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Major Sushil Aima - KIRTI CHAKRA (posthumous)

Major Sushil Aima - KIRTI CHAKRA (posthumous)

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Description: Laid down his life for the nation on 1st Aug 1999 in Poonch, J&K
Date: 10.09.2006 21:13
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Join Date: 13.10.2005
Comments: 27
20.09.2006 11:48 Offline cashmeeri

Join Date: 13.10.2005
Comments: 27
Army Major, 5 top militants killed; 2 hurt in Poonch gun-battle (Daily Excelsior)

Army Major, 5 top militants killed; 2 hurt in Poonch gun-battle - Excelsior Correspondent -POONCH, Aug 1:

An Army Major and five dreaded militants were killed and two army jawans were injured in a fierce gun-battle in Kopra forests, about five kms east of Mandi in this district today. Major Sushil Aima fought bravely in the encounter and single handedly eliminated three militants before laying down his life.

A Defence spokesman said Major Sushil Aima, an officer from 17 Rashtriya Rifles belonging to Delta Force was given a task for intercepting and neutralising a recently infiltrated group of 10 hardcore foreign mercenaries hailing from Pakistan. A tip off was received which said that militants were suspected to be hiding in the thick forest area of Kopra.

The Major with a small commando team tracked down the militants last night and established troops on all escape routes. At about 1000 hours today, the militants were challenged by the Army personnel. The militants lobbed grenades on the army team to facilitate their escape.

In the grenade attacks, two army jawans were seriously injured. As an escape route was made out for them, Major Sushil Aima who was positioned little further rushed to the site and saw the militants hiding in a maize field, the spokesman said, adding the Major came face-to-face with the militants, surprising them.

With little reaction time, the Major grappled with three militants and shot two of them dead, displaying a rare and most daring act of bravery. However, in the meantime, another militant, who was covering his associates from behind a rock, fired a burst of Universal Machine Gun (UMG) on him.

The Major suffered brust on his chest but despite being seriously injured he eliminated third militant as well. The Major attained martyrdom in the encounter keeping up the high traditions of the Indian army.

Other army jawans sealed escape route of the militants and entangled them in the encounter. Till the reports last came in, two more militants had been eliminated by the army taking death toll in the encounter to five.

The spokesman said atleast five more militants were still hiding in the forest area. Additional reinforcement of army has been rushed to the spot and fire fight was going on till the reports last came in. Army said it was likely to take another 24 hours to complete the operation.

Thirty two year old Major Sushil Aima from the Corps of Air Defence of Artillery was a native Kashmiri, who volunteered to serve with elite Rashtriya Rifles and fight for the cause of his country, the spokesman said. Currently settled in Delhi, he is survived by his wife and a four year old daughter.

Major General C S Brar, the General Officer Commanding, Delta Force has lauded the bravery with which the Major gave his supreme sacrifice of life for his mother land. Major General Brar offered condolences to bereaved family of the Major.
20.09.2006 12:00 Offline cashmeeri

Join Date: 13.10.2005
Comments: 27
A Sister's Tribute (From BHARAT RAKSHAK - Profiles in Heroism Archives)
5.45 p.m, August 1st, 1999. The phone rings.... The caller has sad news to convey. " Madam, your brother, Major Aima made the supreme sacrifice while fighting the militants this morning. Please get in touch with the authorities and collect his body from the airport tomorrow"

I looked at my parents face, who were ready to hear something unwanted, told them their son had become a martyr. At the outset we did not realize what had hit us and it took us sometime to absorb the shock. Throughout the Kargil episode my parents were glued to the T.V set, praying for the success of our brave soldiers. Little did they know that they too would join the ranks of proud martyr families.

Ironically, 2nd August, the day we received my brother's body, was also his 5th wedding anniversary. He had promised to surprise us on his wedding anniversary and he kept this promise by joining his martyr colleagues. It was typical of him to come home on leave without informing us in advance to surprise us. This time too he came suddenly, in form of a martyr and that was his last surprise for all of us. Death is inevitable, but blessed are the ones who confront it with bold and brave hearts. Sushil is an example, an ideal to whom his fellow countrymen can look up to. In a poem he had written, "Death" , he explained death as a wonderful and divine fact of life and not what one ought to be scared of. No wonder, the whole nation salutes the martyrs, who have died for the country and for each one of us, forgetting the pleasures of materialistic mundane world.

Born on 15th July, 1966, Sushil was just two and a half years younger to me – more like a friend and confidante. However, at times I would boast of being elder to him and hence richer in experience. Never did I realize that he would surpass us all and become the most experienced person by giving up his life for the sake of the country . That reminds me of a phrase "Life is what happens to us while we make other plans".

His last words, prior to his departure for Poonch in April 99, still echo in my mind. He had said " Listen, tomorrow I may die , so remember this ...my profession is such that any thing can happen ". For the masses, Kargil war may be history. But for the families who have lost sons , brothers, fathers and husbands, the battle still rages on. They are fighting a daily war within themselves, of their mind with the heart, a war of memories, a war of sentiments.

I would sum up this note with a small poem for all the martyr families and pray that they all live up with grace and dignity and honor the sacrifice which their beloved ones made for the country.

The past has gone by
And future yet to come
Live up each moment of your life
For any moment could be your end
A hope carries and ferry’s you across
The Mundane world
Is too messed up
To recover your immense loss
The faith within will guide you each day
And glorify and sanctify
All residing
In your way

Savitri Aima
20.09.2006 12:27 Offline cashmeeri

Join Date: 13.10.2005
Comments: 27
"HAIL, YE INDOMITABLE HEROES, HAIL" (Shyam Kaul in Kashmir Sentinel)

By Shyam Kaul (Safapuri)

In mid-eighties, when young Sushil Aima, a 12th class student, sought admission to the National Defence Academy, he did not inform his parents or any other member of the family. He feared that with the exclusive artistic background of the Aima family, nobody would approve of it.

But after he was selected in 1985, Sushil reluctantly went to his father and gave him the news, fearing that the answer would be a firm ‘No’. But that did not happen. His father, Makhanlal Aima, an insurance officer, did not get angry, but he did appear visibly surprised. ‘Papa’, Sushil told him, “joining the army has been my dream and today my dream has come true. I assure you I will not disappoint you. I will make a good soldier”.

Major Sushil came from a gifted family of Srinagar. His uncle, late Mohanlal Aima, was among the moving spirits of the post-1947 revival of Kashmiri music. He lifted the Kashmiri “chhakri” from its plebeian moorings and gave it popularity and respectability among the high-born Kashmiris. Through the medium of newly established radio station in Srinagar, he was instrumental in bringing out the “sufiana” music from the “diwankhanas” of the elite and taking it to the homes of common people.

Omkar Aima, another uncle of Sushil, was a stage personality before he moved on to Bombay films, starting with the lead role in first-ever Kashmiri feature film, ‘Mainzraat’.

Satish Kaul, a cousin of Sushil, carved a place for himself, both in Hindi and Punjabi films. Another cousin, Alok Aima,has made a name in Hindi and English theatre in Dubai.

Sushil was commissioned in the army in 1988, as the years rolled by, he grew into a fine soldier, and, when the moment of ultimate challenge came, he touched the pinnacle of valour, which any soldier anywhere in the world would be proud of. In his brief career he earned the praise of his superiors for his bravery, initiative and leadership qualities, especially, during his stint in Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir, one of the worst militancy-affected areas.

In 1997, Sushil was given the rank of a Major. In 1999, when he was 32, with a promising future ahead of him, he was martyred in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir, defending his motherland. He fought valiantly till his last breath against the Pakistani intruders, and joined the select ranks of the martyrs of the great Indian army. In his death, in the prime of his youth, Major Aima covered himself with glory, and brought honour to his family, his people and his country. For a country, no glory can be greater and nobler than that brought by its soldier sons who lay down their lives while defending the honour of their motherland. Sushil Aima immortalised himself as one such soldier son of India.

The first day of August ’99 was hot and humid. Makhanlal Aima and his family were home at Palam Vihar (Haryana), trying to ward off the oppression of the sultry weather. But they were also eagerly awaiting the arrival of Sushil, who was to join the family to celebrate his fifth wedding anniversary, the next day, August 2.

But Major Sushil did not arrive. He never did. Instead came a stupefying shock, a message from the army, that he was no more. He had been killed in an encounter with Pakistan-backed mercenary terrorists in Poonch, where he was posted, on the eve of his wedding anniversary.

Late at night, when Major Sushil was resting after having made preparations for his departure for Delhi next morning, news was brought to him that a large group of foreign mercenaries had assembled on a nearby hill. It was learnt that the group had plans to attack a village in the vicinity, largely inhabited by members of one particular community.

A hurried conference was held. It was decided to go into action, surround the terrorists, and then launch a full-blooded attack, to be led by Maj Sushil. The young officer and his jawans soon made contact with the enemy and a fierce encounter followed. It lasted for seven hours, and ended up with a hand-to-hand fight, with heavy losses among the intruders. Two terrorists fell to the bullets of Major Shushil, but in the later stage of the encounter, he was fatally wounded when a bullet hit him in his left temple. Holding the revolver in his left hand, he also shot dead the third terrorist who had fired the fatal shot at him. Then he provided cover to a colleague, who had been grievously injured in a grenade blast, and helped him crawl to safety. It was then that Major Sushil’s end came.

When the body of the deceased hero was brought to his home at Palam Vihar, hundreds of people had gathered there to be with the bereaved family in its hour of grief. They stood there, men and women, in silent sorrow. Not many had seen or known the young army officer, but here was India, paying its homage, to a martyred son of India.

Makhanlal Aima, holding in his arms his nine-month old grandson, Sidharth, was a picture of restraint and dignity. His friends, crowded round him with words of sympathy and consolation. In a choked voice he told them, “it is an irreparable loss to all of us, and a perpetual agony for the two small kids and their young mother. But I also think of scores of other parents and relatives, who, like us, have been receiving the dead bodies of their soldier sons from the battlefront. I don’t consider it as mere death. It is martyrdom. A moment of pride and honour for all of us.”

Later when Major Sushil’s body was taken for its last rites, Palam Vihar was transofmred into a sea of people. Thousands of them lined the road, among them school children too, whose schools had been closed for the day. Businessmen closed their establishments and shops to join the funeral procession. From ministers of Haryana, led by Revenue Minister, Kailash Sharma, to the local sarpanch, Ranjit Singh, there was hardly a civil or army dignitary, who was not there to bid farewell to Major Sushil Aima. His officers and colleagues in the army were there in full strength.

It was a spontaneous gush of sorrow. It overwhelmed the Aima family. Omkar Aima could contain himself no more. With tears trickling down his cheeks he thought of the dark days, a decade ago, when the eruption of terrorism in Kashmir, had driven out the entire Pandit community from the Valley. At that time no fleeing Pandit knew where he would find safe refuge. Everyone of them wondered whether he would be owned anywhere and whether he would belong anywhere.

Walking alongside the cortege of his nephew, Omkar felt Major Aima was the son of India and the exiled Pandit community belonged to the whole of India, and every nook and corner of the country was its home.

Held by his grandfather in his arms, little Sidharth was made to light the pyre of his father, who had been described as the “bravest of brave” by a senior officer of his, Maj Gen A Mukherji. Who knows what dreams Major Aima had dreamed for his little son and four-year daughter, Ridhi. But one can be sure that he died with the confidence that a grateful nation, he left behind, would give them a happy childhood and a secure future.

A few days later a special function was held at Rohtak where Haryana Chief Minister, OP Chautala, handed over a cheque of Rs 10 lakhs to Archana Aima, widow of Maj Sushil. The hearts of Omkar and Makhanlal Aima, who were present, brimmed with gratitude for the people of Haryana, Maj Sushil’s adopted state. But a gnawing feeling rankled deep down in their hearts. Sushil was born and brought up in Kashmir, and he was martyred on the soil of Kashmir. And yet, the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah, did not have a word of sympathy or condolence to convey to the bereaved Aima family.

Sushil has gone to eternal sleep, as did many brave soldier sons of this country during the summer of 1999, after shedding the last drop of their blood for the honour and integrity of their motherland.

On Fame’s eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory guards, with solemn ground,
The bivouac of the dead
20.09.2006 14:29 Offline cashmeeri