Capt Harshan’s name will remain eternal

via www.newindpress.com published on March 19, 2008

19CAPT.jpgT’PURAM: The Sainik School, Kazhakkoottam, the batchmates of Captain R. Harshan and the Old Boys’ Association of Sainik School, Kazhakkoottam have taken up various projects on the occasion of his first death anniversary.

School principal Colonel B. Ajithkumar told reporters here on Monday that the school would institute a trophy in Harshan’s memory to be awarded to the best basketball player. Harshan was a good basketball player. The sports pavilion being built by the batchmates of Harshan in his memory is expected to be completed by June 21.

The project of the Old Boys’ Association is a memorial with Harshan’s bust in the central garden of the academic block. The project is expected to be completed by August. The trophy for best basketball player, instituted by the school, was also unveiled at the function.

Captain Harshan of II Para Regiment 9 (special forces) lost his life while battling Harkat-ul-Mujahideen terrorists at Lolab in the border district of Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir on March 20, 2007.

Harshan, who hails from Manacaud, was an alumnus of Sainik School, Kazhakkoottam. He joined the school in Class VI way back in June 1990.

He was appointed school cadet captain during his final year in the school.

As a recognition of his outstanding contribution to the school, he was awarded the prestigious best all-round cadet trophy in 1997, the year he passed out.

Captain Harshan was commissioned into the Army in December 2002. He was groomed to be a tough commando of the elite ‘Red Devil’ unit to perform daring exploits. He had also earned the coveted parachute wings and maroon beret, the hallmark of special forces commandos.

On the fateful day, he received a message about the presence of some hardcore terrorists in Chhoti Margi area of Lolab. Despite heavy snowing, the men led by Captain Harshan cordoned off the house in which the terrorists were holed up, in the early hours of the morning. Four terrorists came out of the house firing indiscriminately to break the cordon.

Harshan killed two of them on the spot and was hit by retaliatory fire in the neck. Despite grievous injury, he continued to fight till he breathed his last.

His valour in the face of heavy odds inspired his men to pursue and eliminate the remaining terrorists.

The nation honoured Harshan by bestowing on him posthumously the Ashok Chakra, the country’s highest peacetime gallantry award, during the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi.

Harshan’s father Radhakrishnan Nair, a representative of Harshan’s batch Manu B. Chandran and Old Boys’ Association secretary Jayashanker Warrier also attended the news conference.

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