Service No : SS-37466A
Date of Birth : November 2, 1972
Place of birth : Shillong(Meghalaya)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Major
Unit : 57 Engr Regt
Arm/Regt : The Corps of Engineers
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Awards : Sena Medal
Martyrdom : March 24, 2003
Major Dinesh Singh Shekhawat hailed from Salahnagar village in Kheragarh teshsil of Agra district of Uttar Pradesh, but was born in Shillong on 02 Nov 1972. Son of an IAF veteran Shri Maan Singh Shekhawat and Smt Vimla Kanwa, he had two elder brothers and one younger brother as his siblings. He did his schooling from various Kendriya Vidyalayas at different places wherever his father was posted. Guns were Major Dinesh Singh Shekhawat's passion since his childhood days and he always dreamt of serving in the Armed Forces like his father. During his school days, he actively participated in various sporting activities and grew up to be a keen sportsman. After his schooling, his family settled down in Jodhpur and he enrolled himself in a BSc Electronics course in Jai Narain Vyas University. at Jodhpur. Pursuing his passion, he also joined the air wing of the National Cadet Corps (NCC). He took active part in NCC activities and was even selected to participate in the republic parade.
After passing out from college, he appeared for the Combined Defence Services examination and got selected to join the army. He joined the prestigious OTA (Officers' Training Academy) Chennai as part of SS-66 Course and got commissioned into the 57 Engineers Regiment of the Corps of Engineers, one of the oldest arms of the Indian Army, consisting of three major constituents namely Combat Engineers, MES and Border Roads. In war, Combat Engineers provide mobility to own forces by constructing bridges, tracks, and helipads; on the other hand, the Corps denies the same to the enemy by creating obstacles such as laying mine-fields and demolition of bridges. He soon gained expertise in professional skills and participated in both Operation Parakram and Operation Rakshak in Kashmir. After serving for some time, he got married to Ms Anshu in 2000 and was soon blessed with a daughter Shubhi. After tenures in Ranchi and Srinagar, he was deputed in the year 2001, to serve with 19 Rashtriya Rifles battalion deployed in J&K for counter insurgency operations.
Kupwara Operation: 24 Mar 2003
During 2003, Maj Dinesh Singh's unit 19 RR was deployed in the Kupwara district of J&K. The AOR(Area of Responsibility) of the battalion was infested with militants and the troops had to maintain a very high state of alert at all times to be ready for operations at short notice. Thus the unit was engaged in operations against the militants on a regular basis. By Mar 2003, Maj Dinesh Singh had taken part in many counter- insurgency operations and proved his mettle as a gritty soldier. One more such operation was planned on 24 Mar 2003, based on the information from intelligence sources about the presence of some hard-core militants in one of the villages falling in the unit's AOR (Area of Responsibility). On the night of 24 March 2003, Maj Dinesh Singh set off towards the village to launch a search and cordon operation. In the night at around 9 pm, the 19 RR troops led by Maj Dinesh Singh got deployed in the general area of Lone Mohalla in Kupwara district.
Soon, Maj Dinesh Singh realized that there were far too many terrorists in the area than the information he had received. The terrorists on being challenged, started firing indiscriminately at the troops to break the cordon. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Maj Dinesh Singh rallied his troops around and motivated them to retaliate. In the ensuing gun battle, Maj Dinesh Singh received a bullet in his shoulder. In spite of the injury, he kept on firing at the militants and called up his unit for help to evacuate his troops. Though Maj Dinesh Singh was grievously injured, he ordered his other soldiers to be evacuated first. In the meanwhile, Maj Dinesh Singh managed to eliminate the leader of the terrorist group but in the process was hit by a bullet in his chest. He soon succumbed to his injuries owing to excessive loss of blood and was martyred. Maj Dinesh Singh was a brave soldier and a fine officer, who led from the front and laid down his life at the age of 31 years in the line of his duty. He was given the gallantry award, “Sena Medal” (posthumous) for his exceptional courage, devotion to duty, and supreme sacrifice.