Major Sandeep Shankla is one of those brave men who laid their lives for the country and they should be remembered by every Indian. He was a Major in 18 Dogra Regiment and was posted at Kupwara in Kashmir.
In 1991, when the insurgency was at its peak in Kashmir, information was received of presence of terrorists possibly 10-12 in Zafarkhani Village, Kupwara District. Major Sandeep was leading from the front and the security forces immediately cordoned of the area and secured all exits.
The terrorists opened indiscriminate firing as soon as they realized that they are surrounded, Major Sandeep got injured but he didn’t stop, he kept firing and killed two terrorists.
A soldier was injured in the cross fire and Major Sandeep didn’t care about the enemy fire and crawled towards him to keep him safe and killed one more terrorist.
The terrorists lobbed two grenades at him. Reacting very quickly, Major Sandeep hurled one grenade back at the enemy and had splinter and bullet injuries in the process. In all, nine terrorists were killed in the operation and Major Sandeep succumbed to his injuries.
A memorial dedicated to Sandeep Shankla is made in Panchkula. Major Sandeep had been married for six months when he was killed. Father of Major Sandeep Shankla is also a retired Indian army officer, Lt Col JS Kanwar(retd) who lives in Panchkula with family.
Maj Sandeep Shankla displayed exemplary courage in killing nine terrorists and recovering a huge cache of arms and ammunition. For his courage, Maj Sandeep Shankla was posthumously awarded India’s highest Gallantry Award in Operations other than War the Ashok Chakra.