Subedar Sanjay Kumar is a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Indian Army and the recipient of India’s highest military award, Param Vir Chakra for displaying courage, and devotion towards his duty for the country on the frontline during the Kargil War of 1999. He was a part of the 13 JAK RIF battalion.
Sanjay Kumar was born on Wednesday, 3 March 1976 (age 45 years; as of 2021), in Kalol Bakain, Bilaspur district, Himachal Pradesh. His zodiac sign is Pisces. Sanjay Kumar completed his schooling at Government Senior Secondary School, Bilaspur. He wanted to join the Indian Army, so he began preparing for the entrance exams.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Parents & Siblings
Sanjay Kumar’s father’s name is Durga Ram, and his mother’s name is Bhag Devi. Sanjay Kumar is the youngest among six siblings. He has two elder brothers and three elder sisters. His brothers are working as sepoys with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.
Wife & Children
Sanjay Kumar got married to Promila on 17 April 2000. They have a daughter and a son, Neeraj Kumar.
After completing his 10th standard, Sanjay Kumar had to drop out of school and find a job to take care of his family’s financial expenses. Sanjay Kumar was determined to join the Indian Army as a rifleman for the 13th JAK RIF regiment as his uncle was also a part of the regiment who laid down his life during the 1965 Indo-Pak war for the country. Reportedly, when Sanjay made his first attempt to get himself inducted into the Indian Army, he was rejected by the Branch Recruiting Officer after which he moved to Delhi to learn driving and returned to his hometown, Bilaspur, where he became a taxi driver. Later, he made a second attempt and again got rejected; however, in his third attempt, he was finally selected to join the Indian Army in the year 1996. Sanjay Kumar has enrolled in the 13th Jammu and Kashmir Rifles battalion on 4 July 1999, where he served as a rifleman.
Param Vir Chakra
During the Kargil War of 1999, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar volunteered to be the leader of the scout that was given the task to attack and capture the Flat Top of Point 4875 in the Mushkoh Valley on 4 July 1999. While his squad was heading to capture point 4875, Pakistani soldiers began firing with automatic rifles and machine guns to stop the squad from reaching their (Pakistani Army) bunkers. Sanjay Kumar realized the importance of this task and the gravity of the situation and charged towards the bunkers of the Pakistani soldiers. He managed to kill three soldiers in duels and sustained severe injuries. Despite the injuries, he charged towards the second bunker and attacked the soldiers hiding inside the bunkers. The Pakistani soldiers left their UMG (Universal Machine Gun) behind and Sanjay used it to kill the escaping enemies. With utter disregard for his own safety, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar fought bravely and he was awarded India’s highest military award, Param Vir Chakra for displaying courage and devotion towards the country.
In 2010, Subedar Sanjay Kumar was demoted from Havildar rank to Lance Naik. The Indian Army refused to answer any questions regarding his demotion, but the army continued to refer to him as a havildar in its press releases. Later, the issue was highly covered in the media. In 2014, Sanjay Kumar was promoted to Naib Subedar and became a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Indian Army. Wikipedia YouTube
- Since 1950, only 21 soldiers have received the Param Vir Chakra award. Sanjay Kumar, Bana Singh, and Major Yogendra Singh Yadav are the only three living recipients of the Param Vir Chakra Award.
- On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Kargil War, Sanjay Kumar was promoted and became a Joint Commissioned Officer (JCO) and Sanjay Kumar got posted to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, where he started training the upcoming officers and trainees.
- The diary entry of the 13 JAK RIF from 4 July 1999 mentions the act of bravery displayed by Subedar Sanjay Kumar-
Number 13760533Y Rifleman Sanjay Kumar volunteered to be the leading scout of the attacking column tasked to capture area Flat Top on July 4, 1999. As the attack progressed, the enemy’s automatic fire from one of the bunkers posed a stiff opposition thereby stalling the column. Rifleman Sanjay, realising the gravity of the situation, displayed indomitable spirit, grit, determination and unadulterated courage, when he charged the enemy bunker with utter disregard to personal safety. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, he killed three of the intruders and despite being injured, charged on to the second bunker. The enemy was taken totally by surprise and they left behind one universal machine gun and started running. Rifleman Sanjay picked up the left-behind weapon by the enemy and killed the fleeing enemy. Although Rifleman Sanjay was profusely bleeding from his wounds, he refused to be evacuated and kept encouraging his comrades till he was finally evacuated. This super human act of Rifleman Sanjay motivated his comrades, who took no notice of the treacherous terrain, and charged on to the enemy thus clearing the enemy position with vengeance in their hearts, thereby wresting area Flat Top from the hands of the enemy.”
- Republic TV broadcasted a special show ‘Heroes of India’ on 15 August 2018. The special show was broadcasted on the news channel to celebrate the 72nd Independence Day of India. The show celebrated the army officers who made sacrifices for the country. On the show, Naib Subedar Sanjay Kumar was invited where he interacted with Arnab Goswami and (Retd.) Major Gaurav Arya and talked about his experience during the Kargil War.
- Subedar Sanjay Kumar and Major Yogendra Singh Yadav featured on the Karam Veer episode of the show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati.’ The episode aired on 22 January 2021, and it was the last episode of the 12th season of the show.