Service No : 13779453W
Place of birth : Kathua (dist), J & K
Service : Army
Last Rank : Rifleman
Arm/Regt : JAK Rifles
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Martyrdom : February 6, 2022
Rifleman Arun Kattal hailed from Jandore village in the Lakhanpur area of Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir. Son of an army veteran Prahladh Singh, he always wished to follow into the footsteps of his father and don Army uniform. Following his dream, he eventually joined the Army in the year 2015 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. After serving for few years he got married in November 2021.
Avalanche (Indo-China Border): 06 Feb 2022
During 2022, Rfn Arun Kattal'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 Arun Kattal 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 Arun Kattal and his comrades to take any evasive actions. As a result, Rfn Arun Kattal 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 Arun Kattal the other brave hearts included Hav Jugal Kishore, Rfn Akshay Pathania, Rfn Vishal Sharma, Rfn Rakesh Singh, Rfn Ankesh Bhardwaj and Gnr Gurbaj Singh. Rfn Arun Kattal was a brave and committed soldier, who laid down his life in the line of his duty.
Rfn Arun Kattal is survived by his parents and wife.