you fallen hero. The Nation will remember your supreme sacrifice.

  • Shashi - Raichur,Karnataka

    2018 at 11:55 am Reply

    Salute sir…
    Your supreme scarifice will always be remembered sir ..
    Jai Hind…

  • Divya Nair - Anjaw,Arunachal Pradesh

    2018 at 12:26 pm Reply

    I salute your heroism and sacrifice. We shall forever remain indebted to you for your service to the nation. Jai Hind

  • siddharth - Ambala,Haryana

    2018 at 5:26 pm Reply

    May God give strength to his family in order to bear the loss and may he remain as a constant source of strength in the lives of his wife and daughter .Jai Hind

  • Siddhesh Kulkarni - Bangalore Rural,Karnataka

    2018 at 7:47 am Reply

    I am feeling proud when I read about you. Sir I salute you for the leadership shown by you during the IAF base attack in Pathankot.

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