Service No : IC69755H

Date of Birth : December 6, 1985

Place of birth : Bengaluru, Karnataka

Service : Army

Last Rank : Major

Unit : 51 Engineers

Arm/Regt : Corps of Engineers

Operation : CI & IS Ops

Martyrdom : November 29, 2016

Major Akshay Girish Kumar

Major Akshay Girish Kumar was born along with his twin sister Neha, at 8.05 on 6th December 1985 to his parents Smt Meghna Girish and Wg Cdr Girish Kumar (Retd). Even as a child, Akshay with his twinkling eyes, big smile and inherent warmth charmed one and all. After early education in different schools in Bidar, Wellington (Nilgiris), Gorakhpur and Chennai, in 1996, the twins joined Kumaran’s School (CBSE) in class six. Short for his age and skinny, Akshay would never hesitate to stand up to his principles from a very early age and he fought all odds to become a healthy, strong and determined boy with a passion to join the Defence Forces and serve his motherland. His inspiration may have come from his family since his grandfather Lt Col AK Moorthy(Retd) is a war veteran and apart from his father Wg Cdr Girish Kumar who was a 'Fighter Pilot', maternal uncle Wg Cdr K Harisenani (Retd) is also a former Air Force Pilot.


He joined the Bangalore military school as a Boarder in 8th standard, worked hard and did well in school. After class 12th, he wrote the National Defence Academy (NDA) entrance exam (one of the toughest entrance examinations anywhere) and was selected among just 572 boys across the country. However, his dream of joining the Indian Air Force was cut short in the stringent medical examination because he wore glasses and the IAF pilots need perfect vision. His father suggested strongly that he do commercial flying and join an Airline. He just smiled and said my dream is to wear the uniform and serve our country -that is how his journey into the army began. Cadet Akshay Girish (111 NDA Course) was trained at the prestigious Tri-Services National Defence Academy from 2003-2006 after which he went to the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun for one more year of specialized Army training.


Officer And Gentleman


On 10th December 2007, Lt Akshay Girish was commissioned as an officer in the 51 Engineers- a regiment of the Bengal Sappers. He wore the Olive Green uniform with great pride and did his work with utmost passion. By his 9th year of service, he had served in conflict zones of Kashmir and Nagaland and also in high altitudes of over 19000 feet in Sikkim. He led difficult tasks for his regiment like fencing the border in the Line of Control between Indo-Pak border in the mountains beyond Kupwara in Kashmir and building bunkers at the Indo-China border. He did very well in his Army Courses and earned an A grade in the Young Officers course and an Instructor’s grade in the Junior Command course. He also got his B Tech in Electrical Engineering from College of Military Engineering, Pune.  He married his friend Ms Sangeeta Ravindran in 2011 and they were blessed with little Naina in October 2013.


Maj Akshay had great regimental spirit and regard for his seniors and much concern for the welfare of men under his command. He often spoke about their tough life and wanted to help their children achieve their dreams. Many a time he called us up to ask about educational avenues and admission procedures for the children of soldiers in his unit.


Maj Akshay was the ultimate jack of all trades: a good painter, tennis and basketball player, singer, dancer, writer, poet and cook! Above all, he was a very caring and motivated young officer, a wonderful son, loving husband and adoring father. Time was never a limiting factor for him to learn something, nor to connect with people. Family time was very important to him and he used to drag us to post-dinner midnight coffee for deep heartfelt conversations.  He also openly showered family members and friends with compliments and he always genuinely meant them. In 2009, Maj Akshay was awarded the Chief of Army Staff Commendation (COAS Medal) for leading an exceptional rescue of injured civilians near Kupwara in Kashmir.


Nagrota Attack : 29 Nov 2016


Major Akshay Girish had moved to Nagrota (J&K) with his unit in September 2016. On the fateful day of 29th November when terrorists attacked a neighboring Artillery unit at about 5.30 am in Nagrota and killed four soldiers, before entering two residential buildings, Maj Akshay was chosen to lead his unit’s Quick Reaction Team(QRT) to fight the terrorists. Three terrorists had taken vantage positions in two residential buildings that housed officers' families and a Mess. Major Akshay's QRT vehicle came under heavy terrorist fire even as they entered the location.  Major Akshay showed exemplary leadership in assessing the danger and moved in with his team to take counter-terrorist action. Their task was to prevent terrorists from killing women, children and unarmed men who were trapped within their homes. Along with his buddy Naik Chittaranjan Debbarma and Major Kunal Gosavi Mannadir (Artillery), Major Akshay and his team not only engaged the terrorists and prevented the evil designs of the terrorists to take hostages and massacre innocents, but they also ensured that the terrorists could not spread out in the cantonment area and destroy important assets.


After Major Kunal was martyred in the firefight, Major Akshay and his team continued to fight courageously and kept the terrorists pinned down. In doing so, Major Akshay was hit by two bullets and finally laid down his life after a grenade was launched at him. Major Akshay Girish and his comrades ensured that all 16 people, who had been held hostage were saved. All the terrorists were also neutralized by additional forces subsequently within few hours. However during the operation, besides Major Akshay Girish, six other soldiers made the supreme sacrifice which included Major Kunal Gosavi Mannadir, Hav Sukhraj Singh, Naik Chittaranjan Debbarma, Lance Naik Kadam Sambhaji Yeshwantrao, Grenadier Raghavendra Singh and Rifleman Asin Rai. The courage and valour showed by Major Akshay Girish, who disregarded his own safety and thoughts of his beloved family while protecting fellow Indians, inspired innumerable Indians who wrote touching messages in praise of their ‘Veer Yodha’.


Major Akshay Girish Kumar is survived by his father Wg Cdr Girish Kumar (Retd), mother Smt Meghna Girish, wife Smt Sangeeta, daughter Naina and sister Smt Neha. 

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  • Raja

    2023at8:39 am Reply

    He was my senior in same squadron in NDA. A true gentleman indeed. It was a courageous task by the entire QRT team led by Major Akshay Girish. My salute to the brave souls who put themselves in line of fire to save children and families !!

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