Service No : IC46868Y

Place of birth : New Delhi

Service : Army

Last Rank : Lieutenant Colonel

Arm/Regt : The Dogra Regt

Operation : CI & IS Ops

Awards : Sena Medal

Martyrdom : January 20, 2006

Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi SM

Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi was born in New Delhi into a military family hailing from Punjab. Son of an army veteran Lt Col JML Bakshi and Smt Usha Bakshi, he had a brother Rajesh and sister Ranjana as his siblings. He did his schooling from varous places as his father got posted to different units during his growing up years. His resolve to join the Army grew with the age and eventually following into his father's footsteps, he donned the Army uniform in the year 1991. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant into 13 Dogra battalion of the Dogra Regiment, an infantry Regiment well known for its dauntless soldiers and numerous battle exploits.

 

Soldiering came very naturally to the young Lt Rajeev Bakshi as he came from a family with a glorious tradition of military service. A third generation officer, his grandfather Major ID Bakshi too had served in the Indian Army. Incidentally his father Lt Col JML Bakshi also served with 13 Dogra and commanded the battalion in the mid 1970s. Lt Rajeev Bakshi, soon evolved into a committed soldier and a fine officer with superior field-craft skills. Besides being a tough soldier, he was very affable and caring which endeared him to his peers and subordinates as well. After putting in few years of service, he got married to Ms. Nandita and the couple had two daughters Arzoo & Amanat. By 2006, he had put in around 15 years of service and had been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. 

 

Operation Dragnet (Manipur): 20 Jan 2006 

 

During 2006, Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi’s unit 13 Dogra was deployed in Tipaimukh area of Manipur. In the mid 2000's, more than 8,900 square kilometers of Manipur was under the control of the militants and the state government was in no position to enforce its will or the rule of law. This so called 'liberated area' covered about 9 subdivisions of the state, inclusive of the whole of Churachandpur district (5 subdivisions), the areas of Tamenglong district starting from Barak bridge to Jiribam (along the national highway), from Chapikarong to the international border in Chandel district, Loktak Lake, and the areas beyond Moirang upto the southern hill slopes of Churachandpur district. In order to tackle this problem a Combined Headquarters was formed to function under the Chief Minister with the Chief Secretary, Corps Commander (Indian Army), GOC, 57 Mountain Division (Leimakhong), IGAR (S) Assam Rifles, IGP CRPF, Jt. Director of Intelligence Bureau.

 

Under this security arrangement, the Indian Army launched a number of operations against the extremist organizations operating in Manipur, starting from the year 2004.  The major operations included - Operation All Clear (2004), Operation Jawala (2004), Operation Stinger (October 2005), Operation Tornado (October 2005) and Operation Dragnet (January 2006). Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi’s unit got involved in the operations as part of Operation Dragnet. The objective of the operation was to clear & secure the two sub-divisions of Tipaimukh (Parbung) & Thanlon, from the stranglehold of the militant organizations. Tipaimukh was located in the extreme corner of Manipur adjoining the state of Mizoram. 

 

On the 20th of Jan 2006, Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi's team went in for Parbung, to rescue and secure the area from the grasp of the militants. The militants, who were holed up in the village, were taken aback by the swift & brutal attack. The militants were caught off-guard, who panicked and started firing indiscriminately at the troops. A fierce encounter ensued thereafter with heavy exchange of fire. Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi leading his troops courageously used his superior soldierly skills to pin the militants down. But in the operation Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi got critically wounded, and was evacuated by an Army Helicopter to the 160 Military hospital, Masimpur, Silchar, Assam. He however succumbed to his injuries was martyred. It is said that the last command he gave to his men, before he lost consciousness, was that they should never abandon the villagers/the people of Parbung under any circumstances.

 

Inspired by Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi, his unit officer Lieutenant Pant took over the command of the operations, and fought with great vigour. They stormed the area known as Church Hill in Parbung village and managed to eliminate 15 militants including the area commander of the militants. The operation marked the culmination of 16 months of relentless offensive to purge South Manipur of insurgents. Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi was a valiant soldier and an officer par excellence who led from the front and laid down his life in the line of his duty following the highest traditions of the Indian Army. Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi  was given the gallantry award, “Sena Medal” on 15 Aug 2006 for his commendable courage, leadership and supreme sacrifice.

 

Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi is survived by his father Lt Col JML Bakshi (Retd), Smt Usha Bakshi, wife Smt Nandita Bakshi, two daughters Arzoo & Amanat, younger brother Col Rajesh Bakshi and sister Smt Ranjana. 

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1 Comment
  • Rajesh Bakhshi

    2022at1:44 pm Reply

    I am younger brother of Lt Col Rajeev Bakhshi, Sena Medal (Posthumous). His date of place was New Delhi and would like to update essential information with regard to my brother. Please contact me, kindly.

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