Adhikari was leading the central arm of three 10-man teams trying to capture
a bunker at 16,000 ft. He died in the bloody assault but the bunker was
It was an unlikely
place for a husband to read a letter from his wife of 10 months. It was
May 14 and the inky blackness of night was falling on the icy expanse of
the Himalayas. On a rocky ride at 16,000 ft, Major Rajesh Adhikari had
just received a letter from his wife Kiran. With a map in one hand, an
AK-47 assault rifle in the other and a mission to lead an assault on a
vital position called the Tololing heights, Adhikari stuffed the letter
in his pocket. "He said, 'I want to read it in peace tomorrow after the
operation is over'," recalls a fellow officer.
got the chance. That night he and a 10-man Grenadiers team began climbing
towards their fortified objective with picks and axes. Sniper fire killed
a JCO and when it dropped to six below freezing, the mission was called
off. The next day, three teams of 10 men began a new assault. Adhikari
led the central charge, three metres ahead of his men. Hit on the chest,
he grimly drove forward. The bunker fell, but Adhikari lay dead 20 m short
of his objective. His body was finally recovered last week and sent back
to his family in Nainital.
Last rites of Shaheed Adhikari being performed
In the hills
of Garhwal, where they say every third home is a soldier's home, Nainital
joined the family in the long wait, his mother hoping if there was no body,
maybe her son wasn't dead, maybe he would one day walk in, that eternal
smile on his face. She had seen it all through his school, St Joseph's,
Nainital, all through his college years and on his visits home, while recounting
his river rafting exploits, while playing old Hindi favourites on his old
guitar. In the end she accepted reality -- and bade him farewell on his
last journey to a pyre beside the Gola river.
and Ramesh Vinayak
highest wartime gallantry award MAHA VIR CHAKRA was awarded to Major Rajesh
Singh Adhikari on 15th August 1999.
Major R S Adhikari's sister Mamta, stands in
silence after laying a wreath on the mortal remains of her brother. Major Adhikari made the supreme sacrifice
in Tololing capture operation in Kargil. PTI photo
Mechanized Infantry's Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari, the second army officer
to die in the operations against infiltrators, had caused heavy casualties
to the intruders and forced them to withdraw before succumbing to injuries
in Drass sector, the army said today.
It said the officer,
who was presently with the Grenadiers, had been given the task of clearing
a height which he carried out after making the supreme sacrifice.
29, belonged to Tallital in Nainital district of Uttar Pradesh and was
commissioned as an officer in 1993. Married last year to Kiran Negi, he
was going to celebrate his first wedding anniversary on June 9.