Col Ashutosh Sharma, Commanding Officer of 21 Rashtriya Rifles unit, and three Indian Army personnel, along with two soldiers and one Jammu and Kashmir policeman, were killed in an overnight encounter with terrorists in J&K’s Handwara.
A decorated officer, Col Sharma was the only commanding officer to receive the prestigious sena medal twice for gallantry during counter-terrorist operations, according to the army.
The officer’s patent unit is the 19th battalion of the Brigade of Guards, a mechanised infantry regiment, and he was on deputation with Rashtriya Rifles for counter-insurgency operations.
Sharma was struggling for six and a half years to get admission in Indian Army, in 2000, his dream hugged him.
Remembering Col Sharma, his elder brother Piush says that he always used to have his way, come what may. “It was like my way or the highway for him. His only dream was Army and nothing else,” says Piush, who works for a pharmaceutical company in Jaipur.
“He had waged a war to join the Army some way or the other till he finally achieved success in his 13th attempt. From that day, there was no looking back for Ashu (Col Sharma),” said Piush while talking to a newspaper.
“The only regret Ashu had that he could not join Special Forces,” he said, while remembering his nature of going out of the way for his jawans and solving all their problems.
Col. Sharma is survived by a wife and 12-year old daughter.
India salutes the brave martyr.