Service No : IC-2546W
Date of Birth : September 23, 1987
Place of birth : Hardoi Dist (UP)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Major
Unit : 20 Sikh
Arm/Regt : The Sikh Regiment
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Martyrdom : July 22, 2021
Major Pankaj Kumar Pandey hailed from Maholiya Shivpar village in the Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh and was born on 21 September 1987. Son of Shri Awadhesh Pandey, professionally a teacher, Maj Pankaj Kumar Pandey had a younger brother Ashish Pandey as his sibling. He did his initial education from Saraswati Vidya Mandir, and later completed his 10th and 12th from Government Inter College Hardoi. He was a keen sportsman and specially excelled in cricket during his student days. He became a state-level cricket player while studying in Lucknow University. He was a good athlete and was a good swimmer too.
He always nursed the dream of joining the army since his younger days and continued to follow his passion while growing up. Eventually he got selected to join the Army after clearing the Combined Defence Services Examination in the year 2008. He got trained at the prestigious IMA Dehradun and passed out as a Lieutenant at the age of 21 years as part of 129th IMA Course. He got commissioned into 20 Sikh battalion of the Sikh Regiment, a well-known infantry Regiment. After serving for few years, Maj Pankaj Kumar Pandey got married to Ms Kanchan in 2016 and the couple was blessed with a daughter Aru.
LAC Operation : 19 Jul 2021
During Jul 2021, Maj Pankaj Kumar Pandey’s unit 20 Sikh battalion was deployed in Arunachal Pradesh along the LAC( Line of Actual Control) on Indo-China border. Following the clashes with the Chinese forces in June 2020 in Ladakh, the situation along the LAC was tense and the Indian Army soldiers had to be alert at all times. The posts of the unit were located in high-altitude areas with inhospitable terrain and extreme weather conditions. In addition to manning the stationary posts, the unit launched regular armed patrols to monitor the area between the posts. The area around the posts was dotted with dangerous slopes, gorges, and slippery terrain. Owing to the treacherous terrain, the soldiers had to exercise extreme caution while moving to or returning from the posts. On 19 July 2021, Maj Pankaj Kumar Pandey was at one of the forward posts of the unit.
While at the post Maj Pandey saw one of his soldiers falling into a deep crevice and was in a precarious condition. Without caring for his own safety, Maj Pandey lunged forward to save the soldier but in doing so lost his balance and he too slipped from a height of 15000 ft. As the area had a steep gradient, Maj Pankaj Kumar Pandey and his soldier sustained serious injuries. They were rushed to the military hospital at Guwahati for medical treatment. However Maj Pankaj Kumar Pandey later succumbed to his injuries on 22 July 2021 and was martyred. The soldier for whom Maj Pandey had risked his life later recovered after medical treatment. Maj Pankaj Kumar Pandey was a gritty and valiant officer, who led his men from the front and laid down his life at the age of 33 years following the highest traditions of the Indian army.
Maj Pankaj Kumar Pandey is survived by his wife Smt Kanchan and daughter Aru.