Service No: IC-48212H
Date of Birth : July 15, 1966
Place of Birth : Srinagar(J & K)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Major
Unit: 17 RR/AAD
Arm/Regt : Army Air Defence
Operation: Op Rakshak (J&K)
Award : Kirti Chakra
Date of Martyrdom : Aug 01, 1999
Maj Sushil Aima was born on July 15, 1966, in an illustrious family from Srinagar, settled in Gurgaon (Haryana). In mid-eighties, when young Sushil Aima, a 12th class student, sought admission to the National Defence Academy, he did not inform his parents or any other member of the family fearing that nobody in his family would approve it. But after he was selected in 1985, Maj Sushil reluctantly went to his father and gave him the news, expecting that the answer would be a firm ‘No’. But that did not happen. His father, Shri Makhanlal Aima, an insurance officer, did not get angry but was rather surprised.
Maj Sushil was a computer buff who would spend hours together in front of his TV monitor toying with latest software programs. As per his Commanding Officer, “Maj Sushil Aima was six feet 5 inches tall and could scare a militant to death by his mere presence,”. He was the son of the soil and had a burning desire to get rid of every single intruder from his motherland”. He personified the Army dictum of `Eye for the militants and heart for the innocents.”
Major Sushil came from a gifted Aima family from Srinagar. His uncle, late Shri Mohanlal Aima, was among the moving spirits of the post-1947 revival of Kashmiri music. He lifted the Kashmiri “chhakri” from its plebeian moorings and gave it popularity and respectability among the Kashmiris. Through the medium of a newly established radio station in Srinagar, he was instrumental in bringing out the “sufiana” music from the “diwankhanas” of the elite and taking it to the homes of common people. Shri Omkar Aima, another uncle of Maj Sushil, was a stage personality before he moved on to Bombay films, starting with the lead role in first-ever Kashmiri feature film, ‘Mainzraat’.
Major Sushil Aima was commissioned into the Corps of Air Defence Artillery(later named Army Air Defence) in 1988, and as the years rolled by, he transformed into a committed soldier. In his brief career, he earned the praise of his superiors for his bravery, initiative and leadership qualities, especially, during his stint in Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir, one of the worst militancy-affected areas. On 01 Aug 1994, he got married to Archana and the couple had a daughter Ridhi and a son Siddharth. In 1997, he was promoted to the rank of Major and later he was deputed to serve with 17 RR battalion deployed in J & K for counterinsurgency operations.
Poonch Operation: 01 Aug 1999
On 01 Aug 1999, late at night, when Major Sushil was resting after having made preparations for his departure for Delhi next morning, his unit was given news that a large group of foreign mercenaries had assembled on a nearby hill. The intelligence sources confirmed that the group had plans to attack a village in the vicinity in Poonch district, largely inhabited by members of one particular community.
Maj Sushil assessed the situation and made an operation plan to tackle it. It was decided to cordon off the suspected area and then launch a full-blooded attack. Maj Sushil and his troops soon made contact with the enemy and a fierce encounter followed. It lasted for seven hours, and ended up with a hand-to-hand fight, with heavy losses among the intruders. Two terrorists fell to the bullets of Major Sushil, but in the later stage of the encounter, he was fatally wounded when a bullet hit him in his left temple. However, in a rare display of raw courage, holding the revolver in his left hand, Maj Sushil shot dead the third terrorist who had fired the fatal shot at him. Then he provided cover to a colleague, who had been grievously injured in a grenade blast and helped him crawl to safety.
It took five militants to pin him down after a 15-minute hand-to-hand close quarter combat in which he managed to kill three militants. In this operation, Major Aima and his commandos killed a total of five hardcore Pak militants and recovered four AK rifles, five bag fulls of IED and explosives with a large quantity of ammunition. Thus, Maj Sushil at the age 32, with a promising future ahead of him, was martyred, defending his motherland. He fought valiantly till his last breath against the Pakistani intruders and joined the select ranks of the martyrs of the great Indian army. When the body of the deceased hero was brought to his house at Palam Vihar in Delhi, hundreds of people had gathered there to be with the bereaved family in its hour of grief. They stood there, men and women, in silent sorrow. Not many had seen or known the young army officer, but here was India, paying its homage, to a martyred son of India.
Maj Sushil Aima was given the nation’s second highest peacetime gallantry award, “Kirti Chakra” for his exceptional courage, leadership and supreme sacrifice. Maj Sushil Aima is survived by his wife Archana Aima, daughter Ridhi, son Siddharth, father Makhanlal Aima and sister Savitri Aima.
The Citation for Kirti Chakra awarded to Maj Sushil Aima reads:
On Aug 1, 1999, when Major Sushil was resting after having made preparations for his departure for Delhi next morning, the news was brought to him that a large group of foreign mercenaries had assembled on a nearby hill. It was learned that the group had plans to attack a village in the vicinity, largely inhabited by members of one particular community.
A hurried conference was held. It was decided to go into action, surrounding the terrorists, and then launch a full-blooded attack, to be led by Maj Sushil. The young officer and his jawans soon made contact with the enemy and a fierce encounter followed. It lasted for seven hours, and ended up with a hand-to-hand fight, with heavy losses among the intruders. Two terrorists fell to the bullets of Major Sushil, but in the later stage of the encounter, he was fatally wounded when a bullet hit him in his left temple. Holding the revolver in his left hand, he also shot dead the third terrorist who had fired the fatal shot at him. Then he provided cover to a colleague, who had been grievously injured in a grenade blast and helped him crawl to safety.
For his conspicuous bravery, leadership and supreme sacrifice, Major Sushil Aima was awarded the Kirti Chakra (Posthumously).
A road in Gurugram in Sector 23 has been named as Maj Sushil Marg in the remembrance of Major Sushil Aima.
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