Service No : 9923125N

Date of Birth : March 20, 1966

Place of birth : Kargil, Ladakh

Service : Army

Last Rank : Havildar

Unit : Ladakh Scouts

Arm/Regt : The Ladakh Scouts

Operation : Op Vijay ( Kargil )

Awards : Vir Chakra

Martyrdom : May 30, 1999

Hav Tsewang Rigzin VrC

Havildar Tsewang Rigzin hailed from the Kargil district of Ladakh and was born on 20 March 1966. Son of Shri Tashi Mutup and Smt Sonam Angmo, he joined the army after completing his education. He was recruited into Ladakh Scouts, an infantry Regiment of Indian Army. Nicknamed as the "Snow Warriors" or "Snow Leopards", the regiment specialized in mountain warfare, with the primary role being to guard India's borders in the high altitudes of Ladakh. 


The Ladakh Scouts were formed in 1963 by spinning off the Ladakhi battalions of the  Jammu and Kashmir Militia and the recruits mainly came from India's Ladakhi and Tibetan ethnic communities. As the war clouds gathered over the horizon in 1999, the Ladakh Scouts were one of the first units to be deployed for combat action. Hav Tsewang Rigzin too joined his unit, deployed as part of " Op Vijay". 


Op Vijay (Kargil) : 30 May 1999


During 1998-99, Hav Tsewang Rigzin's unit was deployed along the LOC.  On 12 Dec 1998, Hav Tsewang Rigzin was responsible for the success of a surveillance patrol at point 5608 on which many previous attempts had failed. He worked extremely hard for more than six hours to climb the sheer cliff, enabling other members of the patrol to reach the top. As the enemy infiltration was detected in the early part of May 1999 along the LOC, one of the sections of the Ladakh Scouts was asked to move up on the ridge line on the Line of control in the glaciated area at 5500 meters on 30 May 1999. Hav Tsewang Rigzin was part of the team that was assigned the task. The task was to pre-empt enemy occupation and infiltration as part of Operation Vijay.


While obtaining an ice wall of 80-degree gradient, Hav Tsewang Rigzin's Section suddenly came under effective firing of an enemy ambush. In this attacking hand-to-hand fight and at grave risk to his life, Hav Tsewang Rigzin exposed himself and charged at the enemy.  While doing so, he was suddenly hit by enemy fire from the vantage point and got injured. Despite being badly injured, he continued to fight and managed to kill two enemy soldiers. However he soon succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Hav Tsewang Rigzin displayed unflinching devotion to duty and played a pivotal role in pre-empting the enemy occupation and subsequent infiltration across the LOC.  He was awarded “Vir Chakra”, on 15 Aug 1999 for his exceptional courage, indomitable spirit and supreme sacrifice during the war.

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1 Comment
  • Uma Kulkarni

    2023 at 2:47 am Reply

    January 1, 1999, Kargil War. A troop of Ladakh Scouts was climbing an 80° steep ice wall for 6 hours. Suddenly the enemy launched a deadly attack. Hand to hand combat ensued. Rigzin marched on the enemy without thinking about his life. Taking enemy bullets on his chest, he killed 2 enemies. He achieved heroism in this encounter and the mission was successful. He was posthumously honored with Veer Chakra.

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