Srinagar,  A special wreath laying ceremony was held at Delhi on 27 Apr 14, wherein Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra, the Northern Army Commander paid rich tributes to the two martyrs, Major Mukund Vardarajan and Sepoy Vikram Singh, who had made the supreme sacrifice during operations in Village Karewa Manloo of District Shopian on 25/26 April 2014 and saluted the brave hearts. Prior to the move of the mortal remains from Srinagar, a wreath laying ceremony was also organised at BB Cantt Srinagar where Major General JS Cheema, laid the wreath on behalf of all ranks of the Chinar Corps. On 25 April 2014, based on specific intelligence about presence of three dreaded terrorists in a house in Village Karewa Manloo of District Shopian, a joint operation, led by Major Mukund Vardarajan of 44 Rashtriya Rifles of Army and J&K Police was launched. In the operation, involving fierce encounter and gallant acts of Major Mukund Vardarajan and Sepoy Vikram Singh, all the three terrorists were killed. These terrorists had been active in the area since 2012 and intelligence inputs indicate that the same group was involved in the attack on the polling staff on 24 April in South Kashmir. Major Mukund Vardarajan and Sepoy Vikram Singh made supreme sacrifice upholding the highest traditions of Indian Army for the cause of National Security.

            Around 1400h, on 25 Apr 14, specific intelligence was received regarding presence of three terrorists in village Karewa Manloo, approximately 6 Kilometers West of Shopian.  The specific group of houses was cordoned, effectively sealing all the escape routes of the terrorists.   At about 1630 hours, terrorists, realising that the noose was tightening, opened indiscriminate firing on the troops, and a fierce fire – fight ensued that continued for couple of hours. While the troops occupying the cordon positions kept the terrorists pinned down, Major Mukund accompanied by his buddy, Sepoy  Vikram Singh, led the assault on the room from where the intense fire of the terrorists was being drawn. Unmindful of the personal safety, the officer and his buddy moved from cover to cover to close in and eliminate the terrorists. While they were closing in, they came under a burst, fired by the terrorists and were severely wounded, yet they continued to lead the assault adopting fire and move tactics. Unmindful of the personal safety and being severely wounded, Major Mukund and his buddy finally engaged the terrorists and succeeded in eliminating them. While Sepoy Vikram Singh attained martyrdom at the sight of the operation, Major Mukund, who had sustained multiple grievous injuries, succumbed to his injuries enroute to Srinagar.  
 Major Mukund and Sepoy Vikram made the supreme sacrifice killing three terrorists but avoiding any collateral damage.  In line with the best traditions of Indian Army, these courageous soldiers ensured that even at the cost of their lives, they ensured that no harm came to their country men. Their memory will be cherished forever.  The sacrifices of the Army personnel will go a long way in sustaining peace in the Valley.
           The bodies of all the three terrorists were recovered alongwith two AK 47 rifles, one Pistol and large quantity of other war like stores.  The operation assumes importance in the back drop of recent killing of a polling staff and injury to other five persons on 24 April, in the same area by the terrorists. While hard proofs will take time to emerge, there are indications that this group of HM terrorists that was eliminated during the operations was the same that undertook the attack against the polling staff and killed an innocent staff Mr Zia-ul-Haq. Recent statement of UJC Chief Syed Salahuddin where in he stated that one of the three terrorists was a district commander and that the Jihad will continue to be waged, reflects on the significance of neutralisation of this group.
            A special wreath laying ceremony was held at Delhi on 27 Apr 14, wherein Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra, the Northern Army Commander who is also the Colonel Commandant of the RAJPUT Regiment, paid tributes to the martyrs and saluted the bravery that is hall mark of the Indian Army.   
            Major Mukund Vardarajan was born on 12 April 1983 and belonged to Tambram, Tamil Nadu.  He had a passion for the forces from childhood and was commissioned into               22 RAJPUT Regiment on 18 Mar 2006 from Officers Training Academy, Chennai.  Nicknamed ‘Maddy’, he had a fine sense of humour easily endearing himself to his fellow officers and troops.  He was a keen professional soldier who had excelled in training.  He is survived by his wife Mrs Indhu Mukund and 3 year old daughter Arshea.  He had been posted to 44 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in December 2012.
            Sepoy Vikram Singh belonged to Rewari, Haryana which has a fine tradition of soldiering.  He was born on 15 March 1983 and enrolled into the RAJPUT Regiment of the Army on 07 October 2002 and was serving in 44 Rashtriya Rifles since 19 December 2012.  A soft - spoken gentle giant, Vikram was the epitome of soldiering excellence.  He participated in many operations, always volunteering for risky tasks.  Vikram is survived by his wife, Mrs Sushila and son, Master Abhishek Kumar.

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