From the Times of India, Bangalore edition | 11 Dec 2011
Tributes paid to martyr Capt Harshan
TNN | Dec 11, 2011, 03.27AM IST
BANGALORE: A ‘Flame of Remembrance’ for Capt R Harshan, who laid down his life fighting terrorists in Kashmir in March 2007, was lit at the Parachute Regiment Training Centre, RT Nagar, on Saturday. Harshan, who was only 27, was conferred the Ashok Chakra the same year, the youngest recipient of the peace-time gallantry award.
The function was organised by the alumni of Sainik School, Kazhakootam, Kerala (Harshan’s alma mater), as part of the school’s golden jubilee celebrations. The torch was lit by Lt Col O M Kuriakose, former commandant of Para Regiment. Wreaths were laid by chief guest Air Marshal Rajinder Singh, Senior Air Staff Officer, Air Force Training Command, Bangalore, and other alumni of the school, including half a dozen classmates of Harshan, who served in the 2nd Battalion of Para Regiment (Special Forces).
Naik Udayakumar J, who was with Harshan, recounted the incident: “On March 19, 2007, the team was camping in Lolab valley of Kashmir when Harshan got to know, around 10pm, that a few terrorists were hiding in a nearby village. Despite inclement weather, the troops rushed to the village. The terrorists, who got to know that Army had encircled them, tried to escape by firing indiscriminately around 3.50am. Capt Harshan, who was hit on his thigh, managed to kill two Harkat-ul Mujahideen terrorists. He was later hit on the neck and succumbed, but not before injuring seriously another terrorist.”
The Torch for Harshan, along with similar ones lit across the country for other martyrs, will be carried to the school, where an Eternal Flame will be lit at the conclusion of the golden jubilee celebrations next month.