Tribute to Tushar

Ranjit Parihar
In order to respect the brave soldiers of the country who have sacrificed their precious lives for integrity and solidarity of the country the present Government should rename important public places after martyrs so that a message in society goes that the martyrs are respected and honoured.
Captain Tushar Mahajan was born on 20 April 1989 in a family of academicians. His father Dev Raj Gupta was a well-known educationist in Udhampur and retired as a principal. Captain Mahajan always nurtured the dream of becoming a soldier for taking on terrorists and eliminating them. Before getting selected for National Defence Academy training he joined NDA in the year 2006 (Batch 116) and thereafter went to IMA in the year 2009 (Batch 126). Capt Tushar Mahajan was given the gallantry award “Shaurya Chakra” for his bravery, unyielding fighting spirit, and supreme sacrifice.
On 20 Feb 2016, the militants attacked a convoy of CRPF in Pampore when they were returning from a search operation. A total of 11 CRPF Jawans got wounded in the attack and then the militants entered the nearby multi-storeyed Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) at Pampore in Pulwama district, about 15 kms south of Srinagar city. 9 Para(SF) decided to launch a late-night commando operation to neutralize the hardcore militants. The assault team that spearheaded the operation was led by Capt Tushar Mahajan.
He along with his troops stormed the huge building in a daring manner and forced the militants to move to other areas in the building, thus clearing a large area of the building to launch subsequent operations. The militants were heavily armed and were using automatic weapons and grenades. During this daredevil action Capt Tushar Mahajan, got hit by four bullets and was seriously injured. He was evacuated to 92 Base hospital in Srinagar where he succumbed to his injuries. Capt Tushar Mahajan displayed exceptional courage and fighting spirit during the operation and led from the front like a true military leader. His sacrifice paved the way for subsequent coordinated assault wherein all the militants were successfully neutralized.
Capt Tushar Mahajan, had joined the Indian Army against the wishes of his parents. His father wanted him to become an engineer like his elder brother but he followed his passion and became an officer in the army. He got commissioned into the famed Parachute Regiment and joined the elite 9 Para(SF). Capt Tushar loved the adventurous life and took great pride in being a commando from the prestigious Special Forces unit, known for its daredevil operations.
Hundreds of Army, Security forces and Civilians in Jammu and Kashmir have sacrificed their lives for the nation while combating militancy. The nation is eternally indebted and no award or prize can ever repay for the supreme sacrifice of brave hearts like Tushar.
Captian Tushar Mahajan’s 5th Martyrdom Day is on 21st February and like every year Tushar Memorial Trust Udhampur along with local residents will pay tribute to the martyr in Udhampur . Trust and local residents from last five years are demanding to rename Udhampur Railway Station after Captain Tushar but despite assurance by center and the UT Government nothing tangible comes out till date to honour the martyr.
Father of Martyr , local residents and Tushar friend club have a number of times reiterated this demand before Central Government and this time have again appealed MOS Dr Jitendra Singh, Railway Minister Piyush Goel, and Home Minister Amit Shah to fulfill their long pending demand to rename the station after martyr’s name which will be a real tribute to him .
We are aware that it wouldn’t bring back Captain Tushar but it will help in keeping his story alive as a constant reminder for people across the length and breadth of India. Those who would visit this town in Jammu and Kashmir would know how selflessly a young man laid down his life for them, the motherland and that he didn’t give it a second thought but fought for the pride of his nation by taking several bullets so bravely.
Tushar’s story deserves to be told as he is a motivation for not only the present generation but for endless generations to follow who can derive inspiration from his sacrifice. And that our children be nurtured with the supreme fact that India is our pride.
Local residents, Tushar Memorial Trust and his family members have a grudge that the promise made by the then Governments have remained on papers only from past four years. Several promises, including renaming of Udhampur railway station on his name, installation of statue of the Shaurya Chakra awardee in Udhampur city and constructing a mountain park in his name were announced by political leaders at the time of his death but none has turned into reality till date.