Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 8
Col MB Ravindranath, the then Commanding Officer of 2 Rajputana Rifles that wrested Tololing Top from Pakistan intruders during the 1999 Kargil conflict, passed away following a heart attack in Bengaluru on Sunday. The capture of Tololing was one of the most important breakthroughs in the conflict.
The 59-year-old officer had been decorated with the Vir Chakra for gallantry during the conflict. Though he had taken premature retirement from the Army, he was a regular speaker at some training and educational institutions.
During Operation Vijay in 1999, he had been tasked with capturing the strategic heights of Tololing, Point 4590 and Black Rock in the Drass sector that dominated the Srinagar-Leh Road.
According to his citation, he personally led the reconnaissance teams of his battalion under enemy artillery and small arms fire. During the assault on June 12, 1999, at Tololing, the troops were under constant enemy artillery shelling and heavy automatic fire. Realising the gravity of the situation, Colonel Ravindranath reached the spot and quickly restored the situation by his personal influence, which ultimately led to beating back the enemy counterattacks and consolidating the hold on Tololing and Point 4590.
The battalion was again tasked with capturing area Black Rock on the night of June 28, 1999. During the attack, the assaulting company lost both its officers. Colonel Ravindranath personally led the assault once again and was instrumental in capturing area Black Rock.
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