Service No : IC-44269A
Service : Army
Last Rank : Major
Unit : 3 RR/2/1 GR
Arm/Regt : 1 Gorkha Rifles
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Awards : Shaurya Chakra
Martyrdom : March 12, 1996
Major Shantanu Nag was got selected for the prestigious NDA after completing her schooling and joined the Academy in Khadakwasla. Though he grew up in England, he was strongly inclined to serve in the Armed Forces, which drove him to prepare for the NDA examination. He later went to IMA Dehardun for further training and passed out as a Second Lieutenant. He commissioned into the 2/1 GR battalion of the 1 Gorkha Rifles Regiment, a Regiment known for its intrepid soldiers and numerous battle exploits. He soon honed his field craft skills and thereafter served in various operational areas facing many challenging situations. After serving with his parent unit for few years, he was later deputed to serve with the 3rd battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles in 1995.
Anantnag Operation : 12 Mar 1996
During Mar 1996, Maj Shantanu Nag's unit 3 RR battalion was deployed in the Anantnag district of J&K close to the Line of Control(LOC). The unit troops were engaged in counter-insurgency operations on a regular basis as its AOR (Area of Responsibility) was affected by active militancy. On 11 Mar 1996, the security forces received credible information from intelligence sources about the presence of terrorists in the Ashapur village of Anantnag district. Based on the intelligence inputs it was decided to launch a search and destroy operation in the suspected area under the leadership of Maj Shantanu Nag.
On 12 Mar 1996, as planned Maj Shantanu Nag along with his team reached Ashapur village of Anantnag district. After reaching the suspected area the troops cordoned it off to hem in the terrorist. As the search and cordon operation was underway, Maj Shantanu and his comrades were fired upon by the militants hiding in the house. This sudden and abrupt fire injured many of the other soldiers. Accessing the situation, Maj Shantanu Nag ordered his men to evacuate the casualties immediately. While trying to evacuate the two casualties, Maj Shantanu Nag himself received a gunshot and got injured. However to prevent the militants from escaping, Maj Shantanu despite being injured rushed into the room alone.
One of the terrorists seeing Maj Shantanu rushing inside fired at him. However, his team member, Hav Dhyan Singh immediately swung into action to shield his Company Commander and took the burst of fire. The bullet pierced through his spine and he immediately fell down. Maj Shantanu having exhausted his ammunition, dropped his riffle and grappled with the terrorists barehanded. However, while doing so he was hit by another bullet injuring his severely. He soon succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Maj Shantanu was a valiant soldier and a fine officer, who displayed commendable bravery and leadership during the operation.
Major Shantanu Negi was given the gallantry award, "Shaurya Chakra" for his remarkable courage, camaraderie, devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice.
Jaydeep Chakraborty2023at4:42 pm
When I met Shanto for the 1st time in Jalpaiguri he was pursuing his officers course in NDA(National Defense Academy) and we were in college’s. He was born and brought up in England but decided to join Indian army. He was truly down to earth and very friendly. In matter of minutes we became friends. He was on leave and so were we. We used to meet in a local park in the afternoon almost daily.
Shanto was specializing in Tank warfare. Once he told me the difference between T72 and other Indian tanks. Once our holidays were over, we went back to our respective places.
After finishing my graduation I took a job in Sales and was posted in Siliguri. One day all of a sudden Shanto reached my office. He was in full uniform and was looking very smart. More surprising was how he found me. We were not in touch for couple of years. He took the pain to trace me. Perhaps Sanjay or Sudipan gave him my address. To my surprise he invited me to his army unit the next day.
He told me that next day one army vehicle will pick me up from my office at 4pm. It exactly happened so. He was posted in Sukna (16kms away from Siliguri). His bachelor’s quarter was deep inside the forest. A simple and single room hut with attached bath. When I reached his hut he was not there. He was on duty somewhere. However his assistant took care of me well.
Shanto came back at around 6pm. His assistants rushed to him immediately. One took out his khaki urdi and started pressing and polishing it and its stars as well as the belt and the shoe. The other came with a duty chart for the next day and got it signed by him in several places. The last one came with a menu for the dinner and asked what he will like to have for dinner. Shanto looked at me. I said ” whatever you will”. So Shanto ordered for Chicken Biriyani, one side dish and custard. “Sir, we have only two chicken left. Will that do?” I started laughing.
At around 8pm we reached the Officers Mess crossing a small forest. It was a small but beautifully decorated place. A small bar at one end, couple of polished table’s and chairs. Trophies and other items – shining like silver.
We started with whiskey. I could manage 2 while Shanto took 7. In the meantime a full bird colonel met us. He was in charge of the battalion. He was cordial but I guess he was trying to figure out if I was a danger. Satisfied he left.
The food arrived and those were delicious. To my surprise every time I finished my plate someone would serve me Biriyani without asking. When it happened for the 3rd time I looked at Shanto. He explained me the army custom. Unless you put your forks and knives in crossed position they will continue to serve without asking.
Next day morning I left his place. That was the last time I saw him. Sometime in 1996 I heard from Sanjay that he has dedicated his life for the nation while fighting terrorists somewhere in Kashmir. He was a Captain then attached to Gurkha Rifles. He was probably awarded gallantry award for his act of courage.
I have tried my best to find missing links from Indian army website but failed. Maybe Dr. Sudipan Mitra will be able to fill the gaps. They were cousins.
I lost a friend and India lost a brave soldier.