Date of Birth : 1994
Place of birth : Pauri Garh(U'khand)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Sowar
Arm/Regt : The Armoured Corps
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Martyrdom : December 21, 2023
Sowar Gautam Kumar hailed from Kotdwar village of Pauri Garhwal district in Uttarakhand and was born in the year 1994. Swr Gautam Kumar was the youngest among four siblings with two sisters and one brother. Like many young people in Uttarakhand, Swr Gautam Kumar was too inclined to serve in the Armed Forces since his younger days. Following his passion, he eventually joined the Army in 2014 at the age of 20 years. He was recruited into the 89 Armoured Regiment of the Armoured Corps, a Corps well known for its powerful tanks and other heavy weaponry.
After serving with his parent regiment for quite some time, he was deputed to serve with the 48 RR battalion deployed in J&K for counter-insurgency operations. By 2023, he had put in around 09 years of service and evolved into a dedicated and professionally competent soldier. Swr Gautam Kumar was engaged on 30 Sep 2023 and was to be married on 11 March 2024, but destiny had something else in store for him.
Poonch Operation (J&K) : 20/21 Dec 2023
During Dec 2023, Swr Gautam Kumar’s unit 48 RR was deployed in the Poonch district of J&K and was engaged in operations against the militants frequently. As the unit’s AOR(Area of Responsibility) was prone to infiltration by the militants, the unit troops had to maintain a high state of alert at all times. The unit undertook operations regularly in its AOR to check the infiltration and one such operation was assigned to the unit on 20 Dec 2023. Swr Gautam Kumar was made part of the team that was tasked to undertake that operation. On 21 Dec 2023, Swr Gautam Kumar and his comrades set off for the suspected site for a search and cordon operation in Surankote tehsil of Poonch district.
However, as the convoy carrying the soldiers was on its way, the suspected terrorists carried out an attack on two Army vehicles – a gypsy and a truck on the road between Dera-Ki-Gali (DKG) and Buffliaz areas in Surankote tehsil. The heavily armed terrorists ambushed the Army vehicles at a blind curve at Dhatyar Morh between Dhera Ki Gali and Bufliaz under the jurisdiction of the Surankote police station at around 3.45 pm. It appeared that the Pakistan-sponsored terrorists in a pre-planned move, were waiting in the hideout to ambush the troops in the vehicles and carry out their sinister plan. The terrorists had chosen that place to attack as the stretch between Dhera Ki Gali and Bufliaz on the boundary of Rajouri and Poonch districts was densely forested and led to Chamrer forest and then Bhata Dhurian forest, which provided safe escape routes. The sudden attack had a devastating effect and as a result, many soldiers got severely injured. Swr Gautam Kumar and three other soldiers soon succumbed to their injuries and were martyred. One more soldier too later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Besides Swr Gautam Kumar, the other three martyred brave hearts included Naik Karan Kumar, Nk Birendra Singh, and Swr Chandan Kumar. Swr Gautam Kumar was a gallant and committed soldier, who had laid down his life at the age of 29 years in the line of his duty.
Swr Gautam Kumar is survived by his mother Smt Neelam Devi, brother Shri Rahul Kumar, and two married sisters.