Service No: 2612806W
Place of Birth: Chittoor dist, (AP)
Last Rank : Havaldar
Unit : 18 Madras
Arm/Regt: The Madras Regiment
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Date of Martyrdom: 08 Nov 2020
Hav Praveen Kumar hailed from Reddivaripalle village ofin Andhra Pradesh. Son of Shri Chikala Prathap Reddy and Smt Sugunamma, he joined the Army in the year 2002 at the age of 19 years. He got recruited into 18 Madras of the Madras Regiment, an infantry Regiment well known for its dauntless soldiers and numerous battle exploits. After serving with his parent unit for some time, he also got trained as a commando and worked with the elite NSG for three years.
He got married to Ms Rajitha in the year 2010 and the couple had a son and a daughter. By the year 2020, he had put in around 18 years of service and had been promoted to the rank of Havaldar. By then he had served in various operational areas and gained substantial experience of working in challenging conditions. Besides being a tough soldier he was a very good human being and a source of inspiration for the younger generation of his village.
Machil Sector Operation: 08 Nov 2020
During Nov 2020, Hav Praveen Kumar’s unit 18 Madras was deployed in the Kupwara district of J&K close to the Line of Control(LOC). The unit troops were engaged in counter-insurgency operations on a regular basis as its AOR (Area of Operation) was affected by active militancy. The LOC remained highly active and volatile with ceasefire violations occurring very often and without any warning. Besides manning the forward posts in the Machil sector in the Kupwara district, Hav Praveen Kumar’s unit also undertook operations to check the infiltration bids as its AOR was prone to infiltration by the militants from across the border. On 08 Nov 2020, one such infiltration bid was reported by the BSF patrol at around 0100 hrs near the anti-infiltration obstacle system about 3.5 Kms from the LOC.
As the firefight escalated, the soldiers from 18 Madras were rushed to take on the infiltrators. The team from 18 Madras led by Capt Ashutosh Kumar included Hav Praveen Kumar among many other soldiers. Hav Praveen Kumar and his comrades swung into action to foil the infiltration bid and neutralize the militants. The contact with the militants was lost around 0400 hrs but was reestablished at around 1020 hrs as the infiltrators were being tracked by various surveillance devices. Capt Ashutosh Kumar deployed his troops tactically to block the possible escape routes and engaged them aggressively. In the ensuing fierce gun battle, three militants were eliminated. However, during the exchange of fire, Hav Praveen Kumar and four of his comrades received gunshots and were seriously injured. Later Hav Praveen Kumar and two more soldiers including the team leader Capt Ashutosh Kumar & Rifleman Ryada Maheshwar succumbed to their injuries and were martyred. Hav Praveen Kumar was a valiant and dedicated soldier, who laid down his life in the line of his duty at the age of 37 years.
Hav Praveen Kumar is survived by his father Shri Chikala Prathap Reddy, mother Smt Sugunamma, wife Smt Rajitha, daughter, and son.
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