Date of Martyrdom: 18th June 1999
Martyrs are symbols of exceptional leadership and heroism in the face of difficult circumstances.
June18,1999 was another day when our Army lost one of its whip-smart officer Captain Deepak Guleria to the militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.
Born on March 9,1968 in Ajmer to the family of M.L Guleria, a former DIG(CRPF), Deepak, a Kendriya Vidyalaya student was known for his vigour and courage since has childhood.
After graduating from Layola College, Chennai, his Army career took off in May 1991, when he joined Officers’ Training Academy in Chennai. Initially, he was appointed as Company’ Havildar Major (CHM) and later, commissioned as second Lieutenant into the Army Service Corps in March 1992.
Capt. Guleria was an avid sportsman and excelled in various sports including lawn tennis , table tennis and basketball. He represented his unit in various sports and won laurels both at Service as well as National levels. To add glory to his career, he was asked to lead a joint service car rally as part of the Golden Jubilee celebration of India’s Independence from Dwarka to New Delhi in Dec,1997. Capt. Guleria got married to Poonam, daughter of an IAF Officer , Wg CDR H.L Ratta in Dec, 1994. When he was serving in the Army HQ TPT Company, they were blessed with a son , Dhruv on 8 April , 1998.
Fate had taken him to J&K , where he was posted as Staff Captain to 3RR Sector HQ.
As Operation Vijay was launched in June 1999, there was an increase in counterinsurgency operations and the troops had to maintain a very high state of alert at all times. On 18 June,1999 the militants engineered an IED blast on the Srinagar-Kargil Highway injuring many soldiers and civilians. They were sent to a nearby helipad to be taken to hospital. Capt. Guleria responded immediately and swung into action with his troops.
When he was about to return to the base , a second blast took place and Capt. Guleria was hit by a barrage of shrapnel. He was taken to the base hospital at Srinagar, but the 30- year old officer succumbed to his injuries on his way to the hospital.
Captain Guleria was given the gallantry award ‘ Sena Medal’ on Jan 15,2001 for his commendable courage, comradeship, leadership and supreme sacrifice.
Mrs. Guleria was told by the officers that her husband had been injured in the leg. After much wait and persuasion, the news was broken to her at the hospital and she completely blacked out. When she regained consciousness , she insisted on seeing his body which was in a coffin. She hugged him and touched his feet for the last time. She said that it was all very hard for her but something kept pushing her. Her husband always wanted her to be strong. Next she knew it was an half-hour Air-force flight to Chandigarh along with his body and her son in her arms which must have taken courage of a formidable kind. Though, knowing of the risks, she said that she would never stop her son from joining the Armed Forces, if he desires so.
Hardships have to be accepted. Some do it with bitterness, some challengingly and others stoically. Mrs. Guleria belongs to the last category. It isn’t life that matters, it is the courage you bring to it.
Capt. Guleria was a gallant officer who would always be remembered in the hearts of citizens of our nation.
Wrapped in Tricolour
Shiny metals stuck to Chest.
A hero arrived home in a casket
Full of depth.
Jai Hind , Jai Bharat.