Service No : IC-14015A
Date of Birth : March 9, 1942
Place of birth : Sonipat Dist (Haryana)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Major
Unit : 3/8 GR
Arm/Regt : 8 Gorkha Rifles
Operation : Op Riddle
Awards : Vir Chakra
Martyrdom : September 3, 1965
Major Sat Prakash Varma hailed from Jatheri village in Sonipat district of present-day Haryana (Erstwhile undivided Punjab) and was born on 09 Mar 1942. Son of Shri Dip Chand Varma, he joined the Army after completing his education. He was commissioned as Second Lieutenant into 3/8 GR of 8 Gorkha Rifles Regiment, an infantry Regiment well known for its brave soldiers. 8 GR Regiment was raised in 1824 as part of the British East India Company and later transferred to the British Indian Army after the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The regiment served in World War I and World War II, before being one of the Gurkha regiments transferred to the Indian Army after independence in 1947. Since then it served in a number of conflicts including the Indo-Pak war of 1947-48 and Sino-Indian War of 1962. It got deployed in J&K again, when the war with Pakistan became imminent in 1965.
Operation Riddle (J&K): 03 Sep 1965
During Sep 1965 Maj SP Varma's unit was deployed in Jammu and Kashmir. The Indo-Pak war actually commenced on 01 Sep 1965, when Pakistani forces attacked the Chhamb sector. As part of ongoing operations against the enemy Maj SP Varma's unit was tasked to attack 'Sanjoi Top', a very strongly defended enemy post in the Doda district of J&K. Maj SP Varma, who was functioning as a 'Company Commander' of one of the companies of 3/8 GR at that time, was tasked to lead that operation. Maj SP Varma swung into action along with his soldiers and deployed the troops for the planned assault. However he realized that, the approach to the enemy post was barred by a high stone wall. The stone wall acted like a big barrier, which temporarily halted his assault. Rising to the demand of the situation, Maj SP Varma directed the fire of his rocket launchers at the stone wall and managed to cause a breach in it and enemy bunkers.
This forceful attack enabled Maj SP Varma and his comrades to advance further and soon they over-ran the enemy forward positions. Despite heavy enemy fire, Maj Varma led his men resolutely and silenced the enemy bunkers one by one. When two Pakistani soldiers came out and attacked him, he in a rare show of courage killed both of them with his "Khukri". In the process, he was however hit in the stomach by two bursts of enemy MMG. Despite being severally injured, he continued to encourage his men and ultimately succeeded in capturing the objective. Maj Varma however, succumbed to his wounds and was martyred. He showed commendable bravery in the face of the enemy with utter disregard for his personal safety and made the supreme sacrifice. Maj SP Varma was a valiant soldier and gritty officer, who laid down his life in the line of his duty at the age of 23 years.
Major Sat Prakash Varma was posthumously awarded “Vir Chakra” on 15 August 1966, for his dauntless courage, leadership, devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice.
The citation for the "Vir Chakra" awarded to him reads:
Maj Sat Prakash Varma was the leading Company Commander of a force deployed for an attack on an objective in Jammu and Kashmir, approach to which was barred by a high stone wall. When his assault was temporarily halted by the enemy, he directed the fire of his rocket launchers and managed to cause a breach in the stone wall and enemy bunkers. Subsequently, he over-ran the enemy forward positions. Despite heavy enemy fire, he led his men resolutely and silenced the enemy bunkers one by one. When two Pakistani soldiers came out and attacked him, he killed both of them with his "Khukri". He was however hit in the stomach by two bursts of enemy MMG. Even then he continued to encourage his men and ultimately the objective was captured. Later, however, he succumbed to his wounds.
Maj Sat Prakash Varma displayed gallantry and leadership of a high order.