Gurmehar Kaur, the Delhi University student in the eye of a storm, lost her father when a Rashtriya Rifles camp came under militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir in 1999. Six other soldiers also lost their lives trying to defend the camp. The Battle Casualty Report of Capt Mandeep Singh, accessed by The Indian Express, states that he was serving in the counter-insurgency operation, Rakshak, in J&K. Capt Singh was commissioned in the 49 Army Air Defence Regiment in 1991 and was serving with the 4 Rashtriya Rifles battalion when he died fighting militants on August 6, 1999. His battalion was under the 7 Sector Rashtriya Rifles, which further came under the command of Victor Force.
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The attack by militants took place sometime after midnight in village Chak Nutnusa in Kupwara district. The Battle Casualty Report states, “Capt Mandeep Singh was commander of the company which came under anti-national elements’ fire assault on the post. During encounter at approximately 1.15 am on August 6, 1999, he received splinter injury on left infraclavicular region and was declared dead on the spot.” The post, which came under attack, lost a total of seven personnel in the attack, including Singh.
Capt Singh’s wife Rajvinder Kaur, who works with the Excise and Taxation Department of the Punjab government, said she is upset at the manner in which her family has been thrown under the spotlight. Speaking to The Indian Express, Brigadier Ashwini Kumar (retd), former Commanding Officer of 3 Rashtriya Rifles battalion, who was serving in the area when the attack on Capt Singh’s company headquarters took place, said he was closely associated with that unit as they were performing the task of providing security to Amarnath yatra.
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“Two companies of 4 RR were under my command for this purpose, led by Lt Col D V Dey. Capt Singh and his men who fought against the militant attack on their base with great courage and tenacity. The attack was beaten back,” he said. Brig Sharma said that Capt Singh was a spirited and dedicated young officer, and was well regarded by his commanding officer.