Service No : 4581390M

Date of Birth : May 23, 1990

Place of birth : Akola, Maharashtra

Service : Army

Last Rank : Sepoy

Unit : 51 RR/15 Mahar

Arm/Regt : The Mahar Regt

Operation : CI & IS Ops

Martyrdom : January 25, 2017

Sepoy Sanju Suresh Khandare

Sepoy Sanju Suresh Khandare hailed from Mana village in Murtizatur tehsil of  Akola district in  Maharashtra. He wanted to serve in the Armed Forces since his childhood and eventually joined the Indian Army after completing his education after completing his school education from his native place. and was recruited into the 15 Mahar battalion of the Mahar Regiment, an infantry Regiment well known for its dauntless soldiers and numerous battle exploits. Besides being an outstanding soldier, he was a keen sportsman too and always ready for action. 


After serving for some time, he got married to Ms. Sheetal and the couple was blessed with a daughter. After serving for a few years with his parent unit, he was deputed to serve with the 51 RR unit, deployed in J & K for counter-insurgency operations. 


Gurez sector avalanche: 25 Jan 2017


During Jan 2017, Sep Sanju Suresh Khandare's unit was deployed in the Gurez sector of North Kashmir along the LOC. The AOR(Area of Responsibility) of the unit spanned over remote rugged mountainous terrain with extreme weather conditions, especially in the winter season. The troops were deployed on various forward posts and often undertook patrol to monitor the area in between the manned posts. Also, heavy snowfall often blocked the roads and hampered the movement of troops which necessitated frequent clearance operations. On 25 Jan 2017, a horrific avalanche struck 51 RR battalion Army camp, which took Sep Sanju Suresh Khandare and many of his comrades off guard. The avalanche hit the post at Neeru village located in the Tulail area, 25 km away from Gurez town in North Kashmir. The place located along the LOC normally remained cut off by road in winter. The avalanche hit the area a few hundred meters away from the HQs of 51 RR unit and trapped the soldiers, who were on patrol.


The soldiers invariably faced extreme risks in manning the inhospitable terrain under extreme weather conditions. Avalanches usually took place due to the accumulation of snow and were triggered by morning sunlight. In other cases, when the slope of accumulated snow was between 60 to 80 degrees, the instability led to an avalanche. Although the Army had a unit of the Snow Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) in Jammu and Kashmir, with several observatories at various locations to issue warnings and alerts to the Army formations and units, it could not detect this avalanche. The magnitude and suddenness of the avalanche did not give any time to Sep Sanju Suresh Khandare and other soldiers of the 51 RR battalion to take any defensive measures.  As a result, the soldiers got buried under tons of snow and it was very difficult to locate them. 


A massive rescue operation was launched by the Army which continued for several hours to locate and rescue the trapped soldiers. The teams of Army undertook rescue operations under extreme weather conditions but could not save the lives of Sep Sanju Suresh Khandare and thirteen other soldiers. Besides Sep Sanju Suresh Khandare, the other martyred brave-hearts included Nb Sub Aram Singh Gurjar, Hav Vijay Kumar Shukla, Naik Ajit Singh, Sep Samundare Vikas, Sep Sanju Suresh Khandare, Sep Anand Gawai, Sep Sandeep Kumar D P, Sep Sunil Patel, Sep Nagaraju Mamidi, Sep Devender Kumar Soni, Sep Elaverson B, Sep Azad Singh, Sep Sundara Pandi, and Craftsman Ankur Singh. Sep Sanju Suresh Khandare was a valiant soldier who laid down his life in the line of his duty.


Sep Sanju Suresh Khandare is survived by his wife Smt Sheetal and daughter.



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1 Comment
  • Jha Jee

    2023at2:11 pm Reply

    I great frnd of mine.

    A great personality, a true professional.

    can’t say in words my eyes are in tears……. Now days the mandir parade is no more without you ….. sanju miss you..

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