Second Lt. Rajeev Sandhu was born to Mr. Devendar Singh and Mrs. Jaikanta Sandhu. He got the will to join the armed forces by his family. As his father had served in the Indian Air Force, and his grandfather had shown his valour in the Second World War, when he was in Indian Army. He had completed his schooling from Chandigarh and then graduated from DAV College of Punjab University. After graduation, in 1987, he joined OTA Chennai for the Short Service Commission for the 25th Course. He popped his stars on 5th March 1988. And commissioned to 7th Battalion of Assam Regiment. In his first posting he joined 7 Assam in Sri Lanka which was deployed as IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force).
|Service No||SS 33343|
|DOB||July 12, 1996|
|Last Rank||2 Lieutinant|
|Regiment||The Assam Regiment|
|Operation||Operation Pawan(Sri Lanka)|
|Award||Maha Vir Chakra|
|Date Of Martyrdom||July 19, 1988|
OPERATION PAWAN 1988
In June, he was transferred to C Company of 19 Madras under the command of Major Pradip Mitra. On 19th July, 1988 he was leading a convoy of two vehicles, an open RCL (Recoil Less Gun) and a 1ton lorry to collect rations from their unit which was around 8 kms away. They were passing through an empty waste building near the jungle, when they were attacked with heavy firing, with a 40mm Rocket launched from the right side of the road. Lance Naik Nandeshwar Das and Sepoy Lalbuanga were seated in the rear seat and were martyred instantly when hit by the fire. And the rocket launcher hit the front of the jeep. The driver Naik Rajkumar was seriously wounded and fell from the jeep. 2nd Lt Rajeev was also hit by a launcher which damaged his both legs, and he was toppled outside of the car. He was bleeding profusely, but while falling from the car, he managed to take his 9mm carbine with him and crawled to a firing position. The militant came to the spot and assumed that everyone was dead. He wanted to pick up ammunition and weapons, but was surprised by the Lt. when he shot him with his gun with the blood soaked hands.
He was the sector commander of them, as identified later on.
Then he was subjected to heavy firing from the enemy, but he kept on his position and fired upon them to deny taking the body of the militant or taking any weapon with them. Suddenly a nearby party came to their rescue after hearing the fire shots. Naik Bhagirath came towards the jeep and saw the young officer, who was bleeding profusely, and firing upon the enemies with full of courage and bravery upon a large number of terrorists. On seeing Naik, 2nd Lt. Rajeev signalled him to flank towards the enemy and block their escape. On seeing this, the terrorists feel they will be killed, and they ran towards the jungle, leaving everything behind. A group went in their search but were not able to find it. Meanwhile Sepoy Kamkholum moved his vehicle towards the officer to lift him for his safety, upon this 2nd Lt Rajeev Sandhu ordered him in a very low sound because of heavy blood loss and grievance injuries, to evacuate the protection party first, then weapons were collected and a group was left to keep the area under their surveillance. Because of heavy blood loss he went to coma, and he breathed his last while he was being evacuated on a chopper. He was awarded Maha Vir Chakra, 2nd highest war time gallantry award, for indomitable courage on 26th March 1990 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He earned this honour in just 4 months of his service which made him immortal. He showed exemplary courage and bravery while his both legs were heavily mutilated and he was not able to walk. He was a true inspiration for the youths. He sacrificed his life for the pride of the unit and Indian Army. While being injured badly he continued to lead his men from the enemy firing. He will always be remembered in our hearts.