An operation launched on 3rd of April, 2020, by PARA SF.
They launched like every other time. There was comm. check, equipment check, WPN check, Med check, and everything was in place. And yet, this time, they never came back.
There were no last letters for that ‘just-in-case’, no last calls to hear their voices for just one more time, no recorded videos for posterity, no last wishes on the radio, when they lay bleeding, with their guts spilt out. While they lay bleeding, still fighting.
They fought till the end, and yet, this time, they never came back.
They launched like ghosts into the dark, fighting like the warriors they were, in the solitary night, only to come back silently, draped in tricolour.
Earlier, the rotors had whirred, the drop made in the green glow, and with it, the arduous four-hour journey had begun.
As the whole world lay quarantined, made prisoners in their own homes by a Virus, the buddies advanced nonchalantly, fearlessly, confidently, with purpose. The squad moved as one. UAV had spotted a track of the five. Tracks were seen in the snow, going along in a nallah. The two squads were launched to track the five. Five ghosts, five targets. The confrontation was going to be fair! Hours later, the squads were confident that the target was near.
The squads separated along the two shoulders to box the location in. The night was dark and the access slanting and steep, but this is exactly why the specialists, the ghosts, were there. It was what they did, it was their specialization.
They were there, doing what they did best, and then…
Then the tragedy unfolded. Along the cliff, on the shoulder on which the right squad was moving, the complete snow block collapsed. It took the squad leader and the two scouts down, all the way to the nallah. All of them, the three, fell straight down to what emerged later to be within two metres from the hiding five.
The area lit up! The three were now taking fire. The squad was under intense engagement. The remaining two of the squad went ballistic, the self-preservation mode turned off. They jumped and ran into the fusillade for a fighting extraction.
Four of them seized the opportunity to pump a few magazines out before they got the tap for eternal silence. The fifth, soon, ran to meet his end with the stops.
All 5 lay dead.
A price paid by the squad, a priceless one. Fice gallant men down. Five men, five specialists.
There had been no letters with any last words, no goodbyes…
They launched into the night, they launched to win, but they never returned.
A Major in the Indian Army, he is a very humble, sweet, and lovable human. A lover of dogs, music and tattoos, he searches for ways to make others smile and to keep them happy. Born and brought up in the city of Allahabad, Siddhartha always knew what he wanted, and he went out and got it!
We salute him for his services and dedication towards the Nation.