Service No : IC 51152K
Date of Birth : Jan 2, 1970
Birth place: Dehradun
Last Rank: Major
Service Years: 1992 - 1999
Unit : 2 Raj Rif
Arm/Regt : The Rajputana Rifles
Awards: Maha Vir Chakra
Date of Martyrdom : Jun 13, 1999
Major Vivek Gupta was born on 2 January 1970 in Deharadun, Uttarakhand. Since his childhood, Major Vivek Gupta had been listening to stories about life in the army and the honor of being in the army from his father Col BRS Gupta, an Army Ordnance Corps officer and was immensely inspired by it. Finally , his natural instinct prevailed and he decided to join the army and announced it to his family, who were very happy and proud of his decision. After college, Vivek went to National Defense Academy and Indian Military Academy and was commissioned into the Rajputana Rifles Regiment, an infantry Regiment well known for its gallant soldiers, on June 13, 1992.
Major Vivek got married to an army officer Capt Rajshree Bisht in 1997. He was a very brave and committed soldier and was awarded the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) commendation for killing a Pakistani terrorist in hand-to-hand combat. Recognizing his outstanding skills he was soon sent to Infantry School, Mhow, as a weapon instructor.
Kargil War: June 1999
Maj Vivek Gupta played a significant role in capturing the Tololing top during Kargil war in 1999. The 2nd Rajputana Rifles went into the war when the Indian army did not have enough information about the exact magnitude of intrusion. Major Gupta and his men of the 2nd Battalion, Rajputana Rifles were tasked with the recapture of point 4590 on the treacherous, icy slopes of Tololing in the Drass sector. He was part of a light machine gun commando team who was asked to recapture Pakistani bunkers along the mountaintop of Tololing. As with so many of the later operations in Kargil, this too was a dangerous mission requiring an uphill accent towards entrenched enemy posts who had the advantage of height and a bird’s eye view.
Major Vivek was martyred on June 13 after capturing two difficult posts the same day on the wind-swept, icy slopes of the Drass sector. He died on the battlefront when a fusillade of bullets from the Pakistanis tore open his torso, but not before he and his company men had slain seven members in the enemy camp. His body could not be recovered immediately and it lay on the Tololing Top before the Indian Army sent a mission, braving enemy fire, to rescue the bodies on June 15.
Life came a full circle for Major Vivek Gupta as he was martyred exactly on the day he joined the Rajputana Rifles seven years ago. “Knowing that his entire company is like a sitting duck after bullets were fired upon them from every direction Major Vivek launched a solo attack to take on the Pakistanis. While my 27-year-old son proved his blood, his fellow soldiers lived on to win more peaks,” said Col Gupta of his son’s death. He was said to be very close to his father and his father was very proud of Major Gupta that his son died a hero’s death. He posted a letter to the Indian army after Maj Vivek’s death expressing his grief and pride about him. For his act of exemplary bravery, an exhibition of spectacular courage and supreme sacrifice, he was given the nation’s second highest gallantry award, “Maha Vir Chakra” posthumously.
The citation for the Maha Vir Chakra awarded to him reads:
Major Vivek Gupta was in command of the leading Charlie Company, when 2nd Rajputana Rifles launched a battalion attack on Tololing Top, in Drass sector on 13 June 1999. Inspite of heavy artillery and automatic fire, the company under the inspiring leadership of Major Vivek Gupta was able to close in with the enemy. As soon as the Company emerged in the open, they came under multi-directional intense fire. Three personnel of the leading section of the Company were hit and the attack was temporarily stalled. Knowing fully well that staying any longer in the open under the murderous enemy fire would lead to more losses, Major Vivek Gupta reacted immediately and fired a rocket launcher at the enemy position. Before the shocked enemy could recover, Major Vivek Gupta charged on to the enemy position. While so charging, he was hit by two bullets, despite which, he kept moving towards the position. On reaching the position, he engaged the enemy in fierce hand-to-hand combat and managed to kill three enemy soldiers despite his own injuries.
Taking inspiration form the gallant deed of their officer, the rest of the company charged onto the enemy position and captured it. However, in the ensuing combat, Major Vivek Gupta received another direct from enemy bullets and finally succumbed to his injuries. Major Vivek Gupta displayed conspicuous gallantry and inspiring leadership in the face of the enemy, which, ultimately led to the capture of Tololing Top.
1. An anecdote by Col Virendra Tavathia (Retd) :
In 1994 Summer, I was officiating Commanding Officer of the Battalion in Kupwara Sector in the High Altitude Area. Then Lt Vivek Gupta was the adjutant of the battalion. He was very unhappy as adjutant since he was not getting a chance to be in active operations. One day, I was returning after visiting a forward post. Vivek called me and told me that a BSF party was engaged in some operations with terrorists, and we were asked to provide some help to them. I told him to send the QRT asap, fully equipping them for at least 48 hours. In between, we had the areas where Radio Communication was not at its best. When I reached the Tac HQ, I found Adjutant missing from there. I asked the Sub Adjt as to where the Adjt was? He told me that he himself had taken the QRT and had reached the site of the operations. That was Vivek. He was a born soldier, a brave one and a dedicated one. He was an excellent Adjutant, did well as an Instructor at Inf School. I was very fortunate to have officers like Maj Vivek Gupta, MVC and Maj Padmapani Acharya, MVC in the battalion. Both of them served as my adjutant. My most prestigious possession is a picture taken in the summer of 1995 in the High Altitude Area, where I am flanked by both of these brave hearts. In their company, I feel special until today.
2. Tribute by the CO, Col Virendra Tavathia (Retd) :
As the Commanding Officer of Late Maj Vivek Gupta, MVC,(Posthumously) I have a lot of stories to share. Vivek joined the Bn in June/July 1992 at Udaipur. Our youngsters had started a so-called tradition (which I really did not know, since I had returned after almost 4 years after my Staff Course and BM’s tenure) in which the newly commissioned officer was to climb about a 12-14 feet pole over which they put his Cap and get his Cap. This was to be done during the dinning in after the officer was given excess liquor. What happened in Vivek’s case that these officers put grease on the pole. No one prior to Vivek had been able to get the Cap in that state. When I saw that I told these young officers that it is unfair to put grease on the pole. But guess what, Vivek climbed the pole got his Cap and was the first one to do so. That showed the resolve of this brave heart. We were celebrating the 175th Anniversary of the Bn’s raising in November 1992. I was the secretary of the event. We made a beautiful Silver Trophy to be presented to the officers’ mess by Officers. We as a team were discussing as to who must present this trophy to the Officer’s Mess. Everyone was talking about Col of the Regiment, or the Senior most officer from serving or retired officers to do so. There were apprehensions about the protocol and so on. An idea came to my mind, and I told the Commanding Officer that let the youngest officer of the battalion present it for he is going to be with that Trophy for the maximum time, and my suggestion was accepted by the Commanding Officer. The 175th Anniversary Trophy in 2 Raj Rif officers mess was presented/ unveiled by then 2/Lt Vivek Gupta. I declined to go on my grade 1 tenure, as the unit for the first time in my service was scheduled to go active operations. So, from Jan 1992 I remained with the battalion till I took premature retirement in June 1998. During this period I had seen Vivek, Acharya, Mohit, Umed and Uttam and many more doing a great job with the Bn. Least I knew that I had a chance to command the battalion in actual War, and if I knew it, I would have completed the Command, and a dream would have come true. Leading the likes of these officers and men is a great experience and if it comes in War that is the best. 21 Years after my retirement I still salute each one of these brave men of 2 Raj Rif and the great commanding officers who have led the battalion before me and after me. We are very proud of the heritage of our battalion, which has come at a great cost of soldiers like Maj Vivek Gupta, MVC. If one analyzes the Kargil War, the battle of Tololing, and the act of bravery of these men and officers, I personally feel that Maj Vivek Gupta should have received PVC.
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Trishna Roy2021at8:03 am
I want to become an army man like major vivek gupta. Salute to you sir .
Dinesh Vishwas2021at4:41 pm
I salute to your supreme sacrifice made for betterment of our beloved motherland. I am very fortunate to have Col. Mr. B R S Gupta as penfriend.
Riya Raj2022at11:41 am
His journey is an inspiration to every Indian. Proud of him…Jai Hind!
Gaurav Kothari2023at3:52 pm
भारत माता की जय
Akash Satish2023at2:00 am