Service No : 9422897W

Place of birth : Darjeeling Dist (WB)

Service : Army

Last Rank : Rifleman

Unit : 1/11 GR

Arm/Regt : 11 Gorkha Rifles

Operation : Op Vijay ( Kargil )

Martyrdom : July 4, 1999

Rifleman Arun Kumar Rai

Rfn Arun Kumar Rai hailed from Ramite village of Darjeeling district in West Bengal. After completing his school education he joined the army and was recruited into the 1/11GR battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles regiment, an infantry regiment well known for its brave soldiers.  After serving for some time he got married to Ms Bijaya hailing from West Bengal.


Khalubar Ridge Operation (Kargil War) : 02/03 July 1999


During June-July 1999, Rfn Arun Kumar Rai's unit was deployed in the Batalik sector of Ladakh and was part of "Operation Vijay". The unit was functioning under the command of the 70 Infantry Brigade with the overall control being with the 3 Infantry Division. By early May 1999, Pakistani forces had intruded well across the LOC, in the Mushkoh, Drass, Kaksar, and Batalik sectors. The extent of penetration across the LOC varied from 4 to 8 km in each sector. In many vital points, neither artillery nor air power could dislodge the enemy forces, who were not in the visible range. On discerning the layout of ground and enemy intrusions, it was decided to first drive a wedge in the enemy intrusion area by opening a corridor to the LOC through the Junk Lungpa and thereafter tackle each area piecemeal. This task was given to 12 JAK LI along with 10 Para(SF) and a company of Ladakh Scouts and was completed by 03 June 1999. However, the enemy continued to occupy the ridges to the West, East, and North. Having secured the corridor through the Junk Langpa, it was decided to capture the other ridges one by one. The enemy's main intrusions and defences were on the Khalubar-Padma Go Ridgeline. Rfn Arun Kumar Rai's unit 1/11 GR along with 22 Grenadiers was tasked to launch an assault operation in this area.
Khalubar-Padma Go Ridge comprised the features of Pt 4812, Khalubar, Pt 5287, Pt 5000, and Stangba. 70 Infantry Brigade decided to use the elements of 1/11 GR, 22 Grenadiers, 12 JAK LI, and Ladakh Scouts to capture these features. 1/11 GR and 22 Grenadiers were tasked to capture Khalubar and Pt 5287 complex. These were the most formidable defences of the enemy and were very challenging to capture. The Kalubhar Ridgeline dominated the Batalik Area. The Jubar Complex was to its left and Point 5203 to its right in the Chorbat La Area, close to the LOC. The highest feature was Point 5287 (approximately 16,000 feet), with Point 4812 in its vicinity towards the south. The enemy had occupied Khalubhar Ridgeline and it was important to evict the enemy to reclaim the lost territory. As part of the operational plan, 1/11 GR was assigned the task of taking over Khalubar. The task was given to the ‘B’ company of 1/11 GR wherein Rfn Arun Kumar Rai was part of Platoon No 5 under Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey. 
On the night of 2/3 July 1999, Capt Manoj along with Rfn Arun Kumar Rai and other troops marched off for the Pahalwan Chowki located at a height of 19700 feet on the way to Khalubar. As the assault team moved ahead, it faced heavy and intense enemy fire from both sides of the hillock. After a long and tiring climb of seven hours when Rfn Arun Kumar Rai's column reached the objective, it came under fire from all surrounding heights including from area bunkers. The troops under Capt Manoj were tasked to clear the enemy position, comprising 6 bunkers. In the intense firefight that followed Rfn Arun Kumar Rai and other soldiers of 1/11 GR finally gained control over six enemy bunkers. However, Rfn Arun Kumar Rai got injured during the heavy exchange of fire. He later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred on 04 July 1999. During this operation, the enemy suffered eleven dead and also left behind a large number of weapons and ammunition. Besides Rfn Arun Kumar Rai six other soldiers of 1/11 GR were martyred during this entire operation. The other martyred brave hearts of 1/11 GR included Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey, Hav Ganga Ram Rai, Hav BB Dewan, Rfn Kalu Ram Rai, Rfn Karna Bahadur Limbu and Hav Jhanak Bahadur Rai. Rfn Arun Kumar Rai was a gritty and courageous soldier, who laid down his life in the line of his duty. Rfn Arun Kumar Rai was awarded, "Mention-in-Dispatches" for his commendable gallantry and supreme sacrifice. 
Rfn Arun Kumar Rai is survived by his wife Smt Bijaya Rai.
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1 Comment
  • Bijay rai

    2021 at 10:46 pm Reply

    Rifleman Arun kumar Rai is a bravest soldier in the inadian Army from Gurkha Rifle. He died fighting close quarter battle using Khukuri hand to hand during kargil war at tiger hill.

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