Lt. Colonel Vishwanathan

Date of Birth : Jan 12, 1960

place of Birth: Kochi, Kerala

Service: Army

Last Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Service Years: 1981 - 1999

Unit: 18 Grenadiers

Arm/Regt : The Grenadiers

Awards: Vir Chakra

Date of Martyrdom : Jun 2, 1999

Lt Col Ramkrishnan Vishwanathan VrC

Lt Col Ramakrishnan Vishwanathan was born in Kerala and did his initial schooling from Kochi. After finishing his school he joined National Defence Academy the cradle for producing officers for Indian Armed forces. After completing his training at the National Defence Academy Khadakvasla, he went to IMA Dehradun for his advanced training before being commissioned into the Army. He was commissioned into the Grenadiers Regiment, an infantry Regiment known for its intrepid soldiers and many battle honours.

 

During his army carrier, besides serving on Indian soil, Lt Col Vishwanathan also served with Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka and later with UN Peace Keeping Force in Angola. He gained the reputation of being a very dedicated soldier and commanded the respect of his seniors and soldiers under him as well. During 1999, Lt Col Vishwanathan’s unit was deployed in the J & K along the LOC.

 

Tololing Operation: 02 June 1999

 

 18 Grenadiers were inducted in Drass area on 19 May 1999 under the command of 121 Inf Bde and were operating along with 1 Naga and 8 Sikh battalions. These battalions along with 28 RR less a company operated under 121 Inf Bde till 22 May when HQ 56 Mountain Brigade assumed the command of the Drass area.  18 Grenadiers under the command of Col Khushal Thakur was tasked to lunch an attack to capture Tololing on 02 June 1999. Amidst the action during the war Lt Col Vishwanathan assumed the role of a leader of one of the missions wherein they had to retrieve the bodies of 3 of their comrades from the windswept slopes of the Tololing ridge and get them down. Earlier Maj Rajesh Adhikari had laid down his life while trying to capture Tololing ridge. Lt Col Vishwanathan displayed rare valor in closing in on enemy positions under heavy enemy automatic fire and intense artillery shelling. The attack took the enemy by complete surprise as it came along a very difficult approach and terrain at an altitude of over 15,000 feet.

 

During the attack, Lt Col Vishwanathan sustained multiple gunshot wounds. In spite of being severely injured he refused to be evacuated and exhorted his troops to press on further. He charged through enemy defenses destroying three enemy positions and eliminated four intruders single-handedly in close hand-to-hand combat. Due to his efforts, the battalion could secure a foothold on the enemy location which later facilitated capture of Point 4590. Though Second-in-Command of his unit, Lt Col Vishwanathan disregarded his seniority and preferred being where his men were fighting: and led from the front.  The first aid given to Lt Col Vishwanathan didn’t help much and as his troops were trying to get him back to Drass, he succumbed to his injuries on the way.

 

Lt Col Vishwanathan was a valiant soldier and a gritty officer who laid down his life in the service of the nation. Lt Col Vishwanathan was given the gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” for his cold courage, leadership, comradeship and supreme sacrifice.

The citation for the Vir Chakra awarded to him reads:

 

During ‘Operation Vijay’, Lieutenant Colonel Ramakrishnan Vishwanathan was the Second-in-Command of 18 Grenadiers, which was conducting operations in the Tololing area of Drass sector. He displayed rare valor in closing in on enemy positions under prohibitive enemy automatic fire and intense artillery shelling, thus taking the enemy by complete surprise along a very difficult approach and terrain at an altitude of over 15,000 feet. During the attack, Lieutenant Colonel Vishwanathan sustained multiple gunshot wounds. In spite of being severely injured he refused to be evacuated and exhorted his troops to press on further. He charged through enemy defenses destroying three enemy positions and eliminated four intruders single-handedly in close hand-to-hand combat. Due to his efforts, the battalion could secure a foothold on the enemy location which later facilitated capture of Point 4590. Though Second-in-Command of his unit, Lieutenant Colonel Ramakrishnan Vishwanathan disregarded his seniority and preferred being where his men were fighting: and led from the front during assaults on well-fortified enemy positions in Tololing. He, however, succumbed to his injuries making the supreme sacrifice for the nation in the best traditions of the Indian Army.

  • His Father V. Ramakrishnan received his body on behalf of the state government, representatives of the army and navy and the district authorities paid rich tributes to Lt Col Vishwanathan.
  • The body was kept for an hour at the statue junction at Thripunithura to enable the public to pay homage before being taken to his village.
  • The family got huge community support after his martyrdom and the family was overwhelmed by the support.
  •  The army museum at Jabalpur displays his uniform as a tribute to its brave soldier.
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Source
  • http://twdi.in/node/4759
  • http://www.ikashmir.net/kargilheroes/vishwanathan.html
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6 Tributes
  • aniket ingle

    2017 at 2:21 pm Reply

    salute to you my hero brave son of INDIA

  • Wg Cdr Ravi Menon (Retd) - Bangalore Urban,Karnataka

    2017 at 10:58 pm Reply

    A great friend, NDA course & Squadron mate, comrade in Arms…you made us proud…you stay in our hearts forever!
    You grew up in God’s own Country…
    Now you rest in God’s own Arms!
    RIP my brother!

  • R Shravni - Palakkad,Kerala

    2017 at 12:09 pm Reply

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

  • Valsan Kunnath - Thrissur,Kerala

    2017 at 6:34 pm Reply

    Big Salute to the Brave Son of Bharath Lt Col Ramkrishnan Vishwanathan, Vir Chakra
    “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 Utmost Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice. Jai Hind.

  • Sanal Kumar - Thiruvananthapuram,Kerala

    2019 at 9:13 pm Reply

    Vishu, a brother, coursemate, classmate through NDA, and a bosom friend,
    Not a day passes without pangs of survivor’s guilt…
    missing you, but feeling your presence all the while.
    keep smiling, wherever you are in Valhalla!

  • Maj Gen JN Nayar (Retd) - Pune,Maharashtra

    2019 at 3:20 pm Reply

    Dear Vishu!
    Your pic on this panel brought back a flood of memories of our days at NDA when the grass was green & roses red….almost saw you once again in KDs.
    You have inspired a generation through your unparalleled act on Tololing! You have done your duty unto your Motherland!
    Rest in peace, dear friend!
    Coursemate,
    JN

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