New Delhi: Five years ago on this very same day Major Mukund Varadarajan killed three terrorists in Kashmir. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries received during the shootout.
Varadarajan of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, the nation's highest peace-time gallantry award.
Born on 12 April 1983, Vardarajan was supposed to return home and surprise his wife and three-year-old daughter but they only received his coffin.
During April 2014, Major Vardarajan’s unit was deployed in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir and was engaged in counterinsurgency operations. On April 25, his unit received information about the presence of some terrorists in Kaajipathri village in Shopian district. It was decided to launch an operation to flush out the terrorists under the leadership of Major Mukund Varadarajan. The intelligence information also suggested that the same terrorists were responsible for killing election officials 24 hours earlier.
The heavily armed terrorists opened fire on the troops. Varadarajan in a swift action shot and killed one terrorist, simultaneously directing the action of his troops. During the heavy exchange of fire, Varadarajan got seriously injured but with total disregard to his injuries, he crawled forward and shot one more terrorist down. He showed remarkable courage and leadership despite bleeding profusely. 
However, Varadarajan succumbed to his injuries and was martyred.
Varadarajan is survived by his father R Varadarajan, mother Geetha, wife Indhu Rebecca Varghese, daughter Arshea, and two sisters Swetha and Nithya.

Varadarajan married his long-time friend Indhu on 28 August 2009 and his daughter Ashreya was born on March 17, 2011. He received his Bachelor of Commerce from Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Viswa Mahavidyalaya at Enathur and also a diploma in journalism from the Madras Christian College, Tambaram. His grandfather and two of his uncles also served in the Army. It is said that they only inspired Varadarajan to join the Army.
He was an alumnus of Officers Training Academy and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Rajput Regiment (22 Rajput) in 2006. He served at the Infantry School in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh and was also a part of United Nations Mission in Lebanon. In December 2012, he was deputed to the 44th Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles and posted in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mukund was very passionate about joining the Army but initially, he could not pursue it. After school, Mukund got a bachelor’s degree, and then a master’s degree in mass communication and journalism. His father thought he had forgotten about the armed forces. But Mukund surprised his parents by taking a Short Service Commission after spending a month working in a call centre. He passed out of the Officers Training Academy with high honours in 2004.