Place of birth : Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan
Service : Army
Last Rank : Naik
Unit : 252 Army Avn Sqn
Arm/Regt : Army Aviation Corps
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Martyrdom : October 21, 2022
Naik Rohitashva Kumar hailed from the Poshana village near Gudhagorji town in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. He was inclined to join the armed forces since his younger days and continued to follow his dream while growing up. Eventually he joined the Army after completing his school education. He got trained as an operator in the Army Aviation Corps, the air arm of the Indian Army. After serving for a few years, he got married to Ms Shubita and the couple had a daughter. By 2022, he had been promoted to the rank of Naik and had served in varous operational units by then.
Army Air Operation: 21 Oct 2022
During 2022, Naik Rohitashva Kumar was serving with the 252 Army Aviation Squadron deployed in the Northeast. The squadron was operating an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), which was known to be a high-performance helicopter designed for operation over a very wide range of weight, center of gravity and altitude conditions. Out of the four variants—(ALH Mark 1, Mark 2, Mark 3 and ALH-WSI) available in the Army, 252 Army Aviation Squadron was operating ALH-WSI (Weapons Systems Integrated) versions having powerful engine, called Shakti, co-developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Safran of France. The Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-WSI) was versatile, multi-role, multi-purpose, highly maneuverable, and rugged in construction. On 21st Oct 2022, Naik Rohitashva Kumar with Major Vikas Bhambhu and Major Mustafa Bohara as pilots and 2 other crew members was tasked for an air mission.
The crew took off from Likabali in the Lower Siang district in their Helicopter to carry out the assigned task as per the operational plan. However as Major Vikas Bhambhu's aircraft reached a forward area around Migging in Upper Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh, the Helicopter faced an emergency situation. Arunachal Pradesh was considered to have some of the most difficult terrains in the country, throwing unexpected challenges to the pilots. The mountains and the rapidly changing weather conditions caused a huge number of air mishaps and casualties. The Advanced Light Helicopter presumably developed a serious snag that the pilots could not rectify in time. The pilots sent a MAY DAY call to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) suggesting a technical or mechanical failure.
Both the pilots had more than 600 combined flying hours on the Advance Light Helicopter (Weapon Systems Integrated) and over 1800 service flying hours between them. Major Vikas Bhambhu and Major Mustafa Bohara were experienced pilots with substantial flying experience but they apparently did not get adequate time to bring the aircraft under control. Consequently, the aircraft crashed at around 10:43 am and Naik Rohitashva Kumar and other crew members could not survive the crash. A joint search operation with teams from the army and air force was launched immediately after locating the crash site, which was very remote and extremely challenging in terms of hills with steep gradients and thick jungle. The search and rescue team eventually managed to retrieve the mortal remains of the valiant soldiers. Besides Naik Rohitashva Kumar, the other martyred soldiers included Major Mustafa Bohara, Major Vikas Bhambhu, Hav Biresh Sinha and Cfn Aswin. Naik Rohitashva Kumar was a valiant soldier, who laid down his life in the service of the nation.
Naik Rohitashva Kumar is survived by his wife Smt Shubita, daughter, parents and brother Shri Sahiram.