Service No: IC-48700
Place of Birth : Gurdaspur, Punjab
Last Rank : Major
Unit :167 Med Regt/ 2 RR
Arm/Regt : The Regiment of Artillery
Operation : Op Rakshak (J&K)
Award : Kirti Chakra
Date of Martyrdom : 17 Jun 1997
Maj Sukhwinder Jeet Singh Randhawa hailed from the Gurdaspur district of Punjab. Son of Shri SS Randhawa and Smt Gurdeep Randhawa, Maj Randhawa was always inclined to serve in the Armed Forces since his younger days. He continued to follow his dream and subsequently got selected to join the army after his graduation through Combined Defence Services Examination. He was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery, the formidable operational arm of the Indian Army.
After few years into the service, Maj Randhawa got married to Ms Ravinder and the couple had a daughter Simran. After serving for some time with his parent regiment, Maj Randhawa was later deputed to serve with 2 RR battalion, deployed in the Kashmir valley for counter-insurgency operations.
During June 1997, Maj Randhawa’s unit 2 RR Battalion was deployed in J&K and was engaged in operations against the militants on a regular basis. The AOR(Area of Responsibility) of the unit comprises the Anantnag district which was a hotbed of militant activities. Thus the unit troops had to be on guard at all times and undertook counter-insurgency operations on a frequent basis. Based on the information from the intelligence sources, on 17th Jun 1997, Maj Randhawa was tasked for one such operation in Kashpur village in Anantnag district. As Maj Randhawa along with his troops reached the suspected area they came under attack by the terrorists. Maj Randhawa got injured grievously in the initial burst of fire, but disregarding his personal safety he turned towards the terrorists and shot one of them dead. Meanwhile, another terrorist launched a grenade attack but undeterred Maj Randhawa in a rare show of courage and gallantry managed to eliminate the second terrorist too.
On seeing Maj Randhawa bleeding profusely, when his buddy came to shift him to safety, he said, “ Tu meri fikar chod, us terrorist to mar”, telling him not to bother about him and attack the terrorist instead. Maj Randhawa’s brave act not only saved the lives of his fellow soldiers but also inspired them to engage the remaining terrorists successfully. However, Maj Randhawa later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Maj Randhawa was a valiant soldier and a gritty officer who led from the front and laid down his life in the line of his duty. Maj SJS Randhawa was given the nation’s second-highest peacetime gallantry award, “Kirti Chakra” for his outstanding bravery, fighting spirit, camaraderie and supreme sacrifice.
Continuing the legacy of her husband, Smt Ravinder Randhawa, later joined the army in the year 1998 and became the first martyr’s wife to join the army as a commissioned officer. She was commissioned into the Ordnance Corps of the Indian Army and rose to the rank of a Lt Col.
Tribute by his daughter Ms Simran in 2019….
It’s been 22 years since I lost my father to a battle that never truly stopped. I am one of thousands of children who grew up knowing that our country is safe because of our parents. Parents that we would never see again. The older I get, the more I understand my father’s sacrifice, but I would be lying if I said I understood it all my life. I always knew the importance of it, I knew of his heroism, I knew of his KC award, but that didn’t make it any easier. I would still prefer to have a father over any of that. No award can negate the emptiness of having countless fathers day without a father. The hollowness of calling out “papa”, knowing fully well that no one will respond.
I was a very grumpy child, partly because I was always angry due to the circumstances we were in. I got angry when I saw other children disrespect/not value or even hate their fathers over the minutest inconvenience. They didn’t know what they had, and they didn’t understand what I will never have. When my mom was posted in Srinagar, I went to Army Public School with a lot of local children. They made it a point to voice their hatred towards army at every chance they got, which never made anything easy.
All my life I have found myself spiraling with confusion about who to blame for this loss. I don’t know who this blame goes to, but unfortunately I found myself angry at my father himself, for being gone. I know there is nothing anyone could have done to change things. However, the facts don’t make this pain go away.
On top of that father’s day usually happened to fall on or right next to my father’s death anniversary. People think, just because it has been 22 years, it gets better. But the truth is, it doesn’t. It still hurts to know that when you graduate, you wont see him sitting in the audience. He wont be at your wedding. He will never see the woman you grow up to be. He wont teach you how to ride your cycle or wipe your tears when you fall. He wont get to be your father again. I know he is always there with me, but I wish he was actually here with me.
Losing your father is not something you get over. Instead you grow stronger after a while. You work towards making your father proud, and ensuing his legacy remains intact. But there will always be a part of my heart that is missing. I can not explain the joy I feel when someone tells me that I look like my father. As that is as close to him that I will ever get. Looking in the mirror and a part of him looking back at me is all I am left with.
I was fortunate to have my mother every step of the way. She became my rock. She worked overtime to be a mother and a father to me. I have to say, she did a really good job, because everything I am, is a testament to her. I just wish I could see my father next to her. Hug him one last time. Call him “papa” and hear him say my name. Even before I was born, he always wanted a daughter, I just hope to be the daughter he wished for.
This profile is currently being maintained by Honourpoint.in. However, we would invite the family members, unit/formation or former colleagues of this brave soldier to contribute additional information and maintain this memorial site as well, thereby assisting us in our endeavour to spread awareness about this great Indian and inspire future generations.
Honourpoint.intakes utmost precaution towards factual correctness of the uploaded data and makes sure that the data is from a credible source. However, we do not take responsibility for authenticity of the content and Honourpoint.inor any of its members cannot be held responsible for any misappropriation of the uploaded content.