Rifleman Sanjay Kumar was in the thick of action as the Indian Army began taking back positions held by Pakistani intruders during the 1999 Kargil War. Part of the 13th Battalion of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles which captured Area Flat Top of Point 4875, he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his gallantry during the operation.
Rifleman Kumar was the leading Scout of the team sent to capture Area Flat Top of Point 4875 in the Mushkoh Valley on 4 July. The point was crucial as it overlooked National Highway (NH) 1 A and the enemy could easily target Indian vehicles moving along the road.
The team scaled the cliff but came under fire from automatic weapons from one of the enemy bunkers. Realizing that their assault to capture Area Flat Top was being stalled, Rifleman Kumar decided to brave the firing and charge at the bunker to overpower the enemy. He sustained injuries but managed to reach the bunker and engage in hand-to-hand combat, killing three of the intruders holed up inside.
He then charged into a second bunker. “Taken totally by surprise, the enemy left behind a Universal Machine Gun and started running. Rifleman Sanjay Kumar picked up the UMG and killed the fleeing enemy,” says the citation for his Param Vir Chakra. He was seriously wounded and bleeding profusely by them. But he refused to be evacuated from the scene of action.
“The brave action on his part motivated his comrades and they took no notice of the treacherous terrain and charged onto the enemy and wrested the area Flat Top from the hands of the enemy,” the citation points out.
Incidentally, Kumar was from the same battalion as Captain Vikram Batra, another Param Vir Chakra awardee in the Kargil War. Two others, Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey and Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav, also received the honour for their role in the Kargil War.