Updated January 15th, 2024 at 13:30 IST

Born on Army Day, elite para commando Captain Pawan Kumar remembered for valor in Pampore

The tale of Captain Pawan Kumar, born on Indian Army Day, January 15, 1993, in Haryana, exemplifies bravery and sacrifice in India's military history.

Yuvraj Tyagi
Captain Pawan Kumar
Captain Pawan Kumar | Image:Republic

In the annals of India's military history, the name Captain Pawan Kumar stands as a testament to bravery, sacrifice, and unwavering commitment to the nation. Born on January 15, 1993, in Badhana village, Jind district, Haryana, Captain Pawan Kumar's journey embodies the spirit of a dedicated soldier. The only son of Shri Rajbir Singh and Smt Kamlesh, Captain Pawan Kumar was destined for a life of service to the nation. 

Captain Pawan Kumar was born on Indian Army Day, January 15. He nurtured the dream of joining the Armed Forces from a young age. His journey began at the National Defence Academy (NDA), where he graduated from the 123rd course, paving his way to join the prestigious Dogra Regiment. 


Transition to elite forces - 10 Para (SF) 

Captain Pawan Kumar's unyielding love for adventure and a deep-seated commitment to serve led him to volunteer for the elite Para Commando forces. Joining the esteemed 10 Para (SF) battalion, known as the "Desert Scorpions," he embraced the rigorous training that forged soldiers of unparalleled physical and mental toughness. Wearing the maroon beret and the revered "Balidan" badge, Captain Pawan Kumar embodied the spirit of the elite force.

Captain Pawan Kumar (Right) with Major Gaurav Choudhary. | Credit- Honourpoint

The defining moment in Captain Pawan Kumar's military career unfolded during the Pampore operation on February 20, 2016. In response to a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy, Captain Pawan found himself in the midst of a fierce gun battle at the government-run Entrepreneurship Development Institute. The objective was clear – evacuate civilians to safety. 

The development came when 4 heavily armed LeT terrorists armed with AK-47 rifles, hand grenades and explosives struck a CRPF convoy on the main road linking Srinagar to Jammu. The attack led to the killing of two policemen and a civilian. The terrorists then took refuge in the government-run multi-storey Entrepreneurship Development Institute in Pampore.  


Pampore operation: February 20, 2016 

Immediately following the incident, the security forces with elements of Army and CRPF rose to the occasion and cordoned off the EDI building in a joint operation to evacuate civilians from the building. Captain Pawan’s team was tasked with clearing the building of the enemy. Leading from the front, Captain Pawan reached the top floor, facing automatic gunfire and grenades from the militants.

EDI building in Pampore, February 2016. | Credit- X

However, even in the face of fierce resistance by the enemy, the young officer kicked open a door leading to a room where terrorists were holed up. Determined to neutralize the terrorists and undeterred by the imminent danger, Captain Pawan Kumar killed one terrorist in the face of close-range gunfire. However, in the process, the 23-years-old officer sustainined multiple grievous injuries. Despite the serious injuries, Captain Pawan Kumar refused evacuation, choosing to fight until the end. His gallant actions not only saved the lives of his comrades but set the stage for the successful completion of the operation. Tragically, he succumbed to his injuries, leaving behind a legacy of courage and selflessness. 

Shaurya Chakra for Captain Pawan Kumar 

In recognition of his exceptional courage, fighting spirit, and supreme sacrifice, Captain Pawan Kumar was posthumously awarded the "Shaurya Chakra" on August 15, 2016. Captain Pawan Kumar's father, Rajbir Singh, upon learning of his son's death, expressed profound pride, stating, "I had one child, I gave him to the Army, to the nation. No father can be prouder." The nation mourned the loss of a dedicated soldier who, at the tender age of 23, demonstrated valor beyond measure.

As we remember Captain Pawan Kumar, we honor not just a brave officer but an embodiment of sacrifice and duty, a true hero who laid down his life for the safety and security of his fellow citizens. His legacy continues to inspire generations of soldiers and civilians alike. 


Published January 15th, 2024 at 13:30 IST

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