Today is the birth anniversary of a legend; one of the few whose bust stands tall in his Battalion. This Battalion has to its credit many immensely brave men, some who have gone and some who are still there. This piece is about one such brave officer; Capt. Arun Kumar Jasrotia Ashok Chakra, Sena Medal.
Capt. Arun Kumar Jasrotia was born on 16th Aug’ 1968, to Lt. Col Prabhat Singh and Mrs. Satya Devi and hailed from Sujanpur in Pathankot, Punjab. Capt. Arun always dreamt of donning the Uniform just like his father and grandfather. He completed his school education from Kendriya Vidyalaya school no.1 and joined National Defence Academy. After successful completion of military training in National Defence Academy and Indian Military Academy, he was commissioned into 8 Bihar Regiment on 17 December 1989.
Capt. Arun was a part of Op Rakshak in the initial days of service, under 8 Mountain Div and 28 Inf Div. Eventually, Capt. Arun was inducted in to 9 PARA SF (Special Forces). He had been awarded with a Sena Medal.
On 15th Sept 1995, Capt Arun’s unit received inputs from intelligence sources that there were about 20 terrorists present in a cave in the Lolab Valley. A search and destroy operation was launched under the leadership of Capt. Arun. Capt Arun and his team moved out in the dark night, which was accompanied by rains too. They had to climb for around 10 hours to reach the height of 3000 meters. Capt. Arun Jasrotia was considered to be a lucky officer and his men believed that his rifle spoke more than he did. He was someone who was always calm and never got deterred. When he and his team closed in on the hideout, the militants began firing at them since they were well positioned. This did not deter Capt. Arun or his team. He moved forward and killed one terrorist with his commando knife and another one with a hand grenade and moved towards the cave. As he did so, he was hit further by two more bullets. His team attacked the rest of the terrorists and eliminated all of them. Capt. Jasrotia fought for his life for nine days before succumbing to his injuries on 24th September 95 at Base Hospital, Delhi. His smile did not fade even in those days of fighting for his life. He was awarded the highest peace time gallantry award ‘Ashok Chakra’ for his outstanding bravery and supreme sacrifice. He was also conferred with ‘Nishan-e-Khalsa’ by the Punjab Government in 1999.
Two gallantry awards at the young age of 27! That itself is enough testimony of his valour. Gone too soon! But never forgotten. You have been an inspiration for many Jazzy Sir and you will continue to be so.