Date of Birth : 18 Dec 1987

Birth Place: Dehradun, U'khand

Service: Army

Last Rank : Major

Unit : 55 RR/EME

Arm/Regt : The Corps of EME

Award: SC

Date of Martyrdom :18 Feb, 2019

Maj Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal SC

Maj Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal hailed from Dehradun in Uttarakhand and was born on 18 Dec 1987. Son of Shri OP Dhondiyal and Smt Saroj Dhondiyal, Maj Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal had three sisters and was the youngest among his siblings. Maj Vibhuti’s father as well as grandfather had worked in the office of Controller Defence Accounts. Maj Vibhuti had studied at St Joseph School Dehradun and later completed his graduation from DAV college. He was very keen to join the Armed Forces right from his childhood and pursued his dream after graduation. Soon after his graduation, he cleared the Combined Defence Services Examination and was commissioned into the Army on 17 Sep 2011.

 

By 2019, Maj Vibhuti had put in around eight years of service and had evolved into a committed soldier with fine field craft skills. After serving for a few years with his parent unit, Maj Vibhuti was deputed to serve with 55 RR Battalion, deployed in J & K for counterinsurgency operations. Maj Vibhuti got married to Ms Nitika Kaul belonging to a Delhi-based Kashmiri family on 19th April 2018.

 

Pulwama Operation: 18 Feb 2019

 

During 2018-2019, Maj Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal’s unit 55 RR, was deployed in Pulwama district in J&K and was engaged in operations against the militants on a regular basis. Following the terrorists’ attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama on 14 Feb 2019, the security forces were maintaining a state of high alert, and subsequently, a massive operation was launched to nab the perpetrators of the attack. On 17 Feb 2019, the security forces received credible information from the intelligence sources about the presence of terrorists in Pinglan village of Pulwama district. Based on the intelligence inputs 55 RR along with the Special Operation Group of J & K Police launched a search and destroy operation in Pinglan a neighborhood of Kakpora the home of the terrorist, who had attacked the CRPF convoy on 14 Feb.

 

The assault team was being led by Brigadier Harbir Singh himself and Maj Vibhuti was part of the team. On being challenged the terrorists opened fire and a fierce gun battle ensued thereafter lasting for over 20 hours. A number of hardcore terrorists responsible for the attack on the CRPF convoy on 14 Feb, were eliminated during the encounter. However, during the heavy exchange of fire, eleven security personnel too got injured including the leader of the team. The injured soldiers were shifted to the Army Hospital but Maj Vibhuti and three other soldiers Sep Ajay Kumar, Sep Hari Singh, and Hav Sheo Ram succumbed to their injuries and were martyred. Maj Vibhuti 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 Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal was given the gallantry award, “Shaurya Chakra” for his exceptional courage, devotion to duty, and supreme sacrifice.

 

Maj Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal is survived by his mother Smt Saroj Dhondiyal, wife Smt Nitika Kaul Dhondiyal, and three sisters. Later carrying forward the legacy of her husband, Smt Nitika Kaul joined the Indian Army as a commissioned officer in 2021.

The citation for ‘Shaurya Chakra’ awarded to him reads:

 

On 17 February 2019, when the input of the presence of a terrorist group in a village was received, Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal planned a Battalion level operation. During the search, the officer was fired upon by terrorist hiding in a cow shed resulting in multiple gunshot injuries to him. Despite being severely injured, the officer maintained his tactical composure and retaliated against terrorist fire. Exhibiting utter disregard for his personal safety, the officer crawled closer to the cowshed in line of fire to bring down effective fire on hiding terrorists. Subsequently, when terrorists moved out of the cowshed firing indiscriminately, the officer fired on fleeing terrorists facilitating the elimination of one terrorist. The officer succumbed to his injuries at the operation site while fighting with terrorists. The terrorist eliminated was identified as a foreign terrorist , responsible for an IED attack on security forces.

 

For displaying conspicuous bravery and unparalleled courage resulting in the elimination of one terrorist Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal is recommended for the award of “Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous)”.

Smt Nitika Kaul Dhoundiyal, wife of Maj Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal paid tribute to her husband on his “Day of Martyrdom” on 18 Feb 2019…..
 
As we observe the first anniversary of my husband’s “Day of Martyrdom”, I am surrounded by thoughts of disbelief, pain, and emptiness. The treasured moments passed with him have now taken over the role of a support system that is gradually teaching me to pick up the pieces in life.
 
I often read my diary to revisit my earlier thoughts and bring Maj Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal (Vibhu for me) back alive. My diary tells me that… when he was away serving in the field area, I would often wake up in the night to check any message from him. He would invariably come in my dreams smilingly and would hold me tight. I would beg him even in the dreams not to leave me alone. Those were the days I did not want to wake up and probably that was my way to escape from reality.
 
I know that with time, people accept the situation and move on, but for me, life can never be the same again as the “scar” of his absence has left an indelible mark on my psyche. I still remember the moments that took away parts of my soul. I lost a part when I first heard the news of his “Martyrdom” and another part when I had to sign documents, where his name was written as “Late Maj Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal” and my name, had a title of “Widow”.
 
Besides being a committed soldier, Vibhu was a fabulous human being and taught me many things about life. I learned to be focused and understood the significance of being passionate in life and most importantly realized the importance of love. I had written a letter to him but by the time it was ready to be posted, it was too late. It indeed summarized my feelings for him….” Vibhu, I wish I can tell you how much I love you. Every day seems to be a new struggle but I can’t tell you about that. I know you are busy with your work and I don’t want to burden you with my worries. But honestly speaking I am quite scared at times. You are my life. When I look back I realize the importance of love. You have made me a different person. I miss the moments when you hug me and say hey Nikki I love you. I remember whenever I had nightmares you always hugged me tight saying” it is all, okay I am here love”. Just always keep me close. It seems so long since I saw you and am waiting for you to come home.Here I imagine a world for us. Vibhu, I am so proud of you and I love you”.
 
These days sometimes when I go to my balcony and look at the stars, I observe their brightness flickering randomly. However, this random pattern, gives me a feeling that Vibhu is trying to communicate with me. I wonder, if Vibhu is one of those stars and is engaged in narrating our love story to other stars. But I am very certain that wherever he is, he will make sure that others around him are always smiling.
 
I miss Vibhu, my soldier and my soulmate, but as a martyr’s wife I am committed to do everything that would have made him proud….my small contribution to the nation he loved and gave his life for….
 
Nitika Kaul Dhoundiyal
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78 Comments
  • Pawan Sheokand

    2021at2:08 pm Reply

    Kya kahu …..
    Kaise utaar payenge inka karz.
    Maj Vibhuti Amar Rahe

  • N Rangarajan

    2021at8:26 pm Reply

    What a great soldier Late Major Mr.Doundiyal was!! Unfortunately, he succumbed to the injuries inflicted by the enemies of India, enemies of Indian Army and enemies of Kashmiris. How great to see his wife, in army uniform, receiving Shaurya chakra, from President of India along with the mother of Mr.Daundiyal. When are we going to ultimately wipe out the terrorists in Kashmir valley and rescue the kashmiri people from their clutches?

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