‘Life of Captain Amit Bhardwaj was for motherland’; sister recalls Kargil martyr


Captain Amit Bhardwaj, 4 Jat Regiment

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By Sunita Dhonkaria

Jaipur, March 3: My brother, Amit Bhardwaj, was with 4th battalion of the Jat Regiment for about 18 months when he fought the greatest battle of his life to defend the country from the enemies. He belonged to his friends. He would spend time with children and elders when at home. For him, the family was not just me and my parents, but all who he would come across, and this is the way Amit lived life till his last breath.

I was three years older to my brother. I saw him dreamy when he was a child. He would be joyed with things that he would see and his excitement would know no limits. He would see a plane and declare that he would become a pilot. Amit would also be inspired by top politician of the day. He wanted people around him.

Amit was good at sports. Table tennis and swimming were his favourite sports, while plays and quiz competition were his passion. My father was with the Reserve Bank of India. But banking wasn’t the profession that Amit would opt for. He read Godfather by Mario Puzo, and somehow firmed up his mind that he would work for the society. He confided only to our family doctor that the Indian Army was his destination.

He passed out from the Officers Training Academy, Chennai, and found his call of duty with the fourth battalion of the Jat Regiment. He was overjoyed. My parents had witnessed his passing out parade. His course mates told my parents that he was a sharing and caring person, who would easily share his meals with friends.

We saw on television that Pakistan had waged another war with India in the heights of Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir. Amit had been in the army just for over one and a half years. Amit volunteered to find the patrol of six soldiers led by Captain Saurabh Kalia who had gone missing. Amit was steadfast and forthright to march for the mission, as he would say “Saurabh is my junior, it’s my duty to find him and his team”.

His unit of 32 soldiers had gone on the mission. Amit would never come back from this mission. An anonymous call was made to me on our landline number, with the caller telling that Amit had been martyred. But the caller would not give any more details. It was declared to us after 56 days that he had been martyred. All those 56 days, I didn’t break the news to anyone in the family, and took part in all the rituals in the hope that Amit would come home smiling as he had always been with us and the people around him.

When my mother was crying, his unit members told her not to insult his martyrdom by crying. “He saved 31 men of his unit, as he insisted that it would be he who would give them the cover fire when they were at the Kaksar Post in Kargil, facing the enemies. He fought till the last breath. He had weapons when he finally succumbed to the bullets. It was because of his bravery that the Indian Army got to know that the enemies were within our territory,” a soldier who was witness said.

The Jatveer magazine of the regiment paid rich tributes to Amit, writing: “Had Amit not given cover fire to his men, all would have been killed in action, and we would not have known that the enemy had captured a few of our posts”. Amit knew that his life was for the motherland. He was martyred protecting the motherland.

His last rites were performed at the Malviya Nagar Park where the government has built his memorial. We formed Shaheed Amit Bhardwaj Memorial Trust and since then we have been doing various activities such as plantation and blood donation camps, and helping the poor students. Amit would have turned 51 years on March 4 this year. For us, he is still around us.

(Author is sister of Captain Amit Bhardwaj who made supreme sacrifice in the 1999 Kargil War)

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