Monday, May 30, 2005

A Hero of KV Picket: Late Capt. Suneel Yadav

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The year was 1999.
The war at Kargil was over.
22 year old Capt Suneel Yadav was posted somewhere at the China border.He calls up his school pal Salil Kader at Hyderabad and informs him that his Unit had been given 4 hours notice to move into Kargil to relieve the Units that took part in Operation Vijay.Suneel Yadav reaches Leh and reports to work.

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Mid August 1999:

Defence Minister George Fernandes visits Kargil.He is briefed and is told that there are still a few heights that are under the control of the enemy.Reshma Height,that exists on the Durga post,that belonged to our side of the LOC was still with the enemy.

The Minister expresses a desire to get the Durga post back.3 army men from the Rajput Regiment are entrusted with the task.Suneel Yadav,being the youngest officer in the team is not expected to be a part of the unit.But the courageous Suneel volunteers to be a part of the team and is taken in.

Two groups are made to attack Durga Post from two different sides and take the enemy by surprise.Suneel is asked to lead one group. The night before the attack a meeting is held. It appears as if the young army team knows that they might not be coming back after the attack. They write their last letters to their respective families. The attack is to take place on the night of 29th/30th August. Suneel is booked to leave for his hometown to be with his sisters for Rakhi on the 4th September.He calls up Salil and tells him that he would be at home on the 4th. As always, young Suneel is confident of making it to his goal.

During the early hours of 30th August the teams started zeroing in on Durga post. The time of attack is fixed at 0400hrs. At the fixed hour Suneel along with his party of 5 men scale the Reshma heights and were waiting for the other party to come into contact. But something unfortunate is to happen.

The other party being lead by a Major gets lost in the darkness. By the time they get back on trail and reach the foot of Reshma Heights, Suneel is up there already. The Major notices Suneel and his men at skyline.Suddenly, the Major hears gunshots. Suneel and his men have been spotted by the enemy!The Major hears Suneel shouting at his men not to turn back. Suneel is there to fight.

Suneel gets hit on his left palm in the first burst of fire. Two men also die. The next burst hits him on his left shoulder. But he does not give up. He lifts his Medium Machine Gun (MMG ) and places it on the rock in front of him and is ready to take aim .But a bullet hits him on his forehead. Capt Suneel Yadav is dead.!

Suneel was not carrying a helmet because he found it too heavy and instead preferred to carry his MMG instead of a lighter weapon! Suneel collapsed on the spot.Two of his men sacrificed their lives along with him. Two more got captured (and they were amply put on PTV for 17 long days to show that India was violating the LoC). One soldier managed to escape and get back. Obviously none of the bodies could be retrieved.

Salil Kader got a call and was informed that "Beta Suneel nahin raha" ! Suneel's body had had not been recovered and none of his friends and relatives wanted to believe that Suneel was no more.A few prayed for his safety and few were were convinced that he was injured and in Pakistani custody. "He couldn't be dead.!" was what everyone wanted to hear.

The Indian Army unofficialy confirmed the death of Suneel and two other soldiers.
The bodies were still lying on the Reshma Heights in Turtuka and the Parents were still hoping that a miracle would happen.

August 7th, 2000:

11 months after their sacrifice, the three bodies are recovered, half decomposed, lying buried in snow. Suneel was just 22 when he died. His father finally could carried out the last rites.
Suneel could have turned back and returned to his base when he found that
his party had been spotted and that he did not have support from the other team. Had he done that, he would have lived to fight another day. But he wasn't the type who would run away. He often said "Main ab Yadav nahin Rajput hoon" (a reference to his Unit). He stood there, fought like a true warrior and sacrificed his life fighting for his country.

April, 2005:

Suneel's family has been provided a petrol pump in Agra; but are yet to completely recover from the tragedy. In his death too,Suneel has provided his parents with all wordly comforts that parents can only hope for. But thats of little solace for parents who have lost their son.

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Kendriya Vidyalaya Picket is proud to have a war hero who has made his country proud. Although Suneel might not be among us anymore the courage and bravery that he displayed will inspire many more Picketians in the years to come.

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A newspaper article in the Asian Age.

Suneel Yadav joined Picket in 1988 in the eighth standard at the Old Block. His father was a jawan in the Indian Army.Suneel was a sportsman par excellence. He was especially good at cricket and kabaddi. He kept wickets for the school senior cricket team in the 9th standard itself. After his 10th he joined the Humanities stream.He was the Sarojini House captain in the 12th and continued his good work on the cricket field leading the School team and later the regional team, finally playing the Nationals.Suneel was commissioned into the 3 Rajput Regiment in 1997. He excelled in the Army too. He completed the Commando Course with distinction.

(Salil Kader and Suneel Yadav were benchmates from 8th to Graduation Final year.They were neighbours for 8 years and were best buddies.They travelled everywhere together like twin souls. They played cricket together right upto the Nationals.Salil still feels the pain of not having his buddy with him in this world.
Salil contacted his friends and others,raised money and every year a cash award is given to the student who tops the Humanities stream in the 12th grade of KVP.
If you would like to get in touch with Salil Kader or would like to contribute something, please email :indianblogger at gmail dot com.)


At 2:43 PM, Blogger Chitra said...

Hats off to young Capt Suneel Yadav..may his selfless sacrifice motivate more and more young men and women to become soldiers and make their country proud...........instead of runnig off to greener pastures abroad.
We are proud of you and you make us Prouder to be PICKETIAN.
May your soul rest in peace.

At 9:24 PM, Blogger Srihari Hebbar said...

This is truly touching. Capt Suneel Yadav may not be here but his memories will be etched in every picketians heart. may his soul rest in peace.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Maddy said...

The memories remain.... as it shows Capt Suneel Yadav's love towards Mother India. I am sure his sacrifice has motivated country's young blood. The above message is a great confer to our HERO.
The whole nation is proud and on the other hand it gives a heartrending feeling. Let his soul rest in peace.

At 5:35 PM, Blogger succubus said...

proud to be a picketian ..always!!
i passedout in 2000, ans joined in 97!! i am currently inhyd and ia m a regualr bloogger (3 current blogs). a bunch of us from my class 1o batch, are sitllin touch.. we met up in the 11 of this month for the second wedding of our group...

the school building has changed a lot... the seniour block now had a first floor and is PINK!! also it now houses class 7-12!!
please tellme i am not the onlyone disappointed...

At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A heart touching story. It is because of such noble men that India continues to be a free nation. We are all indebted to the martyrs who have sacrificed their lives to protect ours
Jai Hind !

At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Folks,
Truly a hero and that's what KVP churns out. Just to mention that there was my senior Ashok Anand (Volleyball Captain) who also fouught in the Kargil & is currently stillserving the Army. Then there was my classmate Naresh Subramaniam who handled the Ahmedabad Riots in the 1980's.

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Arunabh Deb said...

Though late in my response, I am sure, I am speaking with pride when I stand up and salute Late Capt. Suneel Yadav. You have made my day and if you ever get to read these lines from above there, You too feel and understand that all you did for us will always be sketched in our minds. -"Proud to be a school mate of yours"

At 1:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is indeed an inspiring one.The sacrifice of Capt.Suneel will always be remembered in the hearts of Picketians and all Indians forever.
"Proud to be a part of PICKET."

Jai Hind.

At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I joined KV Picket in 1989 in the 7th Standard. I remember Suneel. He was a very good senior and a cricket par excellence. I always thought that he was very lucky to be playing as school team's wicket keeper in those. I am really sad to know that he is no more and very proud of his action. Hats off to him.

Dharmender (dharmender_yadav at hotmail dot com)

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous said...

A hero to be remembered. I feel proud to be a picketian as it has produced such a hero.
Iam from 93-95 commerce batch. Would like to meet some friends of those days.

At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Name :- Surya prrakash
was in school from 1977 to 1984

i am proud of him and salute him for what he has done.
i passed out in 1984 from class 12D. i am glad that i fpund this site, and from now i will be a daily surfer of this site.

i once again salute the martyre

At 12:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Name: Moses George

was in school till 1995

I felt so proud when i read about Sunil Bhiya as we call our seniors its a pleasure to be called a student of KVP, i have no words when i have to talk about a great person who gave his life for his country. Hats off to young Capt Suneel Yadav.

At 4:00 AM, Blogger VikramRao75 said...

I was in class with Suneel, didnt find out till (Feb 5th 2008) this morning that he had passed, he had faded out of memory as most classmates do after 15 years, but I instantly recognised his name and remembered his picture, I remember him because he was always fun, treated everyone the same...jovially. I have very fond memories of being in Picket. Proud to have known Suneel. May he rest in peace.

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Picketians,Sunil has occupied a place in every body's heart. U R Great. An ex teacher of yours salutes UUUU.U made me to feel proud of being ur teacher.

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Picketians,Sunil has occupied a place in every body's heart. U R Great. An ex teacher of yours salutes UUUU.U made me to feel proud of being ur teacher.Nanda K C

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Kotesh said...

I remember Suneel. He was my one year junior and a very active person. Back then I was bossing over Pradeep Kumar his friend and he came to his rescue, both of them gave me a hard time. I am sorry to hear that he is no more and am proud to consider myself known to him. He has done our school and country proud. May his soul rest in peace.

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Arun said...

My Salute to another hero Capt Suneel Yadav of KV Picket and India.

Jai Hind

-Arun Sharma of 1978 (X batch)
(California, USA)

At 3:49 AM, Blogger Mahendran Subramanain said...

indeed it is very touching to know Capt Suneel Yadav courage and duty towards his mother country and above all his sacrifice. I Salute him and for making all of proud of him. he shall always remain in our hearts for ever. There is no words to express the loss to his parents.
May his soul rest in peace.

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Ghali Manogna said...

tears roll down my cheek... hats off to these brave soldiers... jai hind!!


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