Hero of Rashtriya Rifles- The Major Who Laid His Life to Save His Men in Poonch

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Major P Shyam Sundar was born on 2 August 1975  to Mr. J. Panchapagesan and Mrs.P Lakshmi at Sishu Mangal, Kolkata. He was the  4th child in the family after Shyama Sridharan, Hema Murali and Maya Balaji.  He did his schooling from Andhra Association School, Kolkata. He also had interest in martial arts and learnt Karate from Shivaji Ganguli and later earned the coveted Black belt in that sport. He was an expert swimmer and won prizes in all swimming styles at Rabindra Sarobar Lakes ; he also had won many trophies in rowing competitions. His other forte were  Badminton, Squash and athletics  which he used to play at Excelsior’s club and South India Club.

Maj Sundar got selected for NDA and later passed out with distinction  and joined the prestigious  Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. After completing his training in 1997 form IMA ,where he excelled again,  he  was commissioned as Lieutenant and chose the highly challenging division of Infantry, 10 Madras Regiment. During his service Maj Sundar fought tough battles in jungle with terrorists and infiltrators by leading from the front and eliminated a number of  of terrorists with his fighting skills. Owing to his excellent service record and leadership skills , he soon got promoted to Major and later was sent on deputation to  38-RR to take part in counter insurgency operations against terrorists  in Kashmir.

Poonch Operation : 05 March 2006

During 2006, Maj Shyam Sundar’s unit 39 RR was deployed in Poonch sector engaged in operations against the terrorists. On 05 Mar 2006, his unit received the information from the intelligence sources about the presence of terrorists in a jungle close to Bhimber Gali in Poonch District. After analyzing the situation, it was decided to launch a search and destroy operation against the terrorists under the leadership of Maj Shyam Sundar. Maj Shyam along with his troops swung into action and reached the suspected area. The assault team soon took up positions to cordon off the area, but in no time they came under attack from the terrorists.

A fierce gun battle followed and the troops succeeded in eliminating few of the terrorists. However during the heavy exchange of fire, one of the soldiers of the team , Sepoy Rama Rao, got severely injured and fell down. Realizing the critical situation and the danger to the life of his fellow wounded soldier, Maj Shyam Sundar decided to move the soldier himself to a safer place. Disregarding his personal safety Maj Shyam Sundar swiftly moved forward to retrieve the wounded soldier, however in doing so he too got hit by a barrage of gunshots and was severely injured. He finally succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Major Shyam Sundar showed extreme courage, valour and camaraderie and laid down his life in the service of the nation.

Maj Shyam Sundar was given the gallantry award “Sena Medal” posthumously for his courage, leadership and supreme sacrifice. Maj Shyam Sundar is survived by his wife Deepa , daughter Disha , parents and sisters.

The Citation for the award Sena Medal reads him to:

On 5th March 2006, during the fateful operation led by Major Shyam his contingent came under heavy firing by the militants who were hiding in a jungle close to Bhimber Gali in Poonch District. In the ensuing gun battle with the militants, one of the soldiers of the group , Sepoy Rama Rao, got hit by a militant’s firing. Major Shyam Sundar pushed himself  to retrieve the wounded soldier,however in that effort he too was hit by gunshot and finally succumbed to the injury. Major Shyam Sundar had a heroic death wherein he showed extreme courage, valour and camaraderie and laid down his life fighting for the country. He was awarded Sena Medal posthumously.

Some Quotes from the personal diary of Maj Shyam Sunder on military and soldier :

“A WARRIOR” IS A PERSON, A MAN OF HONOR WHOSE ACTIONS, HOWEVER MUCH DEATH AND DESTRUCTIVE THEY CAUSE ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE WARRIOR’S SPECIAL MORAL CODE. THEY ORGANISE PEOPLE TO KILL, BUT THEY ARE NOT MURDERERS; THEY DIE BUT THEY ARE NOT ACCIDENT VICTIMS.

  • THERE ARE ONLY TWO TYPES OF SOLDIERS. THE GOOD ONES AND THE DEAD ONES.
  • MY FATE IS NOT IN GOD’S HAND TILL THERE IS A WEAPON IN MINE
  • ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS PROVE YOUR WORTH
  • SUCCESS COMES TO THOSE WHO DARE AND ACT AND NEVER TO THOSE WHO FEAR AND WAIT
  • IF DEATH STRIKES BEFORE I PROVE MY BLOOD I SWEAR I WILL KILL DEATH
  • BEFORE YOU SAY “I CAN’T” SAY “I WILL TRY”
  • I LIVE BY CHANCE, LOVE BY CHOICE, KILL BY PROFESSION
  • NDA—- MAKER OF MEN YOU WANT COURAGE I WILL SHOW YOU THE MAN YOU WANT SACRIFICE I WILL SHOW YOU THE MAN YOU WANT LOYALTY I WILL SHOW YOU THE MAN YOU WANT FRIENDSHIP I WILL SHOW YOU THE MAN YOU HAVE GUESSED IT RIGHT MY FRIEND, HE IS THAT MAN, THE MAN AMONG MEN, THE NDA MAN
  • IF YOU BEHAVE LIKE A WORM WHY COMPLAIN?  IF OTHERS STEP UPON YOU!
  • “A LION AT THE HEAD OF AN ARMY OF SHEEPS IS BETTER THAN A SHEEP AT THE HEAD OF ARMY OF LIONS
  • FIGHT FIGHT ONE MORE ROUND WHEN YOUR FEET ARE TIRED THAT YOU HAVE TO SHUFFLE BACK TO THE CENTRE OF THE RING FIGHT ONE MORE ROUND WHEN YOUR ARMS ARE SO TIRED THAT YOU CAN HARDLY LIFT YOUR HANDS TO COME ON GUARD FIGHT ONE MORE ROUND WHEN YOUR NOSE IS BLEEDING AND YOUR EYES ARE BLACK AND YOU ARE SO TIRED THAT YOU WISH YOUR OPPONENT WOULD CRACK YOU IN THE JAW AND PUT YOU TO SLEEP FIGHT ONE MORE ROUND
  • REMEMBERING THAT THE MAN WHO ALWAYS FIGHT ONE MORE ROUND IS NEVER WHIPPED GOD AND THE SOLDIER GOD AND THE SOLDIER WE ADORE IN TIME OF DANGER, NOT BEFORE THE DANGER PASSED AND ALL THINGS RIGHTED GOD IS FORGOTTEN, AND THE SOLDIER SLIGHTED NO DEFEAT IS FINAL —-UNTIL YOU STOP TRYING
  • WINNING IS NOT EVERY THING IT IS THE ONLY THING

Legacy

Maj Shyam Sundar’s alma mater Andhra Association School in Kolkata has opened a library in his name to honour him and inspire the students of his school.