On the 26th of October 1947 Pakistani-supported tribal units captured Baramulla, and soon threatened Srinagar the capital. Next day, Lt. Col. Dewan Ranjit Rai, flew into Srinagar, with the 1 Sikh Regiment.
To safeguard the city and its airfield, the Lt. Col. decided to engage the enemy away from the city. An advance company was dispatched to check the enemy's progress Lt. Col. followed with two company's. However the Indians soon found themselves hemmed in from all sides and were subject to intense firing by the enemy.
As the Lt. Col. withdrew his men towards a hill feature near Srinagar he was struck by a burst of automatic fire that killed him instantly. Eight Indian soldiers lost their lives in this operation. But their sacrifice is not in vain. With the arrival of more Indian troops, the raiders were contained before they could reach Srinagar.
For his sacrifice to the cause of the nation, Lt. Col. Dewan Ranjit Rai was honoured with the Mahavir Chakra.