Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey was born on 25th June 1975 and today is his birth anniversary. On the night of 2/3 July 1999, his unit was tasked to capture Khalubar and during the advance to Khalubar as his platoon approached its final objective, it came under heavy and intense enemy fire from the surrounding heights. He destroyed four bunkers and came under heavy fire, and laid his life for the nation. He was awarded posthumously with Param Vir Chakra for his extraordinary leadership and bravery. Here is the last letter of Capt Manoj Pandey for his friend.
I received both your letters but could not reply first one. Our Both of them reached me in midst of hot bottle. It’s really difficult to fight the enemy at this altitude. He is well Inside bunkers and defences and we are in open. He has planned his move very well and has occupied most of heights. Initially things were real bad for us and we suffered most of the casualties but now situation is in control and more planned and deliberate attacks are going on. In last one and half month I have seen the worst and probably ‘OP Vijay’ would account for most human casualties in shortest time. I have myself brushed boulders with death 4 times but might be b-coz of some good work I am still alive. Every day we are receiving letters from all over country saying same sentence ‘Just do it’. Feels really good to see that at time of need/costs our country gets united. I really don’t know what would happen at next moment but till now I can assure you and all countryman that certainly we would push back intruders at whatever we have to pay may be our life…….
This Operation has certainly given some exposure which can not be quantified. Like leading me on face of death. their fear, their loyalty and the stress and strain both physical and mental which human being can take but yaar Indian Army specially an Inf Jawan is ultimate. He would do anything provided led properly. As I have always told you that what Infantry gives you can not be told, but, today I am so proud of my decision of ‘Infantry’ that I can’t explain. Here weather is cold but snow has started melting down. If sun comes then days are generally OK. Nights are cold with temp -5 to -15 C.
If all would get over but some time, I am not …..(text missing)….. told and frankly, no one can say for certainly about his going back. Just one request that guide my brother at this crucial moment of life. (About his future)
Convey my regards to all friends and your for being so considerate to… Do …….remain in touch it gives lot of moral support. If I come back we would have lot of things to talk but certainly this is going to be a ever lasting experience for me.
(Note: Defence Forum team has recreated the article from an image of the letter, some of the words were not visible properly, we have tried our best to republish the letter)
We salute all the brave men who gave their today for your tomorrow.