Service No: 16012114A
Place of Birth: Bulandshahr, U.P
Last Rank: Naik
Unit: 57 Rashtriya Rifles
Arm/Regt: The Rajputana Rifles
Awards: Ashok Chakra
Date of Martyrdom : Aug 24, 2014
Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh hailed from Devrala village in Bulandshahar district of Uttar Pradesh. Son of Shri Omvir Singh and Shrimati Rajas, Naik Neeraj belonged to the family of farmers and had three more siblings. Naik Neeraj always wanted to do something worthwhile and was too fascinated by the Indian Army.
Ultimately, Neeraj joined India army in the famed regiment of the Rajputana Rifles. After serving for some time in his regiment, Naik Neeraj was deputed to serve in the 57 Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles, deployed in J & K for anti-terrorist operations. He loved his army life and even wished that his two sons Kunal and Lovepita could also become army officers.
Kupwara Operation: 24 Aug 2014
On 24th of August 2014, Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh was part of a team of 57 Rashtriya Rifles which had launched a search and destroy operation at Kupwara. When the army troops came close to the terrorists in the Dhok area, the militants started firing indiscriminately on the soldiers. In the ensuing gun-battle Naik Neeraj’s buddy took a hit on his bulletproof jacket. Immediately, Naik Neeraj crawled and disregarding his own safety extricated his buddy to safety. By the time one of the terrorists targeted Naik Neeraj and started throwing grenades and firing at him. Undeterred, in a defiant action he moved closer to the terrorist and shot him dead.
Meanwhile, another terrorist took a shot at him which injured him very badly, forcing him to drop his rifle down. However in a display of rare courage, Naik Neeraj pounced on the terrorist, snatched his weapon and killed him in hand to hand combat. Naik Neeraj was severely injured in the attack, yet he refused to be evacuated till he lost his consciousness. Later, he was taken to the 92 Base hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh displayed exemplary leadership skills, raw courage and unyielding fighting spirit which culminated in the elimination of three top-ranked Hizbul Mujaheddin terrorists.
Naik Neeraj Kumar was given the nation’s highest peace time gallantry award, “Ashok Chakra” for his exceptional bravery, indomitable spirit and supreme sacrifice. Naik Neeraj Kumar is survived by his parents, wife Parameshwari and two sons, Kunal and Lovepita.
The citation for the Ashok Chakra awarded to him reads:
Based on specific intelligence, Brigade Ghataks launched a Search and Destroy Operation at General area Gurdaji of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on 24 August 2014. At 1025 hours, party noticed movement of few terrorists close to a Dhok, who opened indiscriminate fire on own troops. In the ensuring fire fight, a friend of Naik Neeraj was hit on bullet proof jacket. With utter disregard for his personal safety, Naik Neeraj crawled and extricated his friend. A terrorist threw grenades and brought heavy fire on Naik Neeraj. In a daring act, he inched closer to the terrorist and shot him dead. Simultaneously, the NCO was attacked by another terrorist resulting in dropping of his Rifle and the terrorist shot him in the chest. Despite grievous injuries, displaying unparalleled courage, he pounced on the terrorist, snatched his weapon and killed him in hand-to-hand combat. He refused to be evacuated till he became unconscious and was evacuated by helicopter to 92 Base Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. During the operation, before attaining martyrdom, Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh displayed exemplary leadership skills, raw courage, planning and swift action, which culminated in the elimination of the three top ranked Hizbul Mujaheddin terrorists. Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award in 2014.
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