Naik Gawade Pandurang Mahadev belonged to the Sindhudurg district in Maharashtra. Naik Gawade had aimed to join the Indian Army at his early age. And he fulfilled his aim at an age of 20 by getting recruited into the 14 Maratha Light Infantry. After serving for few years with his unit, Naik Gawade later deputed to 41 RR deployed in J & K area to counter terrorists in the area.
|Place of Birth||Maharashtra|
|Unit||41 RR/ 14 Maratha LI|
|Regiment||Maratha Light Infantry/ Rashtirya Rifles|
|Date of Martyrdom||21st May 2016|
During 2016, Naik Gawade’s unit 41 RR was operating in the Kupwara district. They were having regular terrorist encounters in their area of action. On 21 May 2016, their unit recovered information from intelligence sources about the presence of some militants in the Chak Durgmulla area in the Kupwara district. A joint team of Army and J & K police was launched to nab the militants. Naik Gawade was part of the contingent from 41 RR that formed the team. The team launched the operation as planned and cordoned well the suspected area. Naik Gawade was part of the team which initially made contact with the terrorists. Naik Gawade closed into the location and kept directing the rest of the team members to make effective fire onto the terrorists. While he was closing in, he was hit by splinters and sustained serious injuries on the head and face after which he was evacuated to 168 Military Hospital. The militants were heavily armed and the gun battle continued for nine odd hours, and due to the great efforts of security forces, they eliminated all five terrorists. But unfortunately, Naik Gawade succumbed to his injuries.
Naik Gawade was remembered as a very brave soldier, who was always dedicated to his duty. For his conspicuous bravery, he was awarded Shaurya Chakra.