Service No: IC-57180 M
Date of Birth : Aug 2, 1975
Last Rank: Major
Unit: 10 Madras(38 RR)
Arm/Regt: The Madras Regiment
Award: Sena Medal
Date of Martyrdom : March 5, 2006
Major P Shyam Sundar was born on 2 August 1975 to Mr J Panchapagesan and Mrs P Lakshmi at Sishu Mangal, Kolkata. He was the 4th child in the family after Shyama Sridharan, Hema Murali, and Maya Balaji. He did his schooling from Andhra Association School, Kolkata. He also had an interest in martial arts and learnt Karate from Shivaji Ganguli and later earned the coveted Black belt in that sport. He was an expert swimmer and won prizes in all swimming styles at Rabindra Sarobar Lakes; he also had won many trophies in rowing competitions. His other forte were Badminton, Squash, and athletics which he used to play at Excelsior’s club and South India Club.
Maj Sundar got selected for NDA and later passed out with distinction and joined the prestigious Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. After completing his training in 1997 form IMA, where he excelled again, he was commissioned into 19 Madras of the famed Madras Regiment, a Regiment known for its intrepid soldiers and numerous battle exploits. He later joined 10 Madras and continued serving with the unit before his stint with 38 RR. During his service, Maj Sundar fought tough battles in the jungle with terrorists and infiltrators by leading from the front and eliminated a number of terrorists with his fighting skills. Owing to his excellent service record and leadership skills, he soon got promoted to Major and later was sent on deputation to 38 RR to take part in counter-insurgency operations against terrorists in Kashmir.
Poonch Operation: 05 March 2006
During 2006, Maj Shyam Sundar’s unit 38 RR was deployed in Poonch sector engaged in operations against the terrorists. On 05 Mar 2006, his unit received the information from the intelligence sources about the presence of terrorists in a jungle close to Bhimber Gali in Poonch District. After analyzing the situation, it was decided to launch a search and destroy operation against the terrorists under the leadership of Maj Shyam Sundar. Maj Shyam along with his troops swung into action and reached the suspected area. The assault team soon took up positions to cordon off the area, but in no time they came under attack from the terrorists.
A fierce gun battle followed and the troops succeeded in eliminating few of the terrorists. However, during the heavy exchange of fire, one of the soldiers of the team, Sepoy Rama Rao, got severely injured and fell down. Realizing the critical situation and the danger to the life of his fellow wounded soldier, Maj Shyam Sundar decided to move the soldier himself to a safer place. Disregarding his personal safety Maj Shyam Sundar swiftly moved forward to retrieve the wounded soldier, however, in doing so he too got hit by a barrage of gunshots and was severely injured. He finally succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Maj Shyam Sundar showed extreme courage, valour and camaraderie and laid down his life in the service of the nation.
Maj Shyam Sundar was given the gallantry award “Sena Medal” posthumously for his cold courage, unfaltering leadership and supreme sacrifice. Maj Shyam Sundar is survived by his wife Deepa, daughter Disha, father Mr J Panchapagesan, mother Mrs P Lakshmi and sisters Shyama Sridharan, Hema Murali, and Maya Balaji.
The Citation for the Sena Medal awarded to him reads:
On 5th March 2006, during the fateful operation led by Major Shyam his contingent came under heavy firing by the militants who were hiding in a jungle close to Bhimber Gali in Poonch District. In the ensuing gun battle with the militants, one of the soldiers of the group , Sepoy Rama Rao, got hit by a militant’s firing. Major Shyam Sundar pushed himself to retrieve the wounded soldier,however in that effort he too was hit by gunshot and finally succumbed to the injury. Major Shyam Sundar had a heroic death wherein he showed extreme courage, valour and camaraderie and laid down his life fighting for the country. He was awarded Sena Medal posthumously.
Some of the letters of condolence paying tributes to Major P Shyam Sunder :
1. PRANAB MUKHERJEE—DEFENCE MINISTER—LETTER NO-140 DT 16TH MARCH 2006 I write to express my deep sympathy and condolence on the sad and untimely demise of your husband MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR IC-57180M on 05 March 2006. Like a true soldier, he laid down his life in the defense of his country. The entire Nation is with you in this hour of grief. I pray that God grant you the strength to bear this loss with courage and fortitude.
2. GENERAL J J SINGH-PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC—LETTER NO 12885/2006/MP 5(D) DT 9TH MARCH 06 It is with deep sorrow and sympathy that I write to express my condolences, and that of all ranks of the army, on the sad and untimely demise of your husband MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR ON 05 MARCH 06. in his death the ARMY has lost a competent and devoted officer. May GOD give you the strength to bear the irreparable loss. We share your sorrow and will always be ready to be of any assistance.
3. COL NARENDER KUMAR—COMMANDING OFFICER—38 RR (MADRAS) C/O 56 APO It is with a deep sense of sorrow and grief that I on behalf of all rank of 38 RR (MADRAS) write to convey my condolences on the sad and untimely demise of our husband IC-57180M MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR ON 05 MARCH 2006, due to Gun Shot Wound in his right side of chest. Late IC-57180M MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR who joined us on 28 Feb 2005 was a spirited and dedicated officer who led from the front. In his sudden loss we have been left with the void which would be difficult to fill. We pray to GOD to grant eternal peace and tranquility to the departed soul and give strength and fortitude to you and your family to bear this irreparable loss. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any assistance that you may require. The same will always be forthcoming.
Contact Nos of the units are— 01962-255118—CO 01962—QM 01962-255198—UNIT EXCHANGE In grief with you
4. COL PRADEEP WALIA—COMMANDING OFFICER—10TH Bn The Madras Regiment, Pin-911410, C/O 56 APO LETTER NO 300/A3 DT 7TH MARCH 2006 I write to express my deep sympathy and condolences on behalf of self and all ranks of the battalion for the supreme sacrifice made by your husband IC-57180M MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR on 06 march 2006 while serving with 38 RR (MADRAS). May GOD rest the departed soul in peace and give you strength to bear this irreparable loss bravely. You are and will continue to be a member of “TENACIOUS FAMILY”. Please feel free and let us know of anything that “THIS FAMILY” can do for you. We all are with you in this time of grief. With warm regards.
5. OBITUARY- RESTRICTED-IT IS GLORY TO DIE DOING ONE’S DUTY , 10th BATTALION THE MADRAS REGIMENT, SPECIAL BATTALION ROUTINE ORDER PART-1 BY COL PRADEEP WALIA COMMANDING OFFICER C/O 56 APO MONDAY 06 MARCH 2006 With deep sorrow and grief, I on behalf of all ranks of the “TENACIOUS TEN” regret to inform the sad demise of IC-57180M Maj P. Shyam Sundar due to Gun Shot Wound on 05 March 06. The officer was serving with 38 RR (MADRAS). Maj P. Shyam Sundar was a very brave disciplined, loyal and hard working officer. His unfortunate demise has caused insurmountable loss to the Bn and has left the unit with a void that will be difficult to fill. All ranks of the Battalion join me in paying homage to the departed soul. On behalf of all ranks of the Battalion, I convey my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. We pray to ‘GOD ALMIGHTY’ that the departed soul rest in peace and give strength to the family to bear this irreparable loss bravely. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE
6. Maj Gen K S Yadava, AVSM, SM, VSM, Addl. MS (A), Military Secretary’s Branch, Army Headquarters, South Block, New Delhi-110011 57180/PS/10 MADRAS/MS-2D DT 13 March 2006 Please accept my heart felt condolence on the martyrdom of your husband, Late Maj P. Shyam Sundar. Your husband has done the Nation proud by making the supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. May God give you and your family strength to bear the irreparable loss.
7.LT GEN A K SAINI, AVSM, SM-DIRECTOR GENERAL RASHTRIYA RIFLES, DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF RASHTRIYA RIFLES,GENTERAL STAFF BRANCH, ARMY HEAD QUARTERS, DHQ PQ, NEW DELHI-110011, 334039/ORG/RR DT 13 MARCH 2006 Please accept our deep condolences on the sad demise of your husband Maj P. Shyam Sundar. We pray for peace for the departed soul. May God Almighty give you the strength to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude and courage. Words are totally inadequate at this stage but we want you to know that we share your grief. Maj P. Shyam Sundar laid down his life for the Nation in the finest traditions of our Army and his sacrifice will always be remembered. You can take justifiable pride
8. LT GEN DEEPAK KAPOOR, AVSM, SM, VSM, GENERAL OFFICER COMMANDING-IN-CHIEF HEAD QUARTERS, NORTHERN COMMAND, C/O 56 APO 23209/18/A1 DT 20 MARCH 2006 Please accept my sincere and heart felt condolence on the sudden and untimely demise of your husband IC-57180M Maj P. Shyam Sundar of 38 RR Bn (10 MADRAS), killed in action in operation RAKSHAK (J&K) ON 05 March 2006. Your husband laid down his life on the field of battle in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. The Nation owes him a debt of gratitude. We pray to the Lord to give you and your family strength, fortitude and courage to bear this terrible loss. We want you to know that we are proud of your husband and share your grief. Your husband’s name will be enshrined for all time in the Roll of Honor at the Northern Command War Memorial Dhruva. I am enclosing a photograph of the MEMORIAL. Please do not hesitate to let us know if we can be of any assistance.
9. MAJ GEN A C SONEJA, VSM*, GENERAL OFFICER COMMANDING HQ CIF (R), PIN:934756 C/O 56 APO, 1015/2/13 Sect/A2(ii) DT 12 MARCH 2006 Please accept my heart felt condolences on the sad and untimely demise of Maj P. Shyam Sundar who made the supreme sacrifice while fighting the terrorists on 05 MARCH 2006. He was a brave and courageous officer, who sacrificed his life for the security of the country. I pray to the ALMIGHTY to grant eternal peace to the departed soul and give courage to you and DISHA to bear this irreparable loss. We assure you that necessary expeditious action will be taken to ensure that required documentation is carried out on priority so that you get the entitled monetary benefits, at the earliest. All possible assistance in this regard will be extended by 38 RR Bn and this HQ.Please don’t hesitate in writing or speaking to us at any time as and when you require any assistance.
10. LT GEN A K CHOPRA, PVSM, AVSM, COLNEL OF THE MADRAS REGIMENT, COMDT’S SECTT, NATIONAL DEFENCE ACADEMY, KHADAKWASLA, PUNE-411023 17674/AKC/COR/CONDOLENCE DT 10 APRIL 2006 It is with deep sorrow and sympathy, that I write to express my condolence and that of all ranks of the MADRAS REGIMENT, on the sad and untimely demise of you husband IC 57180M Major P. Shyam Sundar on 05 march in JAMMU & KASHMIR, during an encounter with terrorists. With his sudden demise the REGIMENT has last a competent and outstanding officer. May god give you the strength to bear the irreparable loss. We pray to ‘GOD’ to grant eternal peace to the departed soul. We from the MADRAS REGIMENT share your sorrow and will always be ready to be of any assistance.
11.BRIG SANDEEP SINGH, COMMANDER 13 SECTOR RASHTRIYA RIFLES C/O 56 APO, 31705/SS/DO DT 06 MARCH 2006 I do not know whether you will be in a mood to read any letter. Still I think it is my duty to write a line or two offering my sincere condolences at the untimely demise of your husband. I know the heart alone -knoweth its own bitterness. So my attempt to console you may not very much serve its purpose. I pray GOD that he might give you the necessary fortitude to bear the loss. I shall also pray for my friend’s soul to rest in peace. In his demise, you have lost your beloved husband, I have a lost a dear friend and the country has lost an able leader. The void created by his demise cannot easily be filled. Please accept our sincerest sympathy with you, both from myself and his brother officers in your irreparable loss. Always ready to help and most thoughtful of others, his death is indeed a great loss to us. May his soul rest in peace! May the Heavens give you the necessary strength in this hour of distress!
12 INDIAN ARMY-TELEGRAM DT 13TH OF MARCH 2006 Please accept sincere condolences from THE CHIEF OF THE ARMY STAFF and all ranks on sad demise of your husband MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR
13.MRS LAKSHMI RAMAN-VICE PRESIDENT-ARMY WIVES WELFARE ASSOCIATION ROOM NO 210, SOUTH BLOCK, ARMY HEAD QUARTERS, DHQ PO, NEWDELHI-110011, AWWA/D/1001/DO DT 30 MARCH 2006 I express my deep sympathy and condolence on the sad and untimely death of your husband, ic-57180 MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR. We pray to the ALMIGHTY LORD that he gives you and your family the courage and fortitude to bear the sorrow and the strength to shoulder the responsibilities of life.The nation salutes the ‘SUPREME SACRIFICE’ of your husband. ARMY WIVES WELFARE ASSOCIATION shares your sorrow and will stand by you, whenever you need us.
14. COL PRATIK SHARMA, COMMANDING OFFICER, 2ND BATTALION, THE MADRAS REGIMENT, C/O 56 APO, 1001/A2 DT 30 MARCH 2006 Refer 38 RR (MADRAS) Special BRO No 6/S/2006 dated 05 March 2006. On behalf of all ranks of the unit please accept our heartfelt condolences on the untimely demise of your husband IC 57180M MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR on 05 March 2006. We pray the ALMIGHTY to grant peace to the departed soul and give you strength and fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. With deep condolences.
15. COL REUBEN PETERS, COMMANDING OFFICER, 8, RASHTRIYA RIFLES (MADRAS), C/O 56 APO, 44533/RP DT 03 APRIL 2006 I write to express deep sympathy and heartfelt condolences from myself & and all ranks of the Bn on the sad and untimely demise of your husband IC-57180M MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR on 05 MARCH 2006 in J&K while performing the duties of a devout soldier. May the ALMIGHTY rest the departed soul in eternal peace and give you strength and courage to bear this loss with fortitude. May god almighty give you strength.
16. COL B.S. SAUNKHALA (retd), officer-in-charge, ECHS MILITARY HOSPITAL, SHIMLA, JUTOGH CANTT-171008, NO 25922/DO/ECHS, DT 20 APRIL 2006 It is to convey my heart felt condolences on the sad and untimely demise of our beloved & brave officer, MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR. His contribution to the TENACIOUS TEN will always be cherished by the generations to come in.His pleasing nature, dedication to the Bn and hard work has strengthened the unit and will go a long way in reaching greater heights. At this moment we are with you and will always stand by. Please don’t hesitate to ask us/me to do anything which you like, please. I am sure his gift to you through daughter will give you strength to bear this loss. I am sure as a brave lady member of our family you will gather the strength to bear this irreparable loss.
17. COL R S GURAYA, COMMANDING OFFICER, 17 BN, THE MADRAS REGIMENT, PIN911417,C/O 56 APO, 177/SPL/A4 DT 03 APRIL 2006 On behalf of all ranks of 17 MADRAS (COCHIN), I write to express our deep sympathy and condolence on the untimely demise of your husband. We pray to the ALMIGHTY to grant eternal peace to the departed soul. We also pray to the GOD to give you and your family the strength to bear the irreparable loss with courage and fortitude. With deep sorrow.
18. COL P S GOTHRA, COMMANDING OFFICER, 25TH BATTALION THE RASHTRIYA RIFLES (MADRAS), C/O 56 APO, 44619/DO/PERS DT 26 APRIL 2006 Please refer 10 MADRAS SPL PART 1 ORDER NO 01/S/2006 DT 06 MARCH 2006. On behalf of all ranks of 25 RR (MADRAS) I extend my profound grief and sorrow on the sad and untimely demise of IC- 57180M MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR on 05 MARCH 2006during an encounter with terrorists. May the almighty give you enough strength to bear the irrecoverable loss. Please do not hesitate to ask for anything. I and SHYAM moved from 19 MADRAS to 10 MADRAS together.
19. COL P K DHODAPKAR, OFFG COMDT, THE MADRAS REGIMENTAL CENTRE, WELLINGTON (NILGIRIS)-643231, 31142/PKD/DO DT 12 MARCH 2006 I am writing to express my deep sympathy and condolence on the sad and untimely death of MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR on 05 MARCH 2006. we deeply value his association and the good work he has done for the REGIMENT which will always be remembered. May GOD keep his departed soul in peace and may he also give you strength to bear this tragic loss. With deep condolences.
20. COL SANDEEP K. SATPATHY, COMMANDING OFFICER, 8, MADRAS C/O 99 APO, GALLANT GUERILLAS, PIN-911408 We do not know each other-rather never have met. I had a very brief association with SHYAM while I was the 21c in 10 MADRAS from 04 Jan 2003 (joined at SEVOKE ROAD). My joining and SHYAM’S moving out was almost concurrent. I am yet to meet a person as popular and likeable across the ranks by one and all. His professional dedication and involvement made him so dear to every body. In the very short association of ours, I always found him totally committed to his duties and responsibilities, often at the cost of utter disregard to his comfort and safety ( as they narrated about his activities in the field tenure in J&K before coming to SEVAK ROAD). I am not attempting to offer you words of comfort as nothing but time will only make the loss a part of your life. There is an onerous responsibility on your shoulder and it is not an easy job to stand up in life, with a small child to be brought up with out the presence of the husband. However I am more than sanguine that you will face the challenge ‘square on’ and will do a better job than is expected- all the ladies in 10 MADRAS talk so very high of you. However meaningless they may seem, please accept our sincerest and heartfelt condolences for the unfathomable loss of SHYAM and also please convey the same to your parents and in-laws. DEEPA, as an elder brother (if I can appoint me the same subject to your acceptability) there is nothing really that I can offer you at this juncture of life of yours. However, I shall consider myself honored and privileged for my association with the gallant and brave husband of yours. If you DEMAND any assistance from me –WHATEVER you deem me fit for. Look forward to meet you all some times. We are proud of you. With the very best wishes and all the good luck. We pray to the ALMIGHTY to give you all the strength and courage to face the challenge ahead of you. All the best.
There are also a few letters addressed to his father.
1. BRIGADIER A H GADRE, COMMANDANT, NCC OFFICERS TRAINING ACADEMY, KAMPTEE (MAHARASHTRA) PIN-441001, NO 93/A DT 10 MARCH 2006 I have just learnt about the sad and untimely demise of your son, MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR. We have had a long and fruitful relationship with SHYAM in the Academy and he is remembered as a thorough gentleman & professional soldier by one and all. SHYAM has made the supreme sacrifice for our Nation and we all are proud of him. I, on behalf of all ranks of the NCC Officers Training Academy, convey our heartfelt condolences to you & his bereaved wife Deepa for this irreparable loss and pray to the God Almighty to bless his departed soul and give enough strength to you all to bear this trauma.
2. COL NARENDER KUMAR, COMMANDING OFFICER, 38 RR (MADRAS ), C/O 56 APO, NO 38531/PRI, DT 17 MARCH 2006 At the outset on behalf of all ranks of 38 RR ( MADRAS) I convey our heart felt condolence to the family of the brave son of the Nation who laid down his life in the highest tradition of the Armed Forces. I have been in this war for more than 10 years, but I have never seen a soldier braver than MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR. I salute the Mother and Father who gave birth to the brave son MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR. My heart bleeds at the loss of such an outstanding officer and a gentleman. He embraced MARTYRDOM in trying to save a comrade in action which as an officer and soldier MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR could perform.
3. MAJ GEN A C SONEJA, VSM, General Officer Commanding, HQ CIF (R ), PIN:934756, C/O 56 APO, NO 1015/2/13 SECT/A2, DT 22 MAR 2006 Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the sad and untimely passing away of MAJOR P. SHYAM SUNDAR while fighting the terrorists on 05 March 06. He was a brave and courageous officer, who sacrificed his life for the security of the country. I pray to the Almighty to grant eternal peace to the departed soul and give courage to you and the family to bear this irreparable loss. I have also written to Mrs. Deepa Shyam sundar. Do please let us know if she requires any assistance from us. Please also convey our condolences to Mrs. Laxmi Panchapagesan. Warm regards.
Some Quotes from the personal diary of Maj Shyam Sunder on military and soldier :
Maj Shyam Sundar’s alma mater Andhra Association School in Kolkata has opened a library in his name to honour him and inspire the students of his school.
A Tribute by his Sister Mrs Maya Balaji :
Thirteen years have gone by since my dear brother Shyam’s martyrdom, but he continues to live in our memories, thoughts and actions. Though younger to me, he was my first “Hero” and continues to be one, even now. He was the youngest of all siblings and was quiet, affable and a very well-behaved child. Adored by all family members and friends alike, he would bring cheers and happiness wherever and whenever he was around.
As a child he would strut about in Army uniform which my father gave him on his 5th birthday and his passion for the Army grew thereafter with his age. We as a family were delighted when he achieved his dream and earned his stars as an Infantry officer in the Army. Soon Shyam evolved into a committed soldier and a fearless officer, who swore by military ethos and believed in leading from the front. My husband, an Army officer himself would often advise him to be careful, but Shyam, a deep rooted soldier at heart, had his priorities firmly in place.
True to his image, while displaying cold courage and unyielding fighting spirit in an operation in J & K, Shyam was martyred on 05 Mar 2006. His body draped in Tri-colour arrived two days later on 07 Mar. Though torn from inside with my hero’s loss and inconsolable parents, I did not want anyone to sympathize with me as it would have diluted the honour and recognition Shyam deserved. After all, my brother had not died of any illness or accident but had laid down his life in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.
My father finally mustered courage to go near to Shyam’s body and sat quietly beside him. He then spent the entire night with his son, who had gone into a deep slumber forever. The next morning my brother- the pride of our family, was cremated with full military honours. Though my brother is physically gone forever, he still lives in our hearts and mere mention of his name, evokes respect, admiration and lots of love as he truly exemplified the lines of the British poet, Thomas B Macaulay…
To every man upon this earth, Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better, Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his Gods.”
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