Service No : 14397907K
Service : Army
Last Rank : Havaldar
Unit : 96 Fd Regt
Arm/Regt : The Regiment of Artillery
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Martyrdom : May 2, 2003
Hav Raghunath G joined the Army after completing his school education at a young age. He was recruited into 96 Field Regiment of the Regiment of Artillery, an important combat support arm of Indian Army well known for its booming field guns and heavy weaponry.
Drass Sector Avalanche: 02 Mar 2003
During Mar 2003, Hav Raghunath ’s unit 96 Fd Regt was deployed in Kargil district of Ladakh. The unit troops were manning the forward posts in Drass Sector of Kargil district along the LOC. The forward posts of the unit were located in high altitude areas with extreme weather conditions. The location of many posts was also prone to snow blizzards and unpredictable avalanches. During the last week of Feb 2003, there was heavy snowfall in Ladakh including Drass Sector with the area covered under few feet of snow. The heavy snow fall was accompanied by multiple avalanches in the Kargil sector. A number of road links were cut off due to heavy snowfall as avalanches hit Kaksar, Kharboo, Mushkoh and Handurman posts. Heavy snowfall in this region throughout was followed by a mild earthquake which smashed many bunkers along the Line of Control (LoC) burying several soldiers housed in them. Hav Raghunath and his comrades too were hit by one such horrific avalanche on 02 Mar 2003.
The suddenness and severity of the avalanche took the soldiers off guard and prevented them from taking any preventive action. The soldiers got trapped and buried under tons of snow. The army launched a team with specialized equipment to rescue the soldiers in the quickest possible time. The rescue team managed to extricate some soldiers, however, Hav Raghunath and 14 other soldiers could not be saved owing to their prolonged exposure to extreme cold. Besides Hav Raghunath, the other soldiers included Hav A Ingersal G, Nk Ranjith KT, Nk Chukka Some Reddy, L Nk Daniel Joseph, Gnr Irappa Savadatti, Gnr Jeya Krishnan T, Gnr R Jaya Kumar, Gnr Pradeep Kumar P, Gnr Jaya Krishna KV, Gnr KS Shiva Kumar, Gnr G Cheepuru, Gnr Chalapathi Rao T and Gnr Karaveerappa V Kamatar. Hav Raghunath was a courageous and dedicated soldier who laid down his life in the line of his duty.