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Ashok Chakra for braveheart Major
January 25, 2008 12:12 IST
Last Updated: January 25, 2008 15:08 IST
He was just days away from flying home to see his first child when he led his men upfront in a bloody encounter with intruding militants in Kashmir valley. Major Dinesh Raghu Raman rescued a colleague, who was caught in the firing line, but he lost his life.
Raman will be posthumously conferred with the nation's highest peacetime award, the Ashok Chakra, on Republic Day.
Braving heavy gunfire from holed up Lashkar-e-Toiba militants in Ringwari hamlet in Tangmarg in Baramulla district, the 34 Rashtriya Rifles officer led his men in the encounter. Nine militants were killed in the encounter, which was billed as the bloodiest gunfight in Kashmir valley last year.
Raman rushed to the gunfight site on hearing about his forces cordoning off a house in the hamlet, following a tip-off that a big group of terrorists was holed up in the house, after managing to sneak across the Line of Control.
Raman also went headlong into the terrorist firing line to rescue his colleague Major K P Vinay, in the best traditions of camaraderie in the Army.
After slaying a number of terrorists, Raman brought back Major Vinay from the firing line and in the process received shots in his chest and legs.
Raman, along with his injured fellow soldiers, was airlifted to the Srinagar [Images] base hospital, where he succumbed to injuries.
As he was being taken away from the encounter site, the profusely bleeding Raman's last words to his men were, "Don't let any terrorist escape".
Raman's wife Latha, an employee of Tata Consultancy Services [Get Quote], was on an assignment to London [Images] and had just returned as she was expecting her first child in two months time. Raman had applied for leave to join his wife.
Receiving his body at Palam technical area in New Delhi, his father veteran Subedar Major (Hon captain) S Krishnamurthy said "In spite of losing my son, I would still advise my grandchild who is yet to be born, to join the Army and serve the nation".
Major Raghu Raman hailed from Kachipuram in Tamil Nadu and was commissioned in 1999 in the Jat regiment.