Service No: IC 27373X

Date of Birth: 29 Jul 1951

Place of Birth: Kodagu dist (KA)

Service: Army

Last Rank : Major

Last Unit : 5 Rajput

Arm/Regt : The Rajput Regiment

Operation: Op Pawan

Date of Martyrdom : 02 Dec 1987

Maj Ranjit Muthana

Maj Ranjit Muthana hailed from Madikeri taluk of Coorg district in Karnataka. Born on 29th July 1951, Maj Muthana completed his schooling from Don Bosco, Mumbai. He nursed the idea of joining the Armed Forces since his childhood and continued to pursue his dream after completing his schooling. Subsequently, he got selected for the prestigious NDA at Pune and earned his stars as a 2nd Lieutenant on 24 Dec 1972. He was commissioned into the famed Rajput Regiment, an infantry Regiment known for its fearless soldiers and numerous battle exploits. With its motto, “Sarvatra Vijay” meaning “Victory Everywhere”, the Regiment took part in all the wars since Independence and also formed part of the IPKF( 4, 5 and 25 Rajputs formed a part of IPKF in Sri Lanka). 

 

Maj Muthana served with his battalion, 5 Rajput in Nagaland, Palampur, Suratgarh, Banbasa, and Sri Lanka. As a young Captain, he had the distinction of serving as an Instructor at NDA. Subsequently, he graduated from Defence Services Staff College at Wellington and was posted as Brigade Major of 167 Inf Bde from 1985 to 1987. Maj Muthana later got married to Geetha Aiyappa on 12 Nov 1978.

 

Op Pawan: 2nd Dec 1987

 

The IPKF launched its first operation on 9 October 1987 after formulating a multi-pronged strategy to take on LTTE. Code-named “Op Pawan”, it was expected to neutralize LTTE operational capability in and around Jaffna. This included the capture or neutralization of the LTTE’s chain of command, which was expected to leave the rebel movement directionless in the face of the impending assault on the LTTE strongholds by the IPKF. After the attack by the IPKF comprising soldiers of 13 Sikh LI, 4/5 GR, and 10 Para on Jaffna university on 12 Oct 1987, the relations with the LTTE reached the breaking point and their fighters launched a series of attacks against Indian soldiers. By Dec 1987, IPKF had wrested control of parts of Jaffna but the skirmishes were continuing in various parts. After the induction of Indian forces in Aug 1987, the militants were supposed to surrender but the dreaded LTTE backed out and unleashed war on Indian forces.

 

On Fateful day of 2nd Dec 1987, Maj Ranjit Muthana volunteered to undertake the convoy protection duty beyond his own area of responsibility despite fully aware of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) threats. He was the column commander of the foot column which was escorting the convey on road to Batticaloa Colombo. When they were on the way to locate a consignment of weapons in the hideout of LTTE militants, a group of heavily armed LTTE militants attacked them. Maj Muthana and his soldiers had inadvertently walked into the militants’ hideout and were facing heavy firing from all directions.

 

Maj Muthana quickly assessed the situation and using his field craft skills swung into action along with his soldiers. Though the militants were heavily armed and were firing from vantage points Maj Muthana was determined to repulse the attack. A fierce gun battle ensued thereafter with a heavy exchange of fire from both sides. During the gun battle, Maj Muthana got hit by a direct MMG burst which pierced through his helmet. Maj Muthana later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. In spite of being heavily outnumbered by the LTTE, Maj Muthana forced the LTTE militants to abandon their positions. Maj Muthana was a valiant and committed soldier who laid down his life in the line of duty, following the highest traditions of the Indian Army.

 

Maj Ranjit Muthana is survived by his wife Smt Geetha Muthana.

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18 Comments
  • Milan Naidu

    2019at5:59 pm Reply

    Ranjit was a brilliant and an outstanding officer. We in the Regiment and the Paltan had all our hopes / expectations pinned on him. The professional trajectory that he had taken confirmed our expectations. A good friend and a wonderful human being, he was my favorite in the unit. Though, being posted out of the unit, we did keep in touch through letters. It was indeed a great shock to learn the he was martyred in action on 02 Dec 1989. It was barely ten days before I assumed command of the Battalion.

    When I reached Sri Lanka and investigated the ambush, I realised that Maj Ranjit Muthana’s bold action at the critical time held the day. The valour of Rajputs was vindicated and we came out trumps despite the heavy causalities that we suffered.

    The Platoon of Maj Muthana’s Company was pinned down by heavy automatic and Rocket fire. They suffered many casualties in the first flush itself. Maj Muthana, not be undone, rushed with his Compant Headquaters to assist the Platoon. He rallied the remainders to move out of the killing zone and assault the militants from the flank, while providing covering fire from the front. When the remnants of the Platoon too came under heavy effective militant fire and was unable to move, Maj Muthana rallied the small component of the Company Headquarters and charged frontally to silence the murderous Machine Gun of the militants. This brave act unnerved the militant and they abandoned their positions. Unfortunately, Maj Muthana received a burst of MMG bullets on his head through his Helmet, just 15 yards short of the militant’s MMG position. The ambush party got so unnerved by the ferocity of the charge, that they dared not to collect the weapons even of their own casualties.

    It is unfortunate that we lost Maj Ranjit Muthana. His brave action will always inspire all ranks, especially in 5 Rajput. In him, not only the uniformed community, but the whole country has lost a brave man and a noble soul.

  • Subbha Maachhaiah

    2019at1:00 pm Reply

    My salute to the fearless son of Kodagu.

  • Maj Gen. Nanjappa

    2019at1:47 pm Reply

    Ranjit was a bright and upcoming officer of our regiment and an excellent young leader from the KODAVA Community . His untimely death deprived our KODAVA Community and the army of a potential General.

  • Lt General Ravi Eipe (Retd)

    2019at4:51 pm Reply

    My respectful salutes to this brave soldier who laid down his life in operations against the LTTE in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Army. A bright officer who would have risen to high ranks in our Army.

  • Ravi MM

    2019at12:21 am Reply

    Honourpoint is a laudable and an interesting initiative highlighting brave actions by some of our less known heroes. It’s been interesting to read some heroic actions by our men and officers. I was particularly pleased to read about my friend, Maj Ranjit Muthanna. Ranjit and I had met each other in the early 80’s at Pune where he was posted as an instructor in the NDA. We took instant liking to each other and kept in touch thereafter. Though we belong to Kodagu, we joined the forces from different cardinal directions, he from Mumbai and me from Kodagu.

    As luck would have it, soon thereafter we got posted to the same formation at Ranchi/Barackpur, I with my battalion, and he as Brigade Major in one of the brigades. We could meet each other quite often and I got to know him more intimately. Ranjit was a brilliant career officer who excelled in every dept., and to top it all he had a pleasing personality. A quick witted Kodava who turned out to be a good friend with credible professional acumen. His wife Geetha also became a good family friend of ours. Our next meeting was at Bangalore RSI in Nov 1987, the day after which he was to leave for Srilanka. That was the last of Ranjit that I got to see, the next was receiving the shocking news of his sad demise. His pleasant personality, cheeky smile which made his profile more interesting kept coming to my mind.

    The action of Ranjit which made him succumb to his injuries highlights adequately of the brave officer that he was till the end. His demise has been a definite loss of a brilliant and outstanding officer who would go places. It also has been a loss to the community and the army as a whole.
    Mrs Geetha Muthanna lives in Bangalore, a brave wife of the brave officer and a good friend.

  • K G Appaiah

    2019at9:33 am Reply

    In 1978, we first met Captain Ranjit Muthanna and Geetha Muthanna as a newly married young couple, at one of our common army officer’s house, in Pune. Although we are civilians, we became friends instantly and our friendship just got stronger in the coming years. He was one person who always had a smile on his face and was most loved amongst all our friends. Those few years we spent together in Pune, are the most memorable years of our friendship.
    In 1981, we moved to Bangalore. But we continued to be good friends. Just few days before Ranjit Muthanna (Serving Major then) went to Sri Lanka as part of the IPKF operations, he and Geetha Muthanna dined with us. It was such a lovely evening. Unfortunately that was our last meeting with our dearest and closest friend Ranjit.
    Even till this day, we continue to cherish our memorable days in Pune and his last dinner with us. May his soul rest in eternal peace for ever. May his bravery be a guiding factor to all young officers, in all disciplines. We are really fortunate to have continued our friendship with Geetha Muthanna. This has ensured that our relationship with Ranjit will always be treasured – Jaggu & Geetha “

  • SUSHI KUSHALAPPA.

    2019at12:21 pm Reply

    It was eons ago but I feel it all happened just yesterday. My husband then a Dy Comdt,
    BSF, was posted in Chedema,Nagaland.
    It was a bolt from the blue when we got The news via army sources of Maj Ranjit Muthanna being martyred in an ambush,by the LTTE in Sri Lanka. It was pai
    Shockingly painful as Geetha his wife was
    my niece.
    We had found Maj Ranjit to be a smart,impressive officer with a pleasant disposition which was just the thing for our
    Geetha.They were really complimentary to
    each other.
    …. .. Careerwise also Ranjit had made a mark .He had a long way to go with a bright future in store.Unfortunately a spray of lead silenced everything.
    Ranjith had walked off into
    The silent valley leaving behind..a deafening silence & a horde of memories
    Which so far Geetha has borne so stoically
    & admirably.God bless her.
    .Maj Ranjith Muthanna a real Kodava is a standing example of bravery
    Courage & loyalty towards country& duty
    Which our YOUNG Kodava boys & girls
    Should learn to follow.IT IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR BOTH FOR KODAGU& OUR INDIA.
    .. Sushi&Mittu .

  • Anand Ashiya

    2020at1:26 pm Reply

    My respectful homage to this brave son of our country who laid down his life in serving the nation with such courage . An officer who had served India and never returned home leaves me in debt . A salute to Major Ranjit Muthana from core of my heart for his exemplary service for following the motto of his unit and defending it it until his last battle .

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