Service No : 13633013P
Date of Birth : February 15, 1995
Place of birth : Kullu Dist(HP)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Paratrooper
Unit : 4 Para (SF)
Arm/Regt : The Parachute Regiment
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Awards : Sena Medal
Martyrdom : April 5, 2020
Paratrooper Bal Krishan hailed from Puid village in Naggar Tehsil of Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh and was born on 15 Feb 1995. Like many youths in Himachal Pradesh he wanted to serve in the Armed Forces and joined the Army after completing his initial education. He was recruited into the 4 Para (SF) battalion of the Parachute Regiment, an elite infantry Regiment well known for its daredevil para commandos and numerous bold operations.
Operation Rangdori Baihk : 01-05 April 2020
During Apr 2020, Ptr Bal Krishan’s unit was deployed in the Kashmir valley for counter-insurgency operations. Ptr Bal Krishan in his fairly long service had taken part in numerous challenging operations and had gained substantial experience in counter-insurgency operations. Based on the information from the intelligence sources about the infiltration attempt by the terrorists in the Kupwara district, the security forces launched “Op Rangdori Baihk” on 01 Apr 2020. A movement had been noticed near the LOC on 1 April 2020 through drone imagery. This was confirmed on the ground with footprints in the snow not far from the Line of Control. This was followed by a brief exchange of fire with the soldiers of 8 Jat battalion after which the terrorists fled abandoning some of their bags containing ammo. At dawn on 02 April, troops from 41 and 57 Rashtriya Rifles too joined the operation. The troops once again established contact with the terrorists at about 4.30 pm. However the terrorists engaged in heavy fire before slipping off from a ledge. The chase continued, with contact established twice more on 03 and 04 April. It was then decided to launch Para commandos by dropping them by air near the suspected area. Ptr Bal Krishan became part of this operation launched by the 4 Para(SF) battalion. Based on the information gathered through UAVs(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) of the Army intelligence network, the operation was planned on 04 Apr 2020 to foil an infiltration attempt in the Karen sector. Sub Sanjiv Kumar was tasked to lead that operation along with a team of para commandos including Ptr Bal Krishan. As the suspected area was snow-covered and inaccessible the assault team was planned to be airdropped to integrate an element of surprise too in the operation.
The two squads with six soldiers each of the elite para commandos led by Sub Sanjiv Kumar were airdropped by ALH -Dhruv Helicopter in the suspected area as planned in poor visibility conditions. The Dhruv helicopter dropped them off on a hill feature in waist deep snow. The team immediately set off for their mission, wading through 8-10 feet of snow. After nearly five hours, the lead scout Ptr Chhatrapal Singh noticed suspicious movement and alerted his team. After confirmation by the second scout, Ptr Bal Krishan about the presence of two terrorists, Sub Sanjiv Kumar quickly deployed his two squads tactically to close in from two sides. One squad was to attack from the front, while the other squad was tasked to climb onto the nearby heights and open fire as the support team when required. As Sub Sanjiv Kumar signaled his men to fire, heavy firing erupted at the terrorists sitting at the tree roots. But taking advantage of the darkness and thick foliage, the terrorist managed to escape. Tracking their movements further, it became clear that the terrorists had been cornered into a part of Kupwara’s dense Zurhama forest lower down the hill feature.
Finally a contact with the terrorists was established in the evening. Sub Sanjiv Kumar along with his squads then tried to close in with the terrorist location. He deployed the two squads on two spurs overlooking the nallah to have dominating position from two sides. However, the soldiers of the second squad comprising Sub Sanjiv Kumar, Hav Devendra Singh, Ptr Bal Krishan, Ptr Chhatrapal Singh, Ptr Amit Kumar and Ptr Sonam Tamang realized too late that they were on an ice cornice, which was an overhanging mass of hardened snow at the edge of a mountain precipice. It broke under their weight and the leading scouts Ptr Bal Krishan and Ptr Chhatrapal Singh fell into a frozen mountain stream, right into where the terrorists were hiding. They were mercilessly fired upon by the terrorists. Sub Sanjiv Kumar along with Ptr Amit Kumar immediately surged ahead into the nallah to rescue them. While Ptr Amit Kumar provided covering fire, Sub Sanjiv Kumar unmindful of his personal safety, under intense fire from the terrorists evacuated one of the scouts from the contact site. He then moved forward to retrieve the other scout when he came under intense fire from the hiding terrorists. In the meantime, Ptr Amit Kumar was shot with several rounds injuring him seriously. Undeterred he kept on firing with his PIKA gun giving cover fire to Sub Sanjiv Kumar. Realizing the imminent danger to his squad members, Sub Sanjiv Kumar charged towards the hiding terrorists and neutralized one terrorist at very close range. Thereafter, Sub Sanjiv Kumar in a daring act crawled towards the other terrorists and engaged them in hand-to-hand combat seriously injuring them. In the intense close-quarter fight that ensued, Sub Sanjiv Kumar sustained a gunshot wound. Ptr Bal Krishan, Ptr Chhatrapal Singh and Hav Devendra Singh, succumbed to their injuries and were martyred in the battle zone itself. The other injured soldiers were airlifted to a nearby military hospital but they too succumbed to their grievous injuries and were martyred. Besides Ptr Bal Krishan the other martyred soldiers included Sub Sanjiv Kumar, Hav Devendra Singh, Ptr Amit Kumar, and Ptr Chhatrapal Singh.
Ptr Bal Krishan was given the gallantry award, “Sena Medal” on 26 Jan 2021 for his exceptional courage, devotion to duty, and supreme sacrifice. Ptr Bal Krishan is survived by his mother Smt Indira Devi and brother, who is serving in the Army.