Vaio Pawan : The Mustafa of Pampore

By Satyam Singh

Once a Special Forces officer said that if you have your ‘Dil, Dimag aur Ghutna ‘ aligned then you can join Special Forces. By this he meant a courageous, badass, tough with high endurance guy can try for Special Forces which can make him a totally different breed. Here I am going to share about a Man of Steel from that unit which had a prestigious past and an Inspiring present. It goes back to 1967 when 9 PARA was bifurcated and out of that one more unit was established which as called 10 PARA . Four years down the line that unit led by Lt. Col. Swai Bhawani Singh (Maharaja of Jaipur) carried one of the most successful operation called “The Chachro raid” where the team conquered villages after villages and that too without any own casualties. To add there was a press brief by a man close to LTTE chief Prabhakaran, who said in this world LTTE only fears ‘Saint Soldier’s unit ‘ which was to address Col. Dalveer Singh of 10 PARA unit posted at Sri Lanka under IPKF mission.

After witnessing the glorious past of the battalion we can conclusively say that they are a breed in itself. They really prove the saying “Man Apart, Every Man An Emperor “. To add, when we see 10 PARA then we come to know that they have been also referred as Desert Scorpions or Mustafa of the Desert. This is due to the fact they specially train for the desert warfare and related things. But this doesn’t means that they are at complete aloof of the scenarios in other parts of India. For example there is a 10 PARA unit in Jammu Kashmir where the scorpions regularly visit and take part in similar counter insurgency operations alike other security forces do. Being said I want to tell that the valiant soldier of this article is related to both the above said facts that is he was a member of 10 PARA and also he served in Jammu and Kashmir.

On January 15 , when this lad was born , his parents barely knew that he shares his birthday with Army day of India . But who knew that the boy will dream of joining army and will finally join and celebrate his birthday with Indian Army day. It was a coincidence for many, but some felt it like a destiny for him. Also the destiny when met interest it gave him all the happiness when that lad cleared NDA 123 course and went Khadakwasla for three years. After passing out of NDA he was placed under 7 Dogra Regiment , but he always dreamt to join Special Forces and serve in Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible. Thus he volunteered for 10 PARA SF and without any doubt he joined it in April 2015 . The excited and enthusiast warrior urged his commanding officer to post him in Jammu and Kashmir so that he can be in between action always , which was his most preferable job to do.

Thus after his posting in Jammu and Kashmir he carried many successful operations. To cite, the operation of October 3 , 2015 at Pulwama where his unit successfully eliminated 3 hard core Terrorists . To add, I want to tell that officer never went on leave from the day of joining his unit in Jammu and Kashmir. Moreover he was so courageous that on 14 January when he went for an operation at Pulwama he faced the violent stone pelting, which was common for every security force personnel, but this time one stone directly hit his face due to which he suffered damages to three of his front teeth. And one can easily imagine that with this injury one would be in tremendous pain along with continuous blood. But this badass from Jind, Haryana stood silent but tall and no one knew about his injuries until the operation was over and 2 Terrorists were neutralized.

This story of hunting and countering the fringe elements went on . But on February 20 , 2016 when he was sitting at his office wearing black Cargo and Olive Green Bomber jacket, surfing his social media he saw two disturbing news , first from his home state Haryana , where mob was agitating for their demands of reservations and the other one from JNU where some people were celebrating Afzal Guru’s Jayanti. Although he might felt bad after watching those stories but that didn’t influenced his determination to fight for the country and that too very valiantly after some hours same day. But prior to real time war he took one selfie of himself and posted with caption – ” Kisi ko reservation chaiye to kisi ko azaadi bhai , hame kuch nahi chaiye bhai , bas chaiye apni Razaai” . This post got viral the very next day when in the early morning mainstream media started praising and applauding the bravery shown by the officer of 10 PARA.

Capt Pawan’s last facebook post

But in between the moment he posted his story and it got viral there was a situation which no one could ever think of. On very fateful day of 20 February three hard core militants threw grenades’ on CRPF bus in which two personnel’s got killed in action. After this the militants went to EDI (Entrepreneurship Development Institute) of Jammu and Kashmir where over 100 people were present at that time. As soon as security forces followed the trail they surrounded the EDI building but found it hard to enter due to indiscriminate fire from top of the floor by the terrorists. As a result this situation was just like lying on the edge of a cliff where one wrong move could have resulted in a hostage situation. Fearing the same one officer from 15 Core commanders called Team leader of 10 PARA at Awantipora and briefed him about the situation and asked him to come as soon as possible. The team leader informed his unit and quickly moved towards encounter site. After reaching there they were briefed about the situation by the officers already present there and after some discussions and deliberations it was planned to continue the operation with the first light of next day. In between this the CRPF was able to evacuate majority of the hostages.

But this young lad from Jind, where everyone knew him as PAWAN KUMAR , differed and said he would love to carry on the operation at night because the day will ensure more and more casualties on our side. After his persistent request and assessing the possible scenarios the Team leader allowed him to carry on the operation. Happily he shared his plan with his buddies and others and slowly moved towards the building back door. From there they climbed up using the fire escape route and went on directly to the top floor, as they planned. But as he was about to enter the floor , suddenly he got a message from his leader that the firing has suddenly stopped and he should be on alert as possibly the terrorist had come to know about their movements. Passing the recent information to his troops he silently opened the door, no one was there. Then they cleared the left side and went for clearing the right. After clearing every doors they reached to the last one which was closed from inside. They all waited for some time till they fit the door opening system and at last Pawan kicked and went in. At the same moment there was berserk firing from inside the door towards Pawan, who took 3 bullets on his chest. But before any delay he was able to kill one terrorist.

Capt Pawan during operation

Moreover at that time too he was not in a mood for a reversal, even after he got the orders from his team leader. So when he was forcefully evacuated, he managed to tell his leader that there are two more terrorist on the right side sir. Go and get them. Don’t wait for the day sir. He said these words till he was taken away towards base hospital. But with the dawn of 21 feb, Kumar family of Jind saw the dusk of their only son. He fought valiantly even after getting the blow from a close quarter gun fire fight. This was affirmed by the medical officer who saw Pawan in that condition. He said that fire fight was so close that it took a part of his heart along with one bullet. If Pawan would have got some chance to move he would have survived the fire fight. Apart from this , as all know that family of a soldier is not less than any soldier and that can be seen by statement of Pawan’s father , Mr. Rajbir , “ I had only one son , and I have no regrets , he did what he always wanted “.


23 years old Capt Pawan Kumar during happier days

Credits:- India’s most fearless (2) , Honour point , The liberal hindu.

Article By Satyam Singh

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