Service No : IC38703L

Date of Birth : November 29, 1958

Place of birth : Sitapur (UP)

Service : Army

Last Rank : Major

Unit : 11 Kumaon

Arm/Regt : The Kumaon Regiment

Operation : Op Hifazat

Martyrdom : January 11, 1998

Major Santosh Kumar Agnihotri

Maj Santosh Kumar Agnihotri hailed from Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh and was born on 29 Nov 1958. Son of Shri PK Agnihotri, he did his schooling from Sainik School Ghorakhal in Uttarakhand. While studying in the Sainik School his inclination towards the Armed Forces grew and it was here that the foundation of his future military life was laid. His resolve to join the Army grew with age and consequently, he got selected for the prestigious NDA after finishing school. He later went to  IMA Dehradun and was commissioned as a Lieutenant at the age of 22 years. He got commissioned into 11 Kumaon of the Kumaon Regiment, an infantry Regiment well known for its dauntless soldiers and numerous battle exploits.


As a young Lieutenant, he got posted to J&K as his first assignment. He soon evolved into a committed soldier and a fine officer with superior field-craft skills. Besides being a tough soldier, he was very affable and caring which endeared him to his peers and subordinates as well. He went on to serve in the challenging areas of the North East and then went to Sri Lanka as well, as part of Indian Peace Keeping Force(IPKF). He also got selected to serve as an Instructor at IMA Dehradun and subsequently at Commando Training School Belgaum. He earned the nickname of 'Tarzan' from his comrades for being a 'go to man' in case of any eventuality. Later he was deputed to serve with 1 Assam Rif deployed in the North East for counter-insurgency operations. After putting in few years of service he got married to Ms. Anita and the couple had a son Akshat. 


Operation Hifazat : 11 Jan 1998


During Jan 1998, Maj Santosh Kumar Agnihotri was serving with 1 Assam Rif battalion deployed in Manipur for counter-insurgency operations. The unit was deployed in Tamenlong district of Manipur and was part of 'Operation Hifazat' being undertaken by the Army in Nagaland-Manipur-Arunachal Pradesh area. As the area of operation (AOR) of the unit was active with militancy, Maj Agnihotri and his troops had to maintain a high level of alert at all times and had to be ready for operations at a short notice. 


On 11 Jan 1998, while moving from his location at Nungba to his battalion HQs at Aizwal, Maj Agnihotri noticed some insurgents trying to board a bus. Maj Agnihotri realized the potential danger to the lives of the innocent civilians in the bus and immediately swung into action. Without caring for his own safety, he moved swiftly and confronted the insurgents, making sure that the civilians were not harmed in any manner. The daring move by Maj Agnihotri created confusion and panic among the insurgents. In a retaliatory move the insurgents fired indiscriminately at Maj Agnihotri and his buddy. Maj Agnihotri received multiple gun shots and was seriously injured. In the meantime, the driver taking advantage of the confusion, drove the bus off thus saving the lives of many civilians. However Maj Agnihotri succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Maj SK Agnihotri  was a valiant soldier and an officer par excellence, who laid down his life in the service of the nation.


Maj SK Agnihotri is survived by his wife Smt Anita Agnihotri and son Akshat.

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