Hyderabad: Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal’s unit, the 55 Rashtriya Rifles, was deployed in Pulwama district in Jammu & Kashmir after the deadly terror attack there earlier this year. His team was engaged in operations against the militants on February 17, 2019 in Pinglan village. On being challenged, the terrorists opened fire. Major Vibhuti, an alumnus of Military College of Electronics & Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), Secunderabad, and three soldiers — Sepoy Ajay Kumar, Sepoy Hari Singh and Havaldar Sheo Ram — were killed. In memory of Major Vibhuti, who led from the front, a technical block at the MCEME was renamed after him.
The officer, who spent three years in Hyderabad, joined the MCEME in 2014. In 2017, he was assigned to the 55 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion (Grenadiers) in J&K. The officer, who hails from Dehradun, lived in the military quarters in Secunderabad.
On February 17, the security forces received credible information from intelligence sources about the presence of terrorists in Pinglan village in Pulwama district. Based on the inputs, 55 Rashtriya Rifles and the Special Operation Group of J&K police launched a search and destroy operation in Pinglan, in the neighbourhood of Kakpora, the home of the terrorist who had attacked the CRPF convoy on February 14.
According to the Army, the assault team was led by Brigadier Harbir Singh and Major Vibhuti was part of the team. On being challenged, the terrorists opened fire and a fierce gun battle ensued, lasting for over 20 hours.
A number of hardcore terrorists responsible for the attack on the CRPF convoy on February 14 were killed. Eleven security personnel too got injured including the leader of the team. The injured soldiers were shifted to the Army Hospital but Major Vibhuti and the three other soldiers succumbed to their injuries.
Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal sustained fatal gunshot wounds but was successful in eliminating two foreign terrorists and one local terrorist, the Army officials said.
“Major Vibhuti was a valiant soldier and a fine officer who led from the front and laid down his life in the service of the nation. In honour of him, the Technical Warrior Block in the Faculty of Degree Engineering (FDE), Military College of Electronics & Mechanical Engineering (MCEME) was renamed as Dhoundiyal Block by Lt Gen Paramjit Singh, in the presence of the mother and wife of the officer, Ms Saroj Dhoundiyal and Ms Nitika Kaul', said the statement issued by the MCEME.