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Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, is a recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military award. He was the leading Scout of a team tasked to capturing Area Flat Top on July 4, 1999 during the Kargil war. The area was held by Pakistan military. Having scaled the cliff, the team was pinned down by machine gun fire from an enemy bunker, about 150 meters away.


Kumar, realizing the magnitude of the problem and the detrimental effect this bunker would have in the capture of Area Flat Top, crawled alone up the ledge, along a flank, and charged towards the enemy bunker through a hail of automatic fire. Almost instantly he took two bullets in his chest and forearm that left him bleeding profusely.

Though bleeding from the bullet wounds, he continued the charge towards the bunker. In hand-to-hand fighting, he killed three enemy soldiers. He then picked up an enemy machine gun and crept towards the second enemy bunker. The enemy soldiers, taken completely by surprise, were killed by him as they fled their post. Inspired by his act the rest of the platoon charged, assaulted the feature and captured Area Flat Top.

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Citation

The citation for the Param Vir Chakra awarded to him reads:

RIFLEMAN SANJAY KUMAR
13 JAMMU AND KASHMIR RIFLES (13760533)

Rifleman Sanjay Kumar volunteered to be the leading scout of the attacking column tasked to capture area Flat Top of Point 4875 in the Mushkoh Valley on 4 July 1999. During the attack when enemy automatic fire from one of the sangars posed stiff opposition and stalled the column, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar realizing the gravity of the situation and with utter disregard to his personal safety, charged at the enemy. In the ensuing hand-to- hand combat, he killed three of the intruders and was himself seriously injured. Despite his injuries, he charged onto the second sangar. Taken totally by surprise, the enemy left behind a Universal Machine Gun and started running.

Rifleman Sanjay Kumar picked up the UMG and killed the fleeing enemy. Although bleeding profusely, he refused to be evacuated. The brave action on his part motivated his comrades and they took no notice of the treacherous terrain and charged onto the enemy and wrested the area Flat Top from the hands of the enemy.

Rifleman Sanjay Kumar displayed most conspicuous gallantry, cool courage and devotion to duty of an exceptionally high order in the face of the enemy.

His early life

Born on 3 March 1976 in village Bakain, Distt. Bilaspur to Shri Durga Ram. His schooling took place in the Govt. Sr. Secondary School Kalol. During the period of 1993-94 in Delhi, he worked as driver in private company. He was selected in Indian Army in 4 June 1996 after being rejected twice before. He got posting in the 13th Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. This village had sent many brave men in the Army. His uncle is in the Army while his second brother is also a sepoy with the Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP).

In popular culture

Sanjay Kumar's story along with others who were part of the same conflict was portrayed in the movie LOC Kargil and the character was played by Sunil Shetty.

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