Service No : 2670242

Date of Birth : March 2, 1961

Place of birth : Jammu Dist (J&K)

Service : Army

Last Rank : Havildar

Unit : 18 Grenadiers

Arm/Regt : The Grenadiers

Operation : Op Vijay ( Kargil )

Awards : Vir Chakra

Martyrdom : July 5, 1999

Hav Madan Lal VrC

Havildar Madan Lal Chaudhary hailed from Diwan Garh village in Ranbir Singh Pura tehsil of Jammu district of Jammu and Kashmir. Son of Shri Kamali Singh Hav Madan Lal was born on 02 Mar 1961. After completing his initial education, he joined the Army on 13 Apr 1978 at the age of 17 years. He was recruited into 20 Grenadiers battalion of the Grenadiers Regiment, an infantry Regiment known for its intrepid soldiers and many battle honours. He was later transferred to the 18th Grenadiers Battalion. 

 

After serving for a few years he got married to Ms Kamla Devi hailing from Jammu. He served in various operational conditions and locations with his battalion and developed into a tough and committed soldier. He also got trained as a commando and served with the NSG (National Security Guard), a Federal Contingency Force to deal with anti-terrorist activities in all its manifestations. By 1999, he had put in over twenty years of service and had been promoted to the rank of Havildar. 

 

Battle of Tiger Hill (Kargil War) : 04/05 July 1999

 

During 1999, Hav Madan Lal's unit 18 Grenadiers was deployed in the J & K along the LOC. 18 Grenadiers battalion, under the command of Col Kushal Thakur, was inducted into the Drass area by 3rd week of May 1999. The battalion was functioning under the command of 56 Mtn Bde, with overall operational control being exercised by 8 Mtn Div under Maj Gen Mohinder Puri. After the capture of Tololing which comprised Pt 4590, Tololing Top, South East Spur, South Spur, and Hump to its north, by 14 June 1999 the next task was to capture Pt 4875 and Tiger Hill. 192 Mountain Brigade was tasked to capture the Tiger Hill feature with 18 Grenadiers battalion and a Company of 8 Sikh battalion. 18 Grenadiers also known as the ‘Pole Star Battalion’ had already lost two officers, Lt Col R Viswanathan and Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari, when they were assigned the task to capture the Tiger Hill. The Tiger Hill complex was one of the most dominating features in the Drass sector. The Pakistani soldiers who had occupied the Tiger Hill complex in strength were bringing effective artillery on large tracts of the National Highway 1A and thus the eviction of the enemy from this feature was urgent and necessary.  
 
The Tiger Hill complex was divided into several smaller objectives. The peak from the southern side was called 'Top', prominent cuts on the east and west were named 'Tooth' and 'V' cut; the western spur was further divided into parts viz, India Gate, Helmet, and Rocky Knob; and the southeast side was called Tongue. The terrain was extremely rugged with gradient running up to 70-80 degrees at places closer to the objective. To completely isolate the enemy on Tiger Hill, Colonel Kaushal Thakur the commanding officer of 18 Grenadiers decided to launch a multidirectional attack, with the majority of force level assaulting from unexpected directions. The attack on Tiger Hill commenced on 3 July 1999 at 2030 hours. By 0400 Hours of 5 July 1999, 18 Grenadiers and 8 Sikh were able to capture several important features of Tiger Hill and succeeded in completely isolating the enemy sitting at the Tiger Hill top. On the night of 04/05 July 1999 Hav Madan Lal was a section commander assigned to capture the eastern flank of Tiger Hill in the Drass sector. The success of the company’s forthcoming attack depended on Hav Madan Lal’s ability to capture and hold the top position. Despite heavy obstacles, he established his 'Fire Support Base' and, with fearless determination, attacked the summit using mountaineering equipment under precise enemy fire. At an altitude of 16,500 feet, facing severe enemy fire, Hav Madan Lal climbed and reached the summit in six hours. His daring approach from an unexpected direction, disoriented the enemy, causing them to retreat. During intense firing, two trapped enemy soldiers were killed, and Hav Madan Lal was critically injured. He later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Besides Hav Madan Lal, six other soldiers of 18 Grenadiers were martyred during this entire operation. The other brave hearts martyred on 05 June 1999, included Gdr Rattan Chand, Gdr Anant Ram, Gdr Udhyaman Singh, Gdr Y S Yadav, Gdr Naresh Kumar and Nk Devraj.
 
His courageous and unwavering attack enabled his section to capture two bunkers on the top position, aiding in the eventual capture of Tiger Hill. Hav Madan Lal was a gallant and gritty soldier, who laid down his life at the age of 38 years in the service of the nation. Hav Madan Lal was given the gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” for his cold courage, comradeship and supreme sacrifice.
 
Havildar Madan Lal Chaudhary is survived by his wife Smt Kamla Devi.
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