Service No : IC-57780P
Date of Birth : October 15, 1975
Place of birth : Kurseong(WB)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Captain
Unit : 2 Para (SF)
Arm/Regt : The Parachute Regiment
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Martyrdom : July 8, 2001
Capt Suraj Sharma hailed from Kurseong city in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal and was born on 15 Oct 1975. Son of Shri R K Sharma (DSP) and Smt Radhika Sharma, Capt Suraj Sharma developed a passion for the armed forces since his younger days and always wished to join the Indian Army. Following his passion, he got selected to join the prestigious National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune in the year 1994. He was always an outstanding performer, excelling in all aspects of training. He later moved to IMA Dehradun for further training and passed out as a Lieutenant in June 1998. He got commissioned into the Parachute Regiment of the Indian Army. Later on, he joined 2 Para (Special Forces) the elite unit of the Indian Army, specialized in Mountain Warfare and Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorism operations. The unit was raised initially as 3rd battalion of Maratha Light Infantry and was converted to SF battalion in 2000.
Operation Rakshak(J&K) : 08 Jul 2001
During Jul 2001, Capt Suraj Sharma's unit 2 Para SF was deployed in J&K as part of "Operation Rakshak". The unit was operating in a militant-infested area and consequently, it had to undertake operations against the militants on a frequent basis. The LOC located near to its AOR(Area of Responsibility) remained highly active and volatile with ceasefire violations occurring very often and without any warning. The area was also prone to infiltration, which necessitated regular armed patrols to check any infiltration from across the border. Following inputs from intelligence sources about the presence of some terrorists, the security forces decided to launch a search operation in Rajwar forest in Kupwara district on 07/08 Jul 2001. Capt Suraj Sharma was tasked to lead that operation with a team of 20 soldiers.
Capt Suraj Sharma and his troops reached the suspected area in Rajwar forest and launched a search and cordon operation. Soon the troops spotted the militants, but the militants taking advantage of the dense forest gave a slip to the security forces. The militant group later got scattered in vast Rajwar forest. The dense forest and thick undergrowth in the forest had made it a preferred hideout for militants over the years. But the troops continued to comb the area in search of militants, who found their escape routes blocked. As the search operation by the troops was underway, the militants hiding in strategic places opened fire at the column of troops. A gun battle ensued thereafter with heavy exchange of fire. The militants were heavily armed with automatic weapons and were firing from positions of advantage under the cover of darkness and thick foliage. During the exchange of fire, Capt Suraj Sharma recieved gun shots and got severely injured. He later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Capt Suraj Sharma was a committed soldier and a gritty officer, who led from the front and laid down his life at the age of 25 years in the line of his duty.