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Colonel Vijay Kumar Bakshi , MVC

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Colonel Vijay Kumar Bakshi was born on April 3, 1943 in Jalandhar, Punjab. Col Bakshi, son of Shri SB Balmokand Bakshi, graduated from Delhi United Christian School and Ramjas College in New Delhi. At the age of 22, he was picked to join the Army. He was commissioned into the 6/8 GR of the 8 Gorkha Rifles Regiment on December 25, 1965.

He had served in the Army for nearly two decades and had been promoted to Colonel by 1989. Col Bakshi commanded the IPKF’s 6/8 GR in Sri Lanka in 1989. Col Bakshi has earned a reputation as a loyal soldier and a great officer who always led from the front.

Op Pawan: 02 Mar 1989

Vijay Kumar Bakshi , Colonel

A year after the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement, an Indian Peace Keeping Force was deployed in Sri Lanka. However, the feared LTTE backed out and declared war against Indian soldiers in August 1987. Initially just the 54th Army Division was involved, but as operations progressed, the Army added divisions 3, 4 and 57. After many operations against the LTTE by March 1989, the conflict was far from done. The 6/8 Gorkha Rifles battalion, led by Col Vijay Kumar Bakshi, arrived in Sri Lanka as part of the IPKF and immediately began operations.

Based on intelligence information concerning LTTE fighters in Wani area, the security forces prepared a search and destroy operation on Mar 02, 1989. Due to the operation’s vital necessity, Col Bakshi chose to conduct it himself. On their route to the suspected region, the forces came upon a terrorist camp near Nayaroo Lagoon in the Wani Sector (Sri Lanka). This initial exchange of fire, with militants firing from several directions, developed into a 24-hour conflict. During the intense exchange of fire, Col Bakshi was wounded. Uneasy, Col Bakshi proceeded to pursue the insurgents. He kept the militants under constant fire, causing severe damage and fatalities. Col Bakshi died from his wounds and was martyred.

During the mission, Col Bakshi showed exceptional courage, determination, and leadership. Col Vijay Kumar Bakshi received the nation’s second highest gallantry medal, the “Maha Vir Chakra“, posthumously.

 

 

 

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