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2nd Lt Rajiv Pandey was born on 11th April 1962 and he belonged from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. He was born in a military family. His father Lt. Col R P Pandey had served in the Indian Army. His mother was Mrs. Sankuntala Pandey. 2nd Lt Rajiv Pandey was determined to join the Armed Forces since his childhood to follow the footsteps of his father. After completing his graduation from Government science college, Raipur, he applied for CDS Examination and got selected for training in Officer’s Training Academy, Chennai. He got commissioned on 8th June 1985 as a 2nd Lt at the age of 23. He got commissioned into 8 JAK LI of the J & K Light Infantry Regiment. During his early service, 2nd Lt Rajiv Pandey got posted in the Siachen area, the highest battlefield in the world.

Service NumberIC-43117
Place of BirthMadhya Pradesh
Rank2nd Lieutenant
Unit8 JAK LI
RegimentJ&K Light Infantry
Award Vir Chakra
Date of Martyrdom29th May 1987

After the ending of the first Indo-Pak War of 1947-48, a Cease-Fire Line (CFL) was established from Manawar in Jammu to Khor (NJ9842) in Ladakh, just short of the Karakoram glaciers. No precise line was extended beyond this and under the Shimla Agreement of 1972, the CFL was redefined and named as the Line of Control (LoC). In the 1980s Pakistan started provocative actions in the Siachen area, so India made their move early and took the area under their control in an operation named Operation Meghdoot. Later, Pakistan also launched an assault in the area and took control of the highest peak of the area, which was located to the south of Bilafond La. In April 1986, Pakistan Army made their post and renamed it “Quaid Post”. The peak inclined 80° to 85° on all three sides surrounding it. On the 18th of April 1987, the Pakistani troops fired towards Indian Army soldiers from Quaid Post killing two of them. Two soldiers lost their lives from the firing. Then Indian Army decided to take the post under their control. launch an operation to occupy the Quaid Post. 8 JAK LI was tasked with the operation. To start the operation with a good move, they first made a team that will get better insight into the area and will tell from which we had to proceed. 2nd Lt. Rajiv Pandey was leading the team which has a total of 13 troops including him. On 29th May 1987, 2nd Lt Rajiv Pandey started their task. The weather there was very bad and the terrain was too difficult, that’s why only Siachen was termed as the most difficult battlefield
in the world. The task involved negotiating a stretch of 3 kilometers in the open on the glacier face and thereafter a climb of a nearly vertical ice wall of 12000 feet. 2nd Lt Rajiv Pandey led his soldiers crawling inch by inch, motivating his troops throughout the mission. The assigned task was to identify the best approach route to the Post and mark it with ropes. 2nd Lt Rajiv Pandey and his team despite facing challenging conditions, managed to establish several footholds on the vertical ice wall and had laid a rope to the top. When they were just 30 meters away from the peak, Pakistan Army saw them and started firing indiscriminately on them. Ten of the soldiers got hit directly from the enemy fire. And those include the leader of the troops. 2nd Lt. Rajiv Pandey and nine others were martyred on this mission. Till reaching the point., the troops reached, 2nd Lt Rajiv Pandey displayed raw courage, and set a great example of leadership.

His devotion to duty during the assigned mission made him be awarded “Vir Chakra” posthumously.

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