Born on 4th March,1972 Lt Amit Bhardwaj was the only child of Mr. O.P Sharma and Mrs. Sushila Sharma. Lt Amit grew up with very good moral values from a very tender age and would donate some part of his pocket money to the poor from the age of seven. He completed his schooling from St. Xavier’s Boys school and was an active member of St. Xavier’s old Boys Association. He was a keen sportsman and an excellent table tennis and football player. His politeness won the hearts of his teachers and students alike, making him a very popular figure in school.
He completed his graduation from Rajasthan University and always had a desire to join the armed forces and serve his motherland. He joined the army in 1997 and was commissioned into the 4 Jat Regiment. After his first tenure at Pithoragarh he was posted to Kaksar area in kargil.
Kargil War : May 1999There were reports about Pakistani infiltration in May 1999 and Lt Bhardwaj’s regiment was given the task to verify the legitimacy of these reports. On May 14, the 4th Jat Regiment decided to undertake a patrol to check the strategically important Bajrang post.
Lt Saurabh Kalia volunteered to lead the five man patrol. Heavy snowing in the area prevented them from reaching Bajrang post on that day, and they resumed their patrol the day after. But as they neared their objective around 3.30 pm on May 15, they were suddenly fired upon by the intruders who had occupied the Bajrang Post. They reported the incident back to battalion headquarters, seeking urgent reinforcements.
Lt. Kalia and his team fought back, but soon ran out of ammunition. They were surrounded and captured before the reinforcements arrived.
Lt Amit Bharadwaj then led a team of 30 soldiers and launched the search mission for Lt. Kalia and his troops on 17th May 1999. On reaching the Bajrang post, he realized that the number of enemies were much more than they had anticipated.
Realizing that they were outnumbered, he ordered his men to retreat back and report to the base camp for help. For the retreat to be successful, one had to provide cover fire and engage the enemy while the troops retreated. He led from the front to provide cover fire which enabled his 30 soldiers to reach back their base camp safely.
Lt. Bharadwaj killed more than 10 infiltrators in the process. He had one soldier Havildar Rajbir Singh supporting him alongside. Both of them were shot at by the enemy and they later succumbed to their injuries.
Lt Bhardwaj’s body could not be retrieved till the end of the war, on July 13, 1999. Finally his body was recovered 57 days after his martyrdom. Lt Bhardwaj’s weapon was found to be in his hand when his body was recovered.
Lt. Bharadwaj’s family refused to believe the rumours about his death and believed that their son was still alive, fighting the enemy in the border. The family was still hoping to hear from Lt. Bharadwaj but the inevitable was finally confirmed when his body was recovered after 57 days of his martyrdom.
LegacyThe city of Jaipur was in utter state of grief on seeing their hero in a casket. Thousands of School Children, Citizens and relatives along with ex- Vice President Mr. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Chief Minister Mr. Ashok Gehlot, His highness Maharaja Bhawani Singh, Governor of Jaipur, Mayor Shri Mohanlal Gupta, Senior Army officers and higher Government authorities payed tribute to Lt. Amit Bharadwaj.
A trust has been established in his name called, Shaheed Amit Bhardwaj Memorial Charitable Trust (Established in September 1999). It is a voluntary organisation dedicated to the service of the needy,destitute and the under privileged sections of the society. Based in Jaipur, Rajasthan the trust undertakes a number of charitable activities including Blood Donation Camps,Tree Plantation Programmes, Scholarships to the Students and many other welfare activities.