Date of Birth : October 23, 1987
Place of birth : Panipat Dist (Haryana)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Major
Unit : 19 RR /15 Sikh LI
Arm/Regt : The Sikh Light Infantry
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Awards : Sena Medal
Martyrdom : September 13, 2023
Major Aashish Dhonchak hailed from Binjhol village in the Panipat district of Haryana and was born on 23 Oct 1987. Son of Shri Lalchand and Smt Kamla Devi, he had three sisters Anju, Suman, and Mamta as his siblings. He always nursed the idea of serving in the Armed Forces while growing up. He was a bright student and excelled in his studies. He completed his schooling at Kendriya Vidyalaya NFL Panipat and went on to do his BTech from Swami Devi Dyal College, Barwala in the Panchkula district of Haryana. Subsequently, he took admission to do MTech in Thapar University Patiala but cleared the Combined Defence Services Examination and got selected to join the Army. He passed out of the Training Academy as a Lieutenant in 2012 at the age of 25 years. He was commissioned into the 15 Sikh LI Battalion of the Sikh Light Infantry Regt, a well-known and decorated infantry Regiment of the Indian Army. After completing his training, he joined his unit and soon developed into a tough soldier with commendable soldierly skills.
After serving for a couple of years, he got married to Ms Jyoti in Nov 2015 and the couple was blessed with a daughter Vamika. He was promoted to the rank of Major in 2018 and later in 2021 was deputed to serve with the 19 RR Battalion, deployed in J&K for counter-insurgency operations. He had served in Bhatinda and Meerut before moving to Kashmir. By the year 2023, he had put in around 11 years of service and had served in various challenging operational areas.
Anantnag Operation: 12/13 Sep 2023
During 2023, Maj Aashish Dhonchak’s 19 RR battalion was deployed in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir for counterinsurgency operations. As the AOR (Area of Responsibility) of the unit was an insurgency-prone area, the troops had to maintain a very high level of alert at all times. Maj Aashish Dhonchak had taken part in several operations with the battalion and was decorated with the "Sena Medal", for gallantry, in August 2023. On 13 Sep 2023, the security forces received information from intelligence sources about the presence of some hardcore terrorists in the dense forests surrounding Gadool village of Kokernag in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. After analyzing the information, it was decided to launch an operation to neutralize the terrorists.
Accordingly, a joint operation was launched on the intervening night of 12/13 Sep 2023 along with elements of 19 RR and J & K Police. Maj Aashish Dhonchak was part of the joint team led by Col Manpreet Singh the commanding officer of the 19 RR. As planned the joint team reached the suspected area and launched the cordon and search operation. As the search operation was underway, the terrorists sensing the danger fired at the troops in a bid to escape. A fierce gun battle ensued thereafter with a heavy exchange of fire from both sides. However, during the exchange of fire, Maj Aashish Dhonchak, Col Manpreet Singh, and Sep Pardeep Singh from 19 RR and DSP J&K Police Humayun Bhatt received gunshots and got severely injured. The injured Sep Pardeep Singh could not be located and went missing. The other injured soldiers were immediately evacuated and airlifted for medical treatment to Srinagar. However, they later succumbed to their injuries and were martyred. After an extensive search, the body of Sep Pardeep Singh could be recovered from the dense jungle after five days. Maj Aashish Dhonchak was a valiant soldier and a fine officer who displayed courage of a very high order during the operation and laid down his life at the age of 36 years in the service of the nation. Maj Aashish Dhonchak is survived by his father Shri Lalchand, mother Smt Kamla Devi, wife Smt Jyoti, daughter Vamika and sisters Anju, Suman, and Mamta.