Service No : 2681582
Date of Birth : August 1, 1969
Place of birth : Rohtak Dist(Har)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Naik
Unit : 18 Grenadiers
Arm/Regt : The Grenadiers
Operation : Op Vijay ( Kargil )
Awards : Sena Medal
Martyrdom : June 3, 1999
Naik Samunder Singh Hooda hailed from Sanghi village in Rohtak district of Haryana and was born on 01 Aug 1969. He was passionate about serving in the Army since his childhood and eventually following his passion, he joined the Army on 17 May 1987 at the age of 18 years. He was inducted into 18 Grenadiers Battalion of the Grenadiers Regiment, an infantry Regiment known for its valiant soldiers and various battle honours. After serving for some time, he got married to Ms Saroj Bala and the couple was blessed with a son Arjun.
Tololing Operation (Op Vijay): 02/03 June 1999
During May/June 1999, Naik Samunder Singh’s unit was deployed in the Drass sector. On 3 May 1999, enemy intrusions were detected and "Operation Vijay" was launched by the Indian Army to evict the intruders from Indian territory. 18 Grenadiers battalion was inducted in Drass area on 19 May 1999 under the command of 121 Inf Bde and were operating along with 1 Naga and 8 Sikh battalions. These battalions along with 28 RR less a company operated under 121 Inf Bde till 22 May when HQ 56 Mountain Brigade assumed the command of the Drass area. 18 Grenadiers troops under the command of Col Khushal Thakur were tasked to launch an attack to capture Tololing on 02 June 1999. The attack under the leadership of Lt Col R Vishwanathan in the night of 02/03 June 1999, took the enemy by complete surprise as it came along a very difficult approach and terrain at an altitude of over 15,000 feet. Naik Samunder Singh was part of the team that undertook that operation.
On 03 June 1999, Naik Samunder Singh was part of Sub Randhir Singh's team that tasked to launch an assault on the tactically important Tololing ridge in the Drass sector. The well-stocked and fortified post of the enemy-backed infiltrators was in a treacherous mountainous terrain covered with snow at a height of over 15,000 feet. The advance of the platoon, was impeded due to heavy machine gun fire from one of the sangars of the intruders. Sub Randhir Singh immediately deployed his platoon and with a small team crawled ahead to the sangar and neutralized the machine gun in close combat killing two intruders. On encountering a second enemy sangar, Naik Samunder Singh and his comrades charged onto the enemy killing one intruder in hand-to-hand combat. This dare-devil act made it possible to gain vital ground on Tololing ridge which facilitated the capture of Point 4599. Naik Samunder Singh later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Besides Naik Samunder Singh, the other martyred brave hearts during the operation included Lt Col R Vishwanathan, Sub Randhir Singh, L/Hav Ram Kumar Lamba, Grenadier Munish Kumar and Grenadier Pravin Kumar. Naik Samunder Singh was a gallant and gritty soldier, who laid down his life at the age of 29 years in the service of the nation, following the highest traditions of the Indian Army. Naik Samunder Singh was given the gallantry award, “Sena Medal” on 15 August 1999, for his outstanding courage, determination, devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice.
Naik Samunder Singh Hooda is survived by his wife Smt Saroj Bala and son Shri Arjun Hooda.