Service No : 13784848F
Date of Birth : September 6, 2000
Place of birth : Bilaspur Dist, HP
Service : Army
Last Rank : Rifleman
Arm/Regt : JAK Rif
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Martyrdom : February 6, 2022
Rifleman Ankesh Bhardwaj hailed from Seu village in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh and was born on 06 September 2000. Son of an army veteran Pancha Ram and Smt Kashmir Devi, he had a brother Akash as his sibling. He always wished to follow in the footsteps of his father and don Army uniform. Following his dream, he eventually joined the Army in the year 2019 at the age of 19 years, after completing his school education.
He was recruited into the 19 JAK Rif battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles Regiment, an infantry Regiment known for its brave soldiers and rich history of various battle honours. Rfn Ankesh Bhardwaj was a keen sportsman and specially excelled in wrestling. He took part in varous wrestling contests and won many laurels including a gold medal in School Olympic Games held in Nepal in 2017.
Avalanche (Indo-China Border): 06 Feb 2022
During 2022, Rfn Ankesh Bhardwaj's unit 19 JAK Rif was deployed in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh near the Indo-China border. The AOR(Area of Responsibility) of the unit spanned over remote rugged mountainous terrain with extreme weather conditions, especially in the winter season. The unit troops were deployed on various forward posts and often undertook patrol to monitor the area in between the manned posts. The area, located at an altitude of 14,500 feet, witnessed inclement weather with heavy snowfall in the first week of Feb 2022. The area also recorded 90 mm rainfall between January 1 and February 8—more than 20% excess than normal. Also, heavy snowfall often blocked the roads and hampered the movement of troops which necessitated frequent clearance operations. Rfn Ankesh Bhardwaj was part of one such patrol cum snow clearance team on 06 Feb 2022.
As the troops were traversing through the planned route in the Chume Gyater area near Yangtse, closer to the China border, a horrific avalanche struck them. The magnitude and suddenness of the avalanche did not give any time to Rfn Ankesh Bhardwaj and his comrades to take any evasive actions. As a result, Rfn Ankesh Bhardwaj and six other soldiers got trapped under tons of snow. A massive rescue operation was launched by the army and specialized equipment too were airlifted to aid the search. After searching for nearly two days, the rescue team eventually managed to locate the bodies of the soldiers on 08 Feb 2022, but by that time they had lost their lives owing to prolonged exposure to extreme cold conditions. Besides Rfn Ankesh Bhardwaj the other brave hearts included Hav Jugal Kishore, Rfn Akshay Pathania, Rfn Arun Kattal, Rfn Vishal Sharma, Rfn Rakesh Singh and Gnr Gurbaj Singh. Rfn Ankesh Bhardwaj was a brave and committed soldier, who laid down his life at the age of 21 years in the line of his duty.
Rfn Ankesh Bhardwaj is survived by his father Shri Pancha Ram, mother Smt Kashmir Devi and younger brother Akash.