Colonel Ashutosh Sharma was martyred in a counter-insurgency operation in Kashmir’s Handwara.
Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, SM & Bar was an Indian Army officer. He was the commanding officer of the 21st battalion, Rashtriya Rifles. On 2 May 2020, he was martyred in action in an encounter in Handwara in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. He was awarded the Sena Medal for gallantry twice, the bar to the Sena Medal being awarded a few months before his death.
Sharma was born in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh to Shambhu Dutt Pathak, a soil conservation officer, and Sudha Sharma. He completed his schooling and graduation in Bulandshahr and attended the DAV Inter College. Sharma wanted to join the Indian Army from a young age and attempted to join for over six years.
Sharma graduated from OTA, Chennai, and was commissioned into the 19th battalion, Brigade of the Guards on 1 September 2001. In his two decades of service in the Army, he was a part of multiple successful counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
On 2 May 2020, intelligence inputs were received indicating the presence of terrorists inside a house in the Changimulla village near Handwara. The civilians were held, hostage. Sharma launched a Cordon and search operation with the J&K police. The civilians were rescued and the team came under heavy fire. The communication links with the team were lost. After an 18-hour operation, the two terrorists were killed. Apart from Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, Naik Rajesh, Lance Naik Dinesh, and Sub Inspector of Police Shakeel Ahmed Qazi were martyred in the encounter. Sharma was the first Commanding Officer in the last five years to have lost his life in an encounter.
Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, India
2020-05-02, Handwara, Jammu-Kashmir
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