Service No : IC52576M

Date of Birth : June 26, 1970

Service : Army

Last Rank : Major

Unit : 109 Lt AD Regt/7 RR

Arm/Regt : Army Air Defence

Operation : CI & IS Ops

Awards : SM

Martyrdom : August 21, 1999

Major Ranbir Katoch SM

Major Ranbir Katoch hailed from Bhullana village in Palampur district of Himachal Pradesh and was born on 26 Jun 1970. Son of an army veteran Major PC Katoch, he did his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Delhi Cantonment. Later he graduated from Ramjas College, Delhi University and joined the Indian Military Academy. He was commissioned into 109 Light AD Regt (SP) of the Air Defence Artillery(later named Army Air Defence) on 11 Dec 1993 at the age of 23 years.  A second generation officer, he followed in the footsteps of his father and as the years rolled by, transformed into a committed soldier and fine officer.


On December 1, 1998, he got married to Ms Deepa, daughter of Col BS Pathania, an EME officer and Col (Mrs) Pathania from the Army Medical Corps. He was a deep rooted soldier and earned the praise of his superiors and juniors as well for his bravery, initiative and leadership qualities. After serving for few years with his parent unit, he was deputed to serve with 7 RR battalion in Dec 1998, which was deployed in J&K for counter-insurgency operations. 


Anantnag Operation : 21 Aug 1999


During Aug 1999, Maj Ranbir Katoch‘s unit was deployed in the Anantnag district of J&K close to the Line of Control(LOC). The unit troops were engaged in counter-insurgency operations on a regular basis as its AOR (Area of Operation) was affected by active militancy. Though the Kargil war had ended by then, the LOC remained highly active and volatile with ceasefire violations occurring very often and without any warning. On 21 Aug 1999, the security forces received credible information from the intelligence sources about the presence of terrorists in Sunglan village of Anantnag district. Based on the intelligence inputs Maj Ranbir Katoch‘s unit decided to launch a search and destroy operation in the suspected area. 


On 21 Aug 1999, as planned the assault team led by Maj Ranbir Katoch set off for Sungan village in the Anantnag district.  The team led by Major Katoch reached the location after a seven hour march over mountains in pitch darkness to maintain surprise. In the morning, while searching the area his company column came under heavy automatic fire from universal machine gun (UMG) and AK-56 rifles. Realizing the danger to his men, Major Katoch along with his party rushed to cut off and pin down the militants. During the encounter Major Katoch, unmindful of his personal safety engaged the militants with heavy fire. During the gun battle he got seriously injured but in a daring act of bravery he charged at the militants and eliminated them. The whole encounter lasted for more than three hours. However while executing this daring task Major Katoch succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Major Ranbir Katoch was a valiant soldier and a fine officer who led from the front and laid down his life in the service of the nation, following the highest traditions of the Indian Army.


Maj Ranbir Katoch was given the gallantry award, “Sena Medal” on 26 Jan 2000 for his exceptional courage, leadership and supreme sacrifice. 

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  • Mohit Chhabra

    2022 at 7:47 am Reply

    Jao hind

  • Hardev Singh Sandhu

    2023 at 5:00 am Reply

    Major Ranbir Katoch was my class fellow in 5th class kendriya vidayalaya kandahar lines,and he was my best friend. RIP Ranbir.

    • Satvinder Bains

      2023 at 1:07 pm

      I also take immense pride in knowing Major Ranbir Katoch as a classmate from 5th to 9th std in KV Kandhar Lines, Delhi Cantt.and have very fond memories of our school days together.A few of his friends are also in touch. He has made us feel very very proud by his Supreme Sacrifice and also sad that he died so young. I think,I remember you Hardev.

  • Dr. Sanjai Saxena

    2023 at 9:47 am Reply

    Salute to a senior, who laid his life in the gallant action against militants.

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