Service No : IC-44725A
Place of birth : Almora Dist(UP)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Major
Unit : 107 Engr Regt
Arm/Regt : The Corps of Engineers
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Awards : Shaurya Chakra
Martyrdom : January 14, 2003
Major Mahesh Chander hailed from Almora district of Uttar Pradesh. After completing his education, he joined the army and was commissioned into 107 Engr Regt of Bengal Engineer Group (BEG) of the Corps of Engineers, one of the oldest arms of the Indian Army. After completing his training, he served with his unit 107 Engineer Regiment and got involved in various operations. Within a short span of time, he learned the required field craft skills and earned the praise of his peers and seniors as well.
Manipur Operation: 14 Jun 1995
During June 1995, Maj Mahesh Chander was serving with 107 Engr battalion deployed in Manipur for counter-insurgency operations. The unit was deployed in Chandel district of Manipur which was affected with active militancy. Besides counter insurgency operations, the Army was also undertaking an operation called 'Operation Good Samaritan' in Nagaland-Manipur-Arunachal Pradesh area, to provide a healing touch to the local population. As the area of responsibility (AOR) of the unit was active with militancy, Maj Mahesh Chander and his troops had to maintain a high level of alert at all times and had to be ready for operations at short notice. On 14 June 95, Major Mahesh Chander along with his troops was detailed to carryout reconnaissance in Darku village in Chandel district of Manipur, for development and rehabilitation work under 'Op Good Samaritan.
At 1600 hours when the party was close to Darku Village near Chakpikarong, it was suddenly ambushed by insurgents. Though the attack was sudden, Maj Mahesh Chander along with his troops rose to the occasion and swung into action. They immediately got into action and returned fire to counter the ambush. However during the exchange of fire, Major Mahesh Chander received LMG burst in his ankle and spine. Though injured grievously, Maj Mahesh Chander with his commendable determination continued to lead his troops in order to counter the ambush. During this operation , Maj Mahesh Chander showed exemplary leadership and courage even at the risk to his own life. Though the life of Maj Mahesh Chander could be saved, he became incapacitated owing to to becoming paraplegic. Eventually after fighting valiantly for over 7 years, he lost the battle for life in the year 2003 and was martyred. Maj Mahesh Chander was a valiant soldier and a fine officer who led from the front and laid down his life in the service of the nation, following the highest traditions of the Indian Army.
Maj Mahesh Chander was given the gallantry award, ”Shaurya Chakra” on 15 August 1996, for his exceptional courage, indomitable spirit and supreme sacrifice.
The citation for “Shaurya Chakra” awarded to him reads:-
On 14 June 95, Major Mahesh Chander, 107 Engineer Regiment, Army Development Group, along with his troops was detailed to carryout reconnaissance in village Darku in District Chandel in Manipur, for development and rehabilitation work under 'OP Good Samaritan.
At 1600 hours when the party was close to Darku Village near Chakpikarong it was suddenly ambushed by insurgents. Immediately Major Mahesh Chander along with his troops returned fire to counter the ambush. During this encounter, "Major Mahesh Chander received LMG burst in his ankle and spine. Though injured grievously, Major Mahesh Chander with his dogged determination continued to lead his troops in order to counter the ambush. During this incident, the Officer showed exemplary quality of leadership and courage even at the risk to his own life. His offensive action and personal example helped in saving the lives of his men and loss of weapons. Though the life of the officer could be saved but he had been incapacitated due to becoming paraplegic.
Major Mahesh Chander. thus, displayed exceptional courage and dedication to duty of the highest order in the face of insurgent fire.