Service No : IC-54327M
Place of birth : Thane, Maharashtra
Service : Army
Last Rank : Major
Unit : 3 Para (SF)
Arm/Regt : The Parachute Regiment
Awards : KC
Martyrdom : November 27, 2006
Major Manish Hiraji Pitambare was born in the year 1975 to Sri Hiraji Ambo Pitambare and Smt Hemangini Pitambare in Thane. Since his childhood, Maj Pitambare was fascinated by Army life and worked hard to pursue his dream. In his student days he was a brilliant student and a very good athlete as well. After obtaining very good grades in SSC examination, he announced his plan of joining the Armed Forces to his parents. His parents wanted him to be a doctor and initially did not approve his plan but Maj Pithambare’s school teacher Jayshree Jog convinced his parents to let him pursue his heart.
Consequently he joined the NDA and later on the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and was commissioned into the Indian Army in the year of 1996. He later volunteered to get trained as a Special Forces commando and joined the elite 3 Para(SF) battalion of the Parachute Regiment. By 2006, Maj Pithambare had put in about 10 years of service and evolved into a tough and committed soldier. He took part in numerous daredevil operations in very challenging situations in different operational areas. Maj Pitambare was also part of the team that tracked down Al Badr militant Toufik Akmal, wanted for his suspected links to the Mumbai train bombings in July 2006. He got married to Mughda in the year 2003 and the couple had a daughter Yukta in 2005.
Bijbehara Operation : 27 Nov 2006
During 2006, Maj Pitambare was serving with the 3rd battalion of the Parachute Regiment deployed for counter-insurgency operations in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. By Nov 2006 Maj Pitambare had almost completed his tenure in J & K and was getting ready to join his next assignment in Agra. During his tenure Major Pitambare had participated in four Army operations and led high-risk mission not only to neutralize seven terrorists, but also had rescued three civilians. However on 27 Nov he got involved in yet another counter insurgency operation. His unit got information from the intelligence sources about the presence of a hard core terrorist and one of the top commanders of the outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir. Based on the information the unit decided to launch a search and cordon operation under the leadership Maj Pitambare to nab the terrorist.
On the night of 27th Nov 2006, his team reached the suspected area and cordoned it off . On being challenged the terrorists fired at the troops triggering a gun battle lasting for several hours. During the battle Maj Pitambare made courageous moves and succeeded in killing the dreaded terrorist Suhail Faisal one of the top commanders of the outfit. In the continuing exchange of fire one of the soldiers got injured seriously and Maj Pitambare without caring for his personal safety moved forward to shift him to a safer location. During this attempt he exposed himself to the enemy fire and got wounded seriously. He later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Maj Pitambare was a gallant soldier and a fine officer who led from the front like a true military leader.
Maj Manish Pitambare was given the nation’s second highest peace time gallantry award, “Kirti Chakra” for his outstanding courage, unfaltering leadership and supreme sacrifice. Maj Pitambare is survived by his wife Mugdha Pitambare and daughter Yukta.