Service No : IC-14662

Date of Birth : 1939

Place of birth : Dakshin Kannada Dist

Service : Army

Last Rank : Major

Unit : 8 Guards

Arm/Regt : The Brigade of the Guards

Martyrdom : November 23, 1971

Major KK Rao

Major Kalyanpur Krishnaji Rao hailed from Kallianpur village in South Kanara district (Present day Dakshin Kannada district) of Karnataka and was born in the year 1939.  Son of Shri Appaji Rao More and Smt Sundari Bai More, he had three sisters and a brother as his siblings. He came from a family of modest means but was determined to make a decent living through his hard work and perseverance. He studied up to SSLC (Class X) in his native village, but could not continue his studies further owing to financial constraints. In 1956, he eventually joined the Army at the age of 17 years.


He underwent varous training courses thereafter and kept on honing his soldierly skills. His sheer hard work and dedication saw him rising through the ranks and eventually he got selected to become a commissioned officer. He was commissioned into 8 Guards battalion of the Brigade of Guards, one of the finest and most battle-hardened infantry regiments of the Indian Army. After completing his training, he served in various operational areas and developed into a fine officer with admirable leadership skills. By 1971, he had been promoted to the rank of Major and had gather substantial field experience. As the war clouds with Pakistan were gathering on the horizon, his unit 8 Guards battalion got deployed on the eastern front.  


Battle of Hilli (Indo-Pak War): 22/23 Nov 1971


During the Indo-Pak 1971 War, Maj KK Rao's unit 8 Guards was deployed in the Eastern Sector. The unit was deployed near Hilli a strategic border town of the erstwhile East Pakistan under the operational control of 202 Mountain Brigade. The Battle of Hilli was one of the most decisive battles of 1971 and is considered to be one of the most ferocious battles ever fought by a gallant band of soldiers from highly motivated units. 202 Mountain Brigade functioning under operational control of 20 Mountain Division was tasked to capture Hilli in November 1971. The battle of Hilli turned out to be the most savagely fought battle in the Eastern sector. The battle of Hilli was fought over two phases; first from 22 Nov to 24 Nov and the second phase from 10 Dec to 11 Dec 1971. Maj K K Rao's unit 8 Guards along with 22 MLI and 5 Garhwal were committed by 202 Mtn Bde for this battle with the support of Artillery and armour.


The main objective of the battle was to capture Bogra, thereby cutting off Pakistani forces in the North from the rest of East Pakistan. The best way of reaching Bogra was through Hilli. Pakistan had deployed 4 Frontier Force Regiments of the Pakistan Army along with other elements for the defence of Hilli.  As part of the overall attack plan for Hilli, in the first phase ‘A’ company of 8 Guards under Major HD Manjrekar was tasked to capture Morapara. On 22 November, Major HD Manjrekar stealthily led his company toward the assigned target. The area was slush with mud, and at places, the troops had to wade through waist-deep water. The objective was also defended with wire obstacles and mines. While wading through the water, the enemy suddenly opened up a murderous barrage of machine gun fire on the advancing column. The fire from eight machine guns was supplemented by other weapon systems, but that did not stop Major HD Manjrekar from pressing forward toward the target. After the assault by "A" company, Maj KK Rao with his "D" company launched an aggressive attack on the enemy at around 0130 hrs in the wee hours of 23 Nov.  


Despite the heavy volume of fire, Maj KK Rao and his troops advanced inch by inch, till they were in sight of the objective. Sheer grit, and raw courage were on display in ample measure on that night, when Maj KK Rao, was hit by a volley of machine gun fire. Despite being severely injured, he did not stop and kept on directing his men to move forward relentlessly. Although wounded, he managed to destroy a bunker after dodging various booby traps, mines and machine gun fire. The courageous Maj KK Rao refused to be evacuated and while urging his men to move forward, lost his life on the night of 22/23 Nov 1971. Maj KK Rao was a gallant soldier and a gritty officer, who led from the front and laid down his life at the age of 32 years in the line of his duty, following the highest traditions of the Indian Army. 

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  • Dinesh Kumar Shrivastava

    2023at9:52 am Reply

    We Indians are highly indebted to great soldiers like Major K. K. Rao for laying down their lives defending our Matrubhoomi.
    Vande Mataram.

  • Udaya shanker

    2023at9:53 am Reply

    In reply to Ramesh Dutt.
    Our martyrs will always be our inspiration, they are the pride of our country.

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  • Kiran bekal

    2023at9:54 am Reply

    Brave military personality. One can feel the smile and the brave look which we can see only on the soldiers face.

  • Ramesh Dutt

    2023at9:55 am Reply

    Hats off to you sir you are the true son of India jai hind your exemplary coura
    Ge and will poser will always be the highlights for future indian army soldiers om shanti vande matram

  • Sudheer

    2023at9:56 am Reply

    Bharth Mata ki jai

    Bolo Bharth Mata Ki Jai

  • Dinesh.K. Rao

    2023at9:56 am Reply

    Amar Rahe Amar Rahe Maj K.K. Rao. Amar Rahe

  • Naveenchandra M

    2023at9:57 am Reply

    We lost a brave & dedicated Officer who died fighting enemies.
    His loyalty to the nation was exemplary
    He is a real role model to all Indians.

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