Kasauli’s pride — Captain Sumeet Roy

Awarded the coveted Vir Chakra after he attained martyrdom at a very young age

Col Dilbag Dabas (Retd)

Awarded the coveted Vir Chakra posthumously for his bravery, Captain Sumeet Roy continues to inspire many. 

Born to SK Roy on September 10, 1977, at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh, Sumeet passed his senior secondary from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Faridkot, and then went on to join the prestigious National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla (Pune). On December 12, 1998, Sumeet was commissioned into 18th Battalion of the Garhwal Rifles, the battalion which was awarded the Chief of Army Staff Unit citation for praiseworthy performance of its men in the Kargil war. And within just six months in combat fatigues, Sumeet attained martyrdom, but lives in the heart not only of Himachalis but of all Indians. 

Within such a short period, Sumeet achieved something which many are unable to achieve in their lifetime.

During Kargil war, the eviction of the Pakistani intruders earnestly began on May 27, 1999, when 1 Naga Battalion launched a company attack to secure Pt 5140. Due to inadequate information on the strength and disposition of intruders, the operation was a partial success, however, the bold attempt made it clear to the enemy that Indian Army meant business and, come what may, it would not let even one evil foot stay on the Indian territory.

After having been evicted from the formidable Pt 5140 and Tololing, the intruders consolidated their position on Pt 4700, which is a ridgeline that lies west of Pt 5140 and east of Tololing nullah. The 18 Garhwal Rifles was de-inducted from its firm base on the eastern and northern flanks of Pt 5140 and was ordered to capture Pt 4700 and the surrounding heights. As per the battalion attack plan, 'A' company was to secure the firm base, while C and D companies were tasked to assault the targeted objective. It was during this attack, that Captain Sumeet Roy displayed the stuff he was made of.

During the night of attack on Pt 4700 on June 28, 1999, Captain Sumeet Roy was second-in-command of D company. It was a moon-lit night. When the company was within 300 to 400 metres of the objective, it was pinned down by accurate automatic fire from the enemy. 

Realising that the frontal assault would be near suicidal, Captain Roy executed an outflanking move along a treacherous route to Pt 4700 and succeeded in achieving surprise. After a stiff climb, he led the assault by personally charging on to the first sangar (improvised bunker) with the battle cry "Badri Vishal Lal ki Jai". 

After killing the enemy personal inside, he went on to eliminate the enemy observation post nearby that overlooked the area in front of Pt 4700. At 2 am on June 29, Captain Roy climbed the height and approached the post in a daredevil move and with total disregard to personal safety, killed both the sentries in a fierce hand-to-hand fight. 

As a result of the ferocious charge by this young officer, the enemy panicked and intruders fled, leaving behind a huge quantity of arms and ammunition. This gallant officer went on to lead further assaults blasting one sangar after another clearing the entire Pt 4700 from the intruders. Captain Sumeet Roy's exemplary fighting spirit, indomitable courage and devotion to duty contributed immensely towards the capture of Pt 4700 strongly held by the enemy. Also, Captain Roy's breakthrough facilitated further successful operations by his company

Captain Sumeet Roy was mortally wounded by the enemy artillery shelling at Pt 4700 and he succumbed while being evacuated to the medical aid post. For his raw courage and exemplary performance in the face of the enemy, Captain Sumeet Roy was awarded the coveted Vir Chakra posthumously.

Vikram Batra, Sanjay Kumar, Sumeet Roy, Amol Kalia and many such young brave-hearts nurtured by the Himachal soil are the true role models for the sons of the soil to emulate them. Their exploits truly whet the appetite of young Himachalis and inspire them to follow into their footsteps. 

Battle account of his bravery reads…

“During the night of attack on Pt 4700 on June 28, 1999, Captain Sumeet Roy was second-in-command of D company. It was a moon-lit night. When the company was within 300 to 400 metres of the objective, it was pinned down by accurate automatic fire from the enemy. Realising that the frontal assault would be near suicidal, Captain Roy executed an outflanking move along a treacherous route to Pt 4700 and succeeded in achieving surprise. After a stiff climb, he led the assault by personally charging on to the first sangar (improvised bunker) with the battle cry "Badri Vishal Lal ki Jai". After killing the enemy inside, he went on to eliminate the enemy’s observation post nearby that overlooked the area in front of Pt 4700. At 2 am on June 29, Captain Roy climbed the height and approached the post in a daredevil move and with total disregard to personal safety, killed both the sentries in a fierce hand-to-hand fight. As a result of the ferocious charge by this young officer, the enemy panicked and intruders fled, leaving behind a huge quantity of arms and ammunition. This gallant officer went on to lead further assaults blasting one sangar after another clearing the entire Pt 4700 from the intruders. Captain Sumeet Roy’s exemplary fighting spirit, indomitable courage and devotion to duty contributed immensely towards the capture of Pt 4700 strongly held by the enemy. Also, Captain Roy's breakthrough facilitated further successful operations by his company.”

(The writer is a veteran Gunner, 6 Field Regiment)

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