Profiles in Heroism: Archive

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Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Kuttan » 03 Jan 2004 18:40

Per discussion below, we would like to use this thread to start archiving such material.

Posted by arindam (Member # 5094) on 03 January 2004, 06:14 AM:

Cross-posting ....

http://in.rediff.com/news/2004/jan/03jk1.htm

Lieutenant Triveni Singh: A real life hero

Anil Bhat | January 03, 2004 17:10 IST

While Pakistanis insist on defining bravery as attacking unarmed citizens with guns and grenades, Lt. Triveni Singh gave his life to protect some us yesterday ...

quote:
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Screen heroes may rekindle memories of the 1999 Kargil War, but Indian Army officer Lieutenant Triveni Singh became a real life hero when he gunned down two terrorists in direct combat. The young soldier's raw courage averted what could have been a bloodbath at Jammu Railway Station on January 2. After accomplishing his duty, the brave officer laid down his life.

"I am proud of our young officer Lieutenant Triveni Singh, who braved firing and grenade bursts to kill both the suicide group terrorists in the shortest-ever operation at the railway station," Rajinder Singh, general officer commanding, 26 Infantry Division, said in Jammu.

Army sources said Singh, who headed the army's Quick Reaction Team posted at the station, spotted the two heavily armed Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists forcing their way into the station in battle fatigues. Singh and his 'Ghatak Commandos' reached the spot within 10 minutes, cordoned off the station and employed the 'zigzag methodology' to arrive within close range of the terrorists, said a senior railway police officer who was at the scene.

Singh took on the terrorists in a gunfight at close quarters. He faced indiscriminate firing and lobbing of grenades. He succeeded in killing one of them and took charge of the so far 'uncontrollable' situation, the official said. The first terrorist was killed near the bridge between the first and the second platforms, he added.

The second terrorist lobbed a grenade at Singh while trying to escape but the seriously injured officer stood up and killed him before being shot in the head.

"Task accomplished," Singh said and saluted the GOC before breathing his last.

Rajinder Singh remembered the lieutenant, who was commissioned in the 5 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry in 2001, as a "brave and sharp boy".

Seven people were killed and 15 were injured in the attack. The exchange of fire between the two sides continued for almost two and a half hours.

Army sources said the other fatalities occurred as the terrorists fired indiscriminately while trying to get away. They said they had recovered a huge cache of AK-47 magazines and grenades from the terrorists, both suspected to be Pakistani nationals.

The lieutenant's body has been taken by land to his hometown Pathankot in Punjab, where he will be given a funeral with full military honours.

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Posted by narayanan (Member # 982) on 03 January 2004, 06:27 AM:

arindam:

Maybe "we" (BRF? Hello Admins??? ) should develop a website documenting these stories of heroism. From soldiers and civilians alike. It appears that these tales are not systematically stored anywhere else.

After reading these, one realizes that the so-called "thriller" stories don't even come close.

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Posted by arindam (Member # 5094) on 03 January 2004, 06:48 AM:

Narayanan,

I whole-heartedly agree. Maybe an interim starting point could be an archivable thread to save references and information about these brave souls. This will enable the potential creators of such a web site, to have all the requisite pointers and links.
******************************************

Folks, please post these sorts of reports here. "InshAdmin".

Thanks

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby JE Menon » 03 Jan 2004 22:34

>>The second terrorist lobbed a grenade at Singh while trying to escape but the seriously injured officer stood up and killed him before being shot in the head.

The writer of this article should be taken out and whipped, or at the minimum Rediff editors need to be taken to task. Weren't there only two terrorists? Such errors devalue the reality of Lt. Triveni Singh's bravery. (Unless there's an alternative explanation, or I'm reading it wrongly, but I doubt it :( ).

OK, following letter has been fired off to Rediff:

Editors at Rediff do a great injustice to the memory of brave soldiers like Lt. Triveni Singh when, through carelessness, they let slip errors such as this: "The second terrorist lobbed a grenade at Singh while trying to escape but the seriously injured officer stood up and killed him before being shot in the head."

Now, it is inconceivable that Lt. Singh was shot in the head by a dead man. By letting such a statement pass, you are laying room for doubt on the entire incident, implying that the events were embellished to make the young officer's death seem more heroic.

I recommend you immediately correct the error, for the sake of that brave soldier's memory. Taking the trouble to represent his heroism in the right way is the least Indians can do to thank him for his martyrdom.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Umrao » 03 Jan 2004 22:45

Not a fault of rediff.
We at BR are jingos of the worst kind as our beloved leader Atalji proves when he says.

<h3>Musharraf Pakistan's biggest leader: Vajpayee</h3>.

Wonder what must be going on in the minds of Saurab Kalia's parents, Sqldr Ahuja's kith & kin, and many more scores of brave mens relatives who made supreme sacrifices fro the nation.
May be were are like that onlee?

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby JE Menon » 03 Jan 2004 23:44

Arindam, N

The profiles in courage website is a good idea. I suggest that we move on this like we do on almost everything else on BR. We could first collect all these profiles and related info on this thread, for instance. Once we attain "critical mass" in terms of profiles, then the site development (whether as a part of BR, or elsewhere) can be implemented. Just my thoughts, let's see what other admins feel as well.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby JE Menon » 03 Jan 2004 23:46

Spinrao, ABV is hedging his bets by referring to him as "biggest" leader. He probably means size-wise (Gola). When Jamali becomes president, he'll be called the same... :D

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby jrjrao » 04 Jan 2004 02:56

A few brave men saved the day - Lt died saving deputy
JAMMU,JANUARY 3: It was a one-man mission that ended the fidayeen attack on the Jammu Railway station yesterday. Lieutenant Triveni Singh took on the two militants single-handedly and laid down his life while covering his deputy from the militants’ fire.

The call of duty came for Singh around 7.15 pm, minutes after news of fidayeen holding siege at the station came in. Singh promised his senior, a Major, that he would finish the task and join him for bara khana at the officers’ mess. That was not to be.

Singh was joined by his quick reaction team as they tracked down the militants at the station. The lieutenant was quick to spot the two hiding behind the stairs on Platform I. One of the militants saw Singh and his deputy, Havildar Fazal Hussain closing in and opened fire. Singh was undeterred. Hussain fired to cover Singh as he inched closer to the militants. As the havildar engaged the militant, Singh shot him. The other fidayeen was creeping up on the team and Hussain went for him, asking Singh for cover. Unnerved, the militant threw hand grenades and sprayed bullets. Singh rushed forward and pounced on the militant, diverting the fire from Fazal. The militant exploded a grenade, killing himself and the lieutenant on the spot. Hussain escaped unhurt.

‘‘We have lost a brave officer,’’ Maj Gen Rajinder Singh, GOC of the Jammu- based Tiger division, said. ‘‘He showed extra courage and tried to overpower the terrorist, but the latter exploded a grenade.’’
http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=38548

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 04 Jan 2004 03:20

Paratrooper Sanjog Chhetri (9 Para SF)- Op Sarp Vinash

Image

Sanjog Chhetri of the prestigious 9 Para Commando was part of a team tasked for the initial operations on terrorist locations in Surankot area of Rajouri sector on April 22.

"The commandos, while approaching the terrorists' hideout, drew extremely heavy automatic fire. Sensing grave danger to his comrades Sanjog assaulted the cave, lobbing grenades and firing from the hip and killing one terrorist. In the intense fire he suffered gunshot wound to the right shoulder, but unmindful of his physical condition he pressed on with the assault and killed a second terrorist. He, however, fell at the entrance of the cave. The terrorists had inflicted multiple gunshot wounds to Sanjog," the army said in a statement

But that was not the end.

"Paratrooper Sanjog Chhetri, in one last act of supreme valour, drew his commando knife and charged into the hideout, killing one more terrorist in hand-to-hand combat before finally succumbing to his wounds."

Inspired by his supreme sacrifice, his comrades killed 13 terrorists that night and captured a Pakistan-trained terrorist.

http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/aug/14josy.htm
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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 04 Jan 2004 03:50

Couple of news items archived in my HD from 2002..

Captain Kevin Kumar (9 Para SF)

Bangalore: On October 21, he would have turned 28 and probably got married. But, fate willed otherwise. The mortal remains of captain Kevin Kumar of Bangalore were laid to rest at the Hosur Road cemetery under full military honour after a solemn service at the St Mark’s Cathedral on August 1.

A super commando with the elite 9 Para Battalion Special Forces operating in Jammu and Kashmir, Kevin Kumar lost his life battling the militants on July 29. The funeral service and ceremony was attended by a motley crowd of family, friends and the Army officials, but not any from among the common masses.

Even as the brave soul was given a tearful and inconsolable farewell, the common man of Bangalore city seemed to be unaffected or rather unconcerned about a brave heart who had sacrificed his life at the height of militancy so that we could live in peace.

Caught in the quagmire of getting , the morning milk, fetching water, catching the public transport and finally reaching his office on time amidst the burgeoning traffic, the commoner appeared unconcerned about the woes of a family - especially mother Christine Kumar and father Lt Col Ashok Kumar, who had lost their dear in the prime of his life.

"I do sympathise with the loss and it is unfortunate that a young soul had to be plucked so cruelly. But, I'm caught in my own web of completing my daily chores to physically extend a sympathetic hand to the family. After all, as a society we are generally brought up without much concern to what happens to our next door neighbour," Shivkumar, an engineer with a private firm told Indiainfo.com.

Karnataka's Social Welfare Minister A Krishnappa received the body when it arrived in the city on July 31 and Karnataka Governor V S Ramadevi sent her condolence message – that was carried by the local dailies. But, the above acts seemed to have been done more out of protocol than deep sympathy for the bereaved family. A few journalists, however, with a passion for their profession and the brave were also present.

It's paradoxical that the capital should express sentiments that are diametrically opposite to those seen in the rural parts of the state. Karnataka, especially Kodagu (Coorg) and Uttara Karnataka (Dharwad, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Bellary, Belgaum, Raichur, Bidar and Haveri) regions, is known to have contributed its fair share of soldiers for the cause of the country.

Many of them have laid down their lives while serving in border areas, during insurgent clashes, wars and the most recent of all, the Kargil skirmish. Each time a soldier from the rural areas went down fighting, it was a case of collective mourning from the smaller villages and townships.

In fact, the many villages and towns have mourned the loss of a soldier as if a relative had departed in his or her own family. The entire village or town would await the body and attend the funeral morally sympathising with the family and fasting - a practice of not lighting the stoves as a mark of obeisance for the dead among the Hindus.

We at Indiainfo.com pray for captain Kevin Kumar’s soul to rest in peace and for God to give strength to the family to bear the bereavement.

You can share your sympathies with the family at:

Ms Christine Kumar & Lt Col Ashok Kumar, 19, MSH Layout, 4th Main, I stage, Anand Nagar, Bangalore, Karnataka, India - 560024. Telephone: 91 80 3435616.
http://news.indiainfo.com/2002/08/01/01kevin.html

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Kuttan » 04 Jan 2004 03:55

Thanks, shishir. We need many, many more such stories to get to even a minimally representative sample of what keeps the nation free and the savages penned in their pigsty.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 04 Jan 2004 03:58

Captain Sylvester Rajesh Rathnam (21 Jat)

Image

Even as the Army and the concerned family was mourning the untimely death of young Captain Kevin Kumar - who was killed fighting militants in J&K, news came of the shocking death of another young soldier from Bangalore city.

Captain Sylvester Rajesh Rathnam of the 21 Jat Regiment also laid down his life fighting insurgents in the Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir on August 2. The 29- year-old Rathnam was a product of Christ College, Bangalore and joined the Army through Officers' Training Academy.

Kashmir was his first assignment and the news of his tragic demise was unfortunately received by his mother, staying all alone at their Bangalore home. Rathnam had recently lost his father Rajakumar Rathna due to heart attack and his sister was away in Israel pursuing her PhD degree.

Within a short span of five days Bangalore had lost two of its bravest sons, who patriotically sacrificed their lives for the cause of the country. The body was received with the customary protocol at the airport by Karnataka’s Minister for Social Welfare A Krishnappa.

After the funeral service at the Resurrection Church on Old Madras Road, the body was laid to rest at Ulsoor cemetery with full military honours. Even as the Earth too seemed to mourn the demise of its brave sons - the sky was overcast since morning and there was intermittent drizzle throughout the day, Bangaloreans once again went about their chores unmindful of the fact that another hero had died for a national cause. Indiainfo.com prays to God to give his mother courage and strength to bear the loss.

Tributes may be sent to Ms Hema Rathnam, 1,012/3, First Main, New Thippasandra, Bangalore - 560 075.

Link
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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Kuttan » 04 Jan 2004 04:19

Here is another kind of courage - equally awesome. These are people who live every moment knowing that they are unarmed and vulnerable, but do their jobs as citizens regardless.

NDTV.com, Sep. 28, 2003. Militants kill four members of a family in Udhampur

“A group of four militants came to the house of one Sain Hussain around 10.30 pm (IST) yesterday. One of the militants forced his entry inside and opened indiscriminate fire on the family killing four people on the spot and injuring another. The dead have been identified as three brothers -- Khadim Hussain, Munir Hussain, Mohammad Hussain -- and a two-year-old child Saddam Hussain. In the past too, terrorists have killed infants when they believe they were targetting police informers.”

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Anindya » 04 Jan 2004 06:43

Officer does star turn in Jammu attack


Jammu, Jan. 3: Lieutenant Triveni Singh is being hailed as a real-life hero after he died battling militants who fired on passengers at Jammu railway station last evening. The army officer was killed along with two Border Security Force personnel and two policemen in the two-and-a-half hour gunbattle.

“I am proud of our young officer Lt Triveni Singh who braved firing and grenade bursts to kill both the suicide group terrorists in a short operation at the railway station,” said Major-General Rajinder Singh, the general officer commanding 26 infantry division. “We have lost a brave officer,” the major-general said of the lieutenant who was cremated with full military honours at his hometown Pathankot this afternoon.

He described Singh, who was commissioned in the 5 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry in 2001, as a “brave and sharp boy”.

Other than an increased security presence, there was little to suggest that a fierce gunbattle had occurred at the railway station yesterday, with passengers moving about normally.

“All these people are unaware that they owe this normalcy to the sacrifices and presence of mind of the security personnel,” said inspector-general of police P.L. Gupta. He was reviewing security arrangements at the station after having laid wreaths for the two slain policemen, both named Raj Kumar.

Both died fighting terrorists, while their colleague, Mohinder Kumar, one of the first to challenge the terrorists, is fighting for life at the Government Medical College Hospital here.

Surjit Singh, an eyewitness, said Lt Singh had displayed extreme courage. “We saw him rushing to a terrorist and holding his hands and kicking him. He had succeeded in disarming the terrorist when another…opened fire and killed the officer.”

Singh was waiting for a train when the terrorists struck.

As the sound of the gunshots and grenade bursts made passengers rush helter-skelter, the officer tried to locate the militants. He found that the militants had taken position on an overbridge linking platforms one and two and were firing at the station teeming with pilgrims on their way back from the Vaishno Devi shrine.

Singh saw one militant on the staircase leading to the overbridge. He rushed there, using what a senior government railway police officer present at the station yesterday described as “zigzag methodology” to come within close range of the militants.

Singh was unaware that his soldiers were following him as he rushed to the militants. Among the soldiers was Rajesh Kumar who lost his right hand after a scuffle with a militant who was about to throw a grenade.

Singh scuffled with another terrorist for nearly two minutes. The railway police officer said Singh killed one militant near the bridge, but a second militant, wearing army fatigues, threw a grenade at him as he tried to escape. However, Lt Singh managed to kill him before dying himself.

Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed described the attack as an attempt by militants to derail the peace process, but declared: “That will not happen.” He said the terrorists subscribed to the same ideology as those who have been targeting Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf


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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Raghz » 04 Jan 2004 13:45

Originally posted by John Umrao:
Not a fault of rediff.
We at BR are jingos of the worst kind as our beloved leader Atalji proves when he says.

Musharraf Pakistan's biggest leader: Vajpayee.
No matter what the thread. Some people are bent upon bringing the current leadership of GOI into it. Read the full article. Who else is the biggest leader of Pakistan currently? Last time I checked it was Musharraf. Did the PM praise Musharraf? or Did he call him the *Greatest* leader?

Rediff could have well put the headline as "Our stand, which is the right one is that J&K is a part of India" -ABV. But no, they want to sensationalize (spl?) the issues so that some worthies can pick it up to diss the leaders of India. Sorry for the off-topic. My Apologies.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Kuttan » 04 Jan 2004 16:28

Glad to see this thread moved to this forum. Hope it stays up long enough to collect a "critical mass" for further steps. Thanks

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby parikh » 05 Jan 2004 05:35

Not a discussion thread

JE Menon

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 06 Jan 2004 00:46

Major Mangerira Vinod Muthanna (5 Sikh LI/RR)

Major Vinod Muthanna, a native of Madikeri and attached to the 5th Sikh Light Infantry unit positioned at Khanbal in Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir died a heroes’ death and true to the characteristic valour of military officers from Kodagu. The Army base is situated on both sides of the Srinagar-Leh Highway at Khanbal and due to its remoteness was always under threat of being attacked by militants. Hence, the army personnel were on a constant alert and used to conduct security drills throughout the day, guarding the vital installations and civilian population around the camp.

On January 12 last, at about 6 pm, when the soldiers were about to have their dinner, a Maruti van barged into the camp with four militants in it. The intruders were firing indiscriminately from AK 47 assault rifles, rocket launchers and hurling grenades to give the impression that a large number of them had broken into the camp. As the soldiers returned fire and stopped the vehicle, one of the militant was fatally hit and died on the spot. Another, who was wounded, fled and two of them managed to slip into the barracks.

Major Vinod Muthanna, who was leading the counter attack on militants finding that the militant fire had subsided, informed his Commanding Officer about the incident and informed him that two of the militants were suspected to have entered the camp.
The CO instructed a thorough search of the camp and apprehension of the intruders. Accordingly, the entire camp was cordoned off and a search began. During the search operations it was found that the militants were holed up in a two storey building at the other side of the road. The building had only one entrance with a staircase leading to the first floor.

Two jawans entered the building and were fired upon by the militants. Both the soldiers were injured and Major Muthanna, who was the third to enter the building fired at the militants. He gave covering fire till both of the wounded jawans retreated into safety outside the building. In the process, Major Vinod Muthanna was hit by a bullet on his lower right hip and grievously injured when a grenade, hurled by the militants, exploded on the right side of his face. He however, managed to kill one of the militants before falling unconscious. The time was around 1.30 am that fatal night and already seven hours had gone by with the encounter continuing.

The Army then employed controlled blasting of the building with the intention of saving Major Muthanna. At that time, they did not know that Muthanna was fatally injured. Moreover, the two wounded jawans, in their dazed state, had informed their colleagues that "Major saab theek hain". This later proved to be wrong. As the building was being blasted, the lone surviving militant showed a desire to surrender. When questioned by the army, he confessed that he was part of a suicide squad sent in by the militant outfit, Lashkar-e-Toiba and was a native of Lahore in Pakistan. However, during the interrogation, he once again started firing from inside the building and was killed in return fire by the army fire.

The Army personnel entered the building at around 3.30 am and found that Major Vinod Muthanna had already succumbed to his injuries. They also found that the dead militant was holding fast to a grenade in his hand with the pin removed so that when the army personnel attempt to remove it from his grasp, a few more of them would be killed in the blast.

Link

Profile:
Major, born on 12th of July 1964 at Agra, did his primary schooling at Siddapur and completed his collegiate studies at Bangalore. A Hockey enthusiast, was attracted towards Army in 1984 and was commissioned as a Lieutenant. He was posted to 5 Sikh Light Infantry Regiment at Jammu.

In service of the Indian Army at Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Bangalore and at last at Kashmir he was promoted as Major in 1991, was with Rashtriya Rifles near Srinagar until his dare-devil demise. His body was brought to Madikeri and was cremated on 18th January 2000 with all the Military honours. The President of India posthumously confirmed the ‘Shaurya Chakra’ on 15th August last, and in commemoration of its brave Major the Rashtriya Rifles has named the Motivation Hall at Khanabal as Major Muthanna Hall recently.

Major Muthanna’s better half Mrs. Reena daughter of also a Major Kundyolanda Chengappa is at present leading her life with the reminiscences of her slain ‘Hero’ with three and a half years old off-spring Kumari Viksha at Bangalore.
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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 06 Jan 2004 01:15

Lt Hari Singh Bisht (11 GR)

Hari Singh Bisht of 11 Gorkha Rifles showed undaunting courage, valour and in the highest tradition of the Indian Army made supreme sacrifice in Bhimer Gali sector while fighting with terrorist. Lieutenant Hari Singh Bisht eliminated the most dreaded terrorist Abu Ahad Divisional Commander Rajouri and Poonch of HUJI organisation in a closely fought gunfight. The above terrorist was also involved in firing at Harni Police Station and killing innocent people at Harni. It was also reported that the he had physically abused the womenfolk at gunpoint, locals in and around the neighbouring area heaved a sign of relief on his elimination.

Lieutenant Hari Singh Bisht was the son of the soil and with illustrious Army background, he was the second generation to be in the Indian Army. His father is a Honorary Captain also from the Army. Lieutenant Hari Singh Bisht was born in December 1974 and commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles in December 1999. The young officer had dynamic personality and an outstanding sportsman and was liked by all for his tremendous sense of humour.

A touching and emotional wreath laying ceremony and last tributes were paid at 150 General Hospital with full military honours to the departed officer. A large number of senior Army officers and civil dignitaries were present. The mortal remains of the officer were sent to Jammu and will be flown by Indian Airlines to his hometown Lucknow.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 06 Jan 2004 02:39

Major Inderjeet Singh Babbar (14 Field regiment)

The troops of Red Horns Division deployed in Darrang district had a spectacular success on 17 June 2003 in smashing an ULFA temporary transit hideout at village Neogpara five kilometers north east of Deomornai in Darrang district.

Based on specific information about the presence of ULFA militants in Neogpara village the troops of Red Horns Division carried out seek and destroy operation under Major IS Babbar on 17 June 2003. At about 1100 hours the stops were placed on the escape routes and the search party under the officer approached the village to search the specific house.

At about 1130 hours, as the search party approached the specific house the party suddenly came under heavy automatic fire from the house. The party Commander Major IS Babbar in a swift offensive action charged into one of the houses from where the hiding militants opened fire.

In this ensuing encounter the officer sustained grievous injuries in his abdomen and shot dead one ULFA militant. Mean while another militant from the adjacent house opened fire indiscriminately at Major IS Babbar and his buddy, undaunted and in complete disregard to his personal safety the officer continued to engage the militant and killed the second militant.
In spite of his critical injuries and profuse bleeding the officer in the highest traditions of theIndian Army, refused to be evacuated and continued to systematically destroy the militant hideout.

The third militant who tried to flee while firing on own troops was also injured by Major IS Babbar and later shot dead by one of the stops. The dead militants were identified as self styled lieutenant Ajit Saikia Alias Kausher Ali and Bhairab Deka.

In this unparalleled act of raw courage the officer killed two hardcore ULFA militants and succeeded in destroying the ULFA hideout. On search of the area Army recovered one 7.62 mm universal machine gun with one box cylindrical magazine, one rifle AK 56 with three magazine, 290 live rounds, 109 rounds of fired cases, one Chinese grenade, three detonators with safety fuse, large quantity of medicines and four rucksacks with personal belongings. Major IS Babbar in a rare display of inspired bravery and personal courage laid down his life fighting the militants in the service of the nation.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 06 Jan 2004 06:02

Captain Gurjinder Singh Suri (12 Bihar) - Op Rakshak

Image

On November 9, all roads seemed to lead to the Captain Suri Park on Captain Suri Road in Shastri Nagar Colony of Ghaziabad when people from all walks of life streamed into the park to garland the bust of Ghaziabad’s brave hero, Captain Surinder Singh Suri.

Captain Suri had attained martyrdom by sacrificing his life in the defence of the country at Faulad post situated at a height of 11,200 ft in Gulmarg sector of Jammu and Kashmir on November 9, 2000. But before making the supreme sacrifice, Captain Gurjinder Singh Suri and his gallant men had killed 17 Pakistan soldiers.

On Monday, the third Martyrdom Day of Capt. Suri, skits, patriotic songs and mono-actings were presented by the students of various Ghaziabad schools who had worked hard to prepare the programme. Some thought-provoking speeches and poems, high in poetic and patriotic values, were also recited by eminent poets. Captain Suri was the lone recipient of the nation’s second highest decoration for gallantry, Mahavir Chakra, in Independence Day Gallantry Awards in 2000.

This is how his commanding officer, Col. G S Chandel, had recorded Capt. G S Suri’s last-day valour: “During this action while fighting the enemy, Captain G S Suri received wounds from a direct RPG and succumbed to his wounds. But before that seventeen Pakistani soldiers were killed and 14 bankers destroyed. A gun, a medium machinegun and two rocket launchers were snatched from enemy troops.”

This is what the citation of Mahavir Chakra awarded to him, said: “On November 9, 1999, enemy launched an attack on our post which was successfully repulsed. Captain Gurjinder Singh Suri immediately deployed his support group to take care of any reinforcement/interference and set out to clear the enemy bunkers, one by one. When Capt. Suri saw that one comrade was seriously injured, he quickly moved on with his buddy, to clear the bunker. He killed two enemy soldiers with his AK rifle and silenced the machinegun. However, he got a burst in his left arm in the process.

“Unmindful of his injury, he continued to inspire his men. He then lobbed two hand-grenades into a bunker and entered inside spraying bullets and killed one enemy soldier. At this point, the officer was hit by an enemy rocket-propelled grenade and was critically wounded. He refused to be evacuated and continued to exhort his men till he breathed his last. “Capt. Suri displayed extraordinary leadership, inspired by which the Ghataks (platoon) fell upon the enemy with vengeance and annihilated them.

Captain Gurjinder Singh Suri, thus, displayed conspicuous bravery and leadership of the highest order in the face of the enemy and made the supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.” While the people eulogised the bravery of the late Capt. Suri, his parents Col. Tej Pal Singh, mother Surjit Kaur, grandfather, a World War II veteran, subedar Gurbaksh Singh, and other relatives heard all this with moist eyes.

“G S simply performed his duty as a soldier towards his motherland,” said his grandfather Subedar Gurbaksh Singh, in an emotion-choked voice.

Link
p.s: Error in the date reported above. Capt Suri died fighting on Nov 9, 1999 and not Nov 9, 2000
Last edited by Shishir on 05 Aug 2004 22:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Pranay » 06 Jan 2004 06:56

Folks,
I don't intend to digress from this commendable thread, but can someone explain the following, from the post on Major Muthanna above ...

As the building was being blasted, the lone surviving militant showed a desire to surrender. When questioned by the army, he confessed that he was part of a suicide squad sent in by the militant outfit, Lashkar-e-Toiba and was a native of Lahore in Pakistan. However, during the interrogation, he once again started firing from inside the building and was killed in return fire by the army fire.
Are these scum stripped and searched before being interrogated or is the interrogation so haphazard that the terrorist is able to lay his hands on a weapon again during interrogation??

Or is it a case of just disposing off the scum once all pertinent info. has been gleaned??

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Jagan » 06 Jan 2004 07:09

Shishir,

Thanks for the good job in keeping this thread alive - this needs to be archived once its done.

Jagan

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Mehta » 06 Jan 2004 21:46

Folks,

What bother me is that ,with all this feeling good,friendship etc with pakistan.
Media also did not gave much coverage to the attack in Jammu Railway Station.

Because of the bravery of Lt.Triveni Singh and other Soldiers.
Not many civilians were killed.

All of a sudden everything is ok.
Whereever you read there is this feeling of future with pakistan is all good and peaceful.

The only language these folks understand is bullet for bullet.

I don't buy there is change of heart in pakistan establishment.

At the expense of repeating myself, again and again. I will say again, just by having nuclear weapons you don't become a super-power.

India needs to act as a Super-Power.

Each life lost is one to many, espeacially our Soldiers.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Umrao » 06 Jan 2004 22:08

Mehata>> Its defacto admission that all terror is home grown in India, concluding by the conduct of Atalji, who did not even broach upon the subject of CBT. Read the denial of GOI that BM met ISI chief, while the whole world knows in fact he did.
So much for the credibility of GOI, some may spin even this chanikyan neethi, but you can spot it as wrong one.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 06 Jan 2004 23:26

Subedar Surinder Singh ( 3 Sikh)

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Subedar Surinder Singh of the 3rd Sikh regiment has been posthumously decorated with the Ashok Chakra, the highest peace time gallantry award. He gunned down four Pakistani militants in a fierce encounter near the border town of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir. Surinder, who made the supreme sacrifice in the battle near Pir Badesar is the lone recipient of Ashok Chakra this year, the equivalent of Param Vir Chakra.

In his village today Surinder's family and friends remembered the man who has won India's highest peacetime gallantry award. "I wish he was alive and both of us could have gone to accept the Ashok Chakra. I would have been happier then," says Santosh Kaur, Surinder's wife. The loss is palpable among all the family members and Surinder's father is all praise for his son.

"I sent my son to join the Army for the country. I am happy that he fulfilled his duty and sacrificed his life for the motherland," says Khazan Singh, Surinder's father. Surinder had many friends in his village and they all remember him fondly.

"He was my friend and whenever we talked he would say he would never show his back to the enemy," recalls Kali Dass, a villager. Almost every house in this village has at least one member in armed forces. Today these villagers are feeling very proud, they believe that one of their fellow villagers will be a source of inspiration not only for them but for the entire country.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Joeqp » 07 Jan 2004 04:42

Mehta, Spinster: can we <B>PLEASE</B> take your standard bullth!t out of this thread? Passing remarks about the GoI does <B>NOT</B> belong in this thread. I may/maynot agree with your points, but this is <B>NOT</B> the place. Start another thread if you want. :mad:

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 07 Jan 2004 05:18

Major Sudhir Kumar (9 Para SF)

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Even though life continues normally in the little slate-roofed mud house in the tiny village of Banuri, near Palampur, yet it can never be the same again for those living there.

In a dimly-lit small room, the immaculate uniform, belt and beret of an Army officer, hangs on the wall, and alongside you see the face of an earnest young, committed soldier staring at you. Along with the portrait and laminated blow-ups of the young officer, there are so many other memories which the ageing couple in the house clings to. There is pride in the moist eyes of Subedar Rulia Ram, as he talks about his valiant son. Major Sudhir Kumar, on whom the highest peace time gallantary award, Ashoka Chakra, has been posthumously conferred, brought honour not only to his family, but to all those who loved and respected him.

It was on August 29, last year, that he died fighting insurgents in the Kupwara sector of the trouble-torn state of Jammu and Kashmir. "It was on the night of August 27 that he gave us a call to say that he would be reaching home after two days, which he did, but in a coffin," recounts his mother. "Even as a small child his only aim in life was to join the Army and achieve something great," she says. It was not merely a fascination to adorn the olive green uniform, but to tread the path very few would dare to.

Born on May 24, 1968, in Jodhpur, Major Sudhir studied uptil Class V in the government school in the village itself. It was after being selected in the Sainik School at Sujanpur Tira in Hamirpur district, that he could see his dreams coming true. After passing out from the NDA in 1987, he was commissioned on June 11, 1988. Initially, he joined the 4 Jat Regiment. But later shifted to the elite 9 Para Commandos. His stint in Sri Lanka — as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) — saw him emerge as an expert in guerrilla warfare. There was no looking back after this as he was decorated with service medals one after the other. The endless list of decorations includes the Videsh Seva Medal and Special Services Medal in 1990, Siachen Glacier Medal, High Altitude Medal and Sainya Medal for Jammu and Kashmir in 1992.

He got the Sena Medal and Bar Two Medal in 1994 and Clasp Suraksha to Special Service Medal and Wound Medal in 1996. Major Sudhir was selected for the International Officers Advance Course in the USA. In that he qualified as an instructor with honours, after having done the course in protective services of VIP security and combat terrorism on military installations. Having added another feather to his cap, he was posted as the ADC to Army Chief,Gen V.P. Malik, from December 1997 to June 1999. His desire to be in the thick of warfare saw him becoming part of Operation Vijay, in Kargil. After it was over, Major Sudhir went back to counter-insurgency operations, his field of expertise, in Jammu and Kashmir.

He was entrusted with important tasks, which included being sent on special secret missions to Pakistan. "It was not without reason that bhai was chosen for these difficult jobs. He had a flair for languages, he had mastered Persian and Sindhi. He was also an expert in the use of explosives and could easily decode the wireless messages of the militants," disclosed Arun, younger brother of Major Sudhir.

The 31-year-old officer was killed in the dense forests of Haphruda in Kupwara, but only after gunning down a few militants. As he led a squad of five men in the area, he heard disembodied voices, but was unable to spot them. He along with his buddy crawled uphill and on reaching the knoll saw two armed militants, barely four metres away. He immediately killed the nearest sentry and charged towards the second, who jumped back into a large covered hideout in a depression, 15 metres below.

Without any hesitation, Major Sudhir charged at the hideout with only his buddy giving him covering fire.Taken aback, the militants, 20 in number, rushed out in an attempt to flee. Major Sudhir singlehandedly grappled with them and firing from a distance of two metres, killed four militants. In this action, he was hit on the face, chest and arm and fell down, bleeding profusely at the entrance of the hideout. Although, unable to move, he called up his troop commanders on the radio set, not to allow the militants to flee. It was only after 35 minutes, when fire stopped that he allowed his evacuation. Bleeding profusely, he continued to pass instructions to his troops on his radio set. He passed away holding his set, in the hand.

While no amount of help can compensate for the loss of Subedar Rulia Ram’s son, the state government has not bothered to consider the bereaved father’s request for a job for his other son and daughter. "Since there is not even a single earning member from my family," rues Sub Rulia Ram, "I had personally requested the Chief Minister, P.K. Dhumal, to give a government job to my son or daughter, when he had come to our house, immediately after Sudhir’s death." Major Sudhir’s younger brother, Arun(28 ), had met with a serious car accident in 1992 and is unemployed. His younger sister, Asha, a student of BA-II, in Government College, Palampur, too, is willing to do a job, provided there is some help from the government.

Even five months after Major Sudhir sacrificed his life for the nation, not a single person from the state government has payed his family a visit, let alone offer help. It is a matter of great regret that the martyr who is being revered by the entire nation, is a forgotten man in his home state.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 07 Jan 2004 05:26

Major Sushil Aima (17 RR) - Op Rakshak

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5.45 p.m, August 1st, 1999. The phone rings.... The caller has sad news to convey. " Madam, your brother, Major Aima made the supreme sacrifice while fighting the militants this morning. Please get in touch with the authorities and collect his body from the airport tomorrow"

I looked at my parents face, who were ready to hear something unwanted, told them their son had become a martyr. At the outset we did not realize what had hit us and it took us sometime to absorb the shock. Throughout the Kargil episode my parents were glued to the T.V set, praying for the success of our brave soldiers. Little did they know that they too would join the ranks of proud martyr families.

Ironically, 2nd August, the day we received my brother's body, was also his 5th wedding anniversary. He had promised to surprise us on his wedding anniversary and he kept this promise by joining his martyr colleagues. It was typical of him to come home on leave without informing us in advance to surprise us. This time too he came suddenly, in form of a martyr and that was his last surprise for all of us. Death is inevitable, but blessed are the ones who confront it with bold and brave hearts. Sushil is an example, an ideal to whom his fellow countrymen can look up to. In a poem he had written, "Death" , he explained death as a wonderful and divine fact of life and not what one ought to be scared of. No wonder, the whole nation salutes the martyrs, who have died for the country and for each one of us, forgetting the pleasures of materialistic mundane world. .

Born on 15th July, 1966, Sushil was just two and a half years younger to me – more like a friend and confidante. However, at times I would boast of being elder to him and hence richer in experience. Never did I realize that he would surpass us all and become the most experienced person by giving up his life for the sake of the country . That reminds me of a phrase "Life is what happens to us while we make other plans".

His last words, prior to his departure for Poonch in April 99, still echo in my mind. He had said " Listen, tomorrow I may die , so remember this ...my profession is such that any thing can happen ". For the masses, Kargil war may be history. But for the families who have lost sons , brothers, fathers and husbands, the battle still rages on. They are fighting a daily war within themselves, of their mind with the heart, a war of memories, a war of sentiments.

I would sum up this note with a small poem for all the martyr families and pray that they all live up with grace and dignity and honor the sacrifice which their beloved ones made for the country.

"LIVE UP YOU LIFE"

The past has gone by
And future yet to come
Live up each moment of your life
For any moment could be your end
A hope carries and ferry’s you across
The Mundane world
Is too messed up
To recover your immense loss
The faith within
will guide you each day
And glorify and sanctify
All residing
In your way
- Savitri Aima

Sister Savitri Aima's tribute


Another tribute -

HAIL, YE INDOMITABLE HEROES, HAIL !’
By Shyam Kaul (Safapuri)


In mid-eighties, when young Sushil Aima, a 12th class student, sought admission to the National Defence Academy, he did not inform his parents or any other member of the family. He feared that with the exclusive artistic background of the Aima family, nobody would approve of it. But after he was selected in 1985, Sushil reluctantly went to his father and gave him the news, fearing that the answer would be a firm ‘No’. But that did not happen. His father, Makhanlal Aima, an insurance officer, did not get angry, but he did appear visibly surprised.
‘Papa’, Sushil told him, “joining the army has been my dream and today my dream has come true. I assure you I will not disappoint you. I will make a good soldier”.

Major Sushil came from a gifted family of Srinagar. His uncle, late Mohanlal Aima, was among the moving spirits of the post-1947 revival of Kashmiri music. He lifted the Kashmiri “chhakri” from its plebeian moorings and gave it popularity and respectability among the high-born Kashmiris. Through the medium of newly established radio station in Srinagar, he was instrumental in bringing out the “sufiana” music from the “diwankhanas” of the elite and taking it to the homes of common people.

Omkar Aima, another uncle of Sushil, was a stage personality before he moved on to Bombay films, starting with the lead role in first-ever Kashmiri feature film, ‘Mainzraat’. Satish Kaul, a cousin of Sushil, carved a place for himself, both in Hindi and Punjabi films. Another cousin, Alok Aima,has made a name in Hindi and English theatre in Dubai.

Sushil was commissioned in the army in 1988, as the years rolled by, he grew into a fine soldier, and, when the moment of ultimate challenge came, he touched the pinnacle of valour, which any soldier anywhere in the world would be proud of. In his brief career he earned the praise of his superiors for his bravery, initiative and leadership qualities, especially, during his stint in Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir, one of the worst militancy-affected areas.

In 1997, Sushil was given the rank of a Major. In 1999, when he was 32, with a promising future ahead of him, he was martyred in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir, defending his motherland. He fought valiantly till his last breath against the Pakistani intruders, and joined the select ranks of the martyrs of the great Indian army. In his death, in the prime of his youth, Major Aima covered himself with glory, and brought honour to his family, his people and his country. For a country, no glory can be greater and nobler than that brought by its soldier sons who lay down their lives while defending the honour of their motherland. Sushil Aima immortalised himself as one such soldier son of India.

The first day of August ’99 was hot and humid. Makhanlal Aima and his family were home at Palam Vihar (Haryana), trying to ward off the oppression of the sultry weather. But they were also eagerly awaiting the arrival of Sushil, who was to join the family to celebrate his fifth wedding anniversary, the next day, August 2. But Major Sushil did not arrive. He never did. Instead came a stupefying shock, a message from the army, that he was no more. He had been killed in an encounter with Pakistan-backed mercenary terrorists in Poonch, where he was posted, on the eve of his wedding anniversary.

Late at night, when Major Sushil was resting after having made preparations for his departure for Delhi next morning, news was brought to him that a large group of foreign mercenaries had assembled on a nearby hill. It was learnt that the group had plans to attack a village in the vicinity, largely inhabited by members of one particular community.

A hurried conference was held. It was decided to go into action, surround the terrorists, and then launch a full-blooded attack, to be led by Maj Sushil. The young officer and his jawans soon made contact with the enemy and a fierce encounter followed. It lasted for seven hours, and ended up with a hand-to-hand fight, with heavy losses among the intruders. Two terrorists fell to the bullets of Major Shushil, but in the later stage of the encounter, he was fatally wounded when a bullet hit him in his left temple. Holding the revolver in his left hand, he also shot dead the third terrorist who had fired the fatal shot at him. Then he provided cover to a colleague, who had been grievously injured in a grenade blast, and helped him crawl to safety.

It was then that Major Sushil’s end came. When the body of the deceased hero was brought to his home at Palam Vihar, hundreds of people had gathered there to be with the bereaved family in its hour of grief. They stood there, men and women, in silent sorrow. Not many had seen or known the young army officer, but here was India, paying its homage, to a martyred son of India. Makhanlal Aima, holding in his arms his nine-month old grandson, Sidharth, was a picture of restraint and dignity. His friends, crowded round him with words of sympathy and consolation. In a choked voice he told them, “it is an irreparable loss to all of us, and a perpetual agony for the two small kids and their young mother. But I also think of scores of other parents and relatives, who, like us, have been receiving the dead bodies of their soldier sons from the battlefront. I don’t consider it as mere death. It is martyrdom. A moment of pride and honour for all of us.”

Later when Major Sushil’s body was taken for its last rites, Palam Vihar was transofmred into a sea of people. Thousands of them lined the road, among them school children too, whose schools had been closed for the day. Businessmen closed their establishments and shops to join the funeral procession. From ministers of Haryana, led by Revenue Minister, Kailash Sharma, to the local sarpanch, Ranjit Singh, there was hardly a civil or army dignitary, who was not there to bid farewell to Major Sushil Aima. His officers and colleagues in the army were there in full strength.

It was a spontaneous gush of sorrow. It overwhelmed the Aima family. Omkar Aima could contain himself no more. With tears trickling down his cheeks he thought of the dark days, a decade ago, when the eruption of terrorism in Kashmir, had driven out the entire Pandit community from the Valley. At that time no fleeing Pandit knew where he would find safe refuge. Everyone of them wondered whether he would be owned anywhere and whether he would belong anywhere.

Walking alongside the cortege of his nephew, Omkar felt Major Aima was the son of India and the exiled Pandit community belonged to the whole of India, and every nook and corner of the country was its home. Held by his grandfather in his arms, little Sidharth was made to light the pyre of his father, who had been described as the “bravest of brave” by a senior officer of his, Maj Gen A Mukherji. Who knows what dreams Major Aima had dreamed for his little son and four-year daughter, Ridhi. But one can be sure that he died with the confidence that a grateful nation, he left behind, would give them a happy childhood and a secure future.

A few days later a special function was held at Rohtak where Haryana Chief Minister, OP Chautala, handed over a cheque of Rs 10 lakhs to Archana Aima, widow of Maj Sushil. The hearts of Omkar and Makhanlal Aima, who were present, brimmed with gratitude for the people of Haryana, Maj Sushil’s adopted state. But a gnawing feeling rankled deep down in their hearts. Sushil was born and brought up in Kashmir, and he was martyred on the soil of Kashmir. And yet, the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah, did not have a word of sympathy or condolence to convey to the bereaved Aima family. Sushil has gone to eternal sleep, as did many brave soldier sons of this country during the summer of 1999, after shedding the last drop of their blood for the honour and integrity of their motherland.

On Fame’s eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory guards, with solemn ground,
The bivouac of the dead

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Ashutosh » 07 Jan 2004 05:33

Courage under fire - 2nd Lt. Rishi Malhotra
Duty. Honour. Courage. That's what 2nd Lieutenant Rishi Malhotra lived his life by, and that's what his unit and parents would like people to remember of this young officer, now that he is no more. As they send out their best wishes for the New Year, the greeting card is a mark of respect for his ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Inscribed inside is a short passage that tells of 2 Lt. Malhotra's commissioning into the 8 Maratha LI on Dec 11, 1993 and the search and destroy mission that he embarked on the next year in Doda district - a mission he carried out successfully, but from which he did not return. This is their way of paying tribute to the youngster who did not let his calling down, brought honours (in the form of a Kirti Chakra) to his unit, and gave up his life for all of that.
http://roa-mlirc.org/images/rmalho.jpg

From the Maratha Light Infantry website:
CITATION IC-52571N
SECOND LIEUTENANT MALHOTRA RISHI ASHOK
8 BATTALION THE MARATHA LI (POSTHUMOUS)
(20 MAY 1994)

On 18th May 1994 Second lieutenant Rishi Ashok Malhotra of 8 Maratha light infantry was tasked to search and destroy a hideout of militants in the area of Lai Dramman in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. Second lieutenant Rishi Malhotra led one platoon and selected an extremely difficult route in hide altitude jungle terrain to achieve surprise. After covering a distance of 30 Km over two consecutive nights, second lieutenant Rishi Malhotra cordoned the militant hide out during the early morning hours of 20 may 1994. The move of his column with utmost stealth and guile took the militants by complete surprise. He then moved towards the hideout and engaged the militants with very heavy volume of fire. Unmindful of his personal safety and displaying valour of an extremely high order, second lieutenant Rishi Malhotra kept advancing towards the hideout. An intense fire fight with the militants ensured at close quarters during which the actions of second lieutenant Rishi Malhotra were conspicuously aggressive and exemplarily determined. He received bullet wounds on the chest while covering the last few yards to the hideout. Despite being gravely injured, the reached the hideout and killed to anti national elements at point blank range before succumbing to his wounds. The two dead bodies of militants alongwith two AK-56 rifles just a few paces from where the officer expired is a testimony to the raw guts and unflinching resolve of second lieutenant Rishi Ashok Malhotra.

For this supreme act of valour and sacrifice, Second lieutenant Rishi Malhotra was awarded " Kirti Chakra" (Posthumously).

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Kuttan » 07 Jan 2004 05:47

Keep'em coming, folks. There are thousands of stories out there. Real life heroism. Thanks

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Rishi » 07 Jan 2004 11:31

http://www.nawang.com

Lt Nawang Kapadia, who was commissioned on September 2, 2000 in the Fourth Battalion the Third Gorkha Rifles, died while gallantly fighting Pakistan based terrorists in the jungles of Rajwar in Kupwara district of Srinagar on 11th November 2000.

On the 10th of Nov the Battalion received information of a large number of terrorists hiding in the notorious jungles of Rajwar near Kupwara. Search and destroy operations were immediately launched with Nawang leading his own platoon. At approximately 11 am, a large hideout was discovered by the Battalion and Nawang’s platoon came under fire from a group of eight to ten terrorists in the vicinity. Havaldar Chitra Bahadur got a burst in the stomach and fell mortally wounded. At this stage, Nawang instinctively rushed to rescue Chitra Bahadur, firing his weapon ,under the covering fire of his comrades. A terrorist who was hiding in the nearby foliage fired at Nawang. In the crossfire, Nawang got a bullet in the face and died, leading his troops in the highest tradition of valour and sacrifice.

The encounter has resulted in the killing of two terrorists of the Al Omar Tanzeem, a Pakistan based organization, with reports of two others grievously wounded and likely to have died. Large quantities of arms and ammunition have been recovered. The fight lasted over over 36 hours. Lt Nawang Kapadia died in the highest traditions of the Indian Army, living up to the ethos and standards of his Battalion, which earlier had lost two officers like him in counter insurgency operations in 1983-85 and again performed gallantly, despite severe casualties, in the Batalik Sector of Kargil.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 07 Jan 2004 21:20

Col Ivan Crasto (21 Para SF)
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Not all men in uniform lead such exciting lives. In fact, even out of the combat lot, a few get much more than their share of excitement. Col Ivan Crasto’s life has been more action-packed than much of the fiction one sees on TV. He’s the only Goan, quite possibly the only Indian, to have been honoured for exemplary courage by three Indian states, plus by the Indian Army. He was awarded the Kirti Chakra, the nation’s second highest gallantry award, for one sparkling incident (that happened in 1992, at Parwanoo, near Chandigarh) out of several lesser-known ones. This 42-yr-old has taken part in every operation of the Indian Army after 1971: in the North-East countering serious rebellion, with the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka (he opted to go there when his son was but five days old, because so many of his friends and colleagues were seriously injured or killed there and he just had to be in the heat of the action), at the Golden Temple during Bluestar, and lately, he fought the war in Kargil.

In fact, he commanded the 21 Para, which has the unique distinction of being the only unit deployed in every sector of Kargil. He has faced and survived fortunately without injury, bullets, mines and militants, and simultaneously looked after the administration and operations of his units. Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Goa, have honoured him for saving thirteen tourists (the incident noted above) that were stranded in a cable car at a height greater than that of a 100 storey building, 1300 ft above sea level, at a place known as Timber Trail, strung between mountain ranges, with no hope of survival should a single mistake be made. And he did that singlehandedly, “with the close support of the helicopter pilot who did an excellent job indeed.” He modestly adds, “It was the most satisfying thing I have ever done.”

He was on the cable-car, balanced crouched, on a large greasy tray-like platform, gripping the edges with his bare hands to prevent him from falling to a sure death, with not even a rope tying him to safety. The helicopter that had put him there created strong air currents. The cable swung like a pendulum, and the sharp, chilly breezes of a Himalayan October bit into his fingers. Each time he had to grasp the metal cable to which he needed to attach a person, he was exposed to a sharp static electrical shock for which he had to brace himself. Worse, still, he opted to stay a freezing night in that cable car which was stinking with urine and excreta. Wrapped in the covering torn off the seats to keep themselves warm, the stranded tourists placed implicit trust in him as he chatted easily to keep their morale high. Crasto did this voluntarily, because he thought it was the correct thing to do. As a para-commando, and one who had been awarded the coveted “Dagger” for having stood first during his training, he didn’t (doesn’t, even today, he candidly confesses) know the meaning of fear, has rarely used the words ‘not possible’. What if he has to die in the bargain? That may have crossed his mind, but he was confident of himself, else he wouldn’t have taken that tremendous overnight risk instead of being at home with his children. It was an act of unbelievable bravery, done only a month after his mother passed away, that was splashed all over the media in the autumn of 1992. He repeats, smiling kindly at my wonder, “I couldn’t have done without the outstanding support of the young chopper pilot who risked his life making those extremely difficult sorties.”

“Weren’t you ever frightened, ever?” I ask. The pragmatic answer is: “That was my job. Besides, the senses are so alert that there is no time to be afraid. Of what use would all my training be if I weren’t there in the heat of the action?”

Several times, most notably in three ambushes, he has escaped death by the skin of his teeth. And what did he do when he wasn’t facing death? He organized rescue operations for events as large and serious as the earthquakes in Garhwal and Latur, looked after all counter insurgency operations, or set up the security systems (he’s a pioneer in this) for high level terrorist targets like the Army Chiefs and their families. He quietly adds that he has also been awarded two Chief of Army Staff Commendation Cards.

Ivan Crasto might have become a lawyer if his father, a naval officer himself, hadn’t coerced him into following his elder brother into the National Defence Academy. On 10 June ’78 he was commissioned into the 1 Para Commando Parachute Regiment. Besides standing first in the paracommando’s course, he was also the Best Young Officer of his time. And he has got A grades in all the professional courses that he has done. As a hobby, he took up sky-diving. He has done a specialised course in it in the USSR and participated in the National Sky-Driving Championships. In 1990, he took advantage of posting to Tanzania to ‘see the world’ and toured Africa, Europe, Canada and the USA After graduating from the Defence Services Staff College, he spent three and a quarter years in Delhi in the Military Operations Directorate where “there was never a dull moment.” Then in July, three years ago, he took over as the boss of what is accepted to be amongst the best team of soldiers in the world, the special force of the 21 Para.

After having served the country for over two decades, and lived a life of high advantage, Col Crasto decided to come and use his potential and talent on civvy street. He came to settle in Goa where his roots are, where his aged father longed to be, where he wanted his children to grow up. “It’s one of the very few places in India not in the news for violence. Of course, I think of myself as an Indian first and last, I really can’t think of myself as only Goan,” he says. He laments the fact that Goans don’t seem to know much about what is happening in the rest of the country, nor seem to care much. As a result, the attitude of the locals is like the proverbial frog in the well. “Because of lack of exposure, small things perturb them. It also means they don’t have the confidence to face competition. Good training and good attitudes could greatly benefit them and the State. A good foundation built on discipline, and very strong principles is what makes one competent anywhere in anything that one does. That the Army has given me a generous dose of,” he says. “We were trained to make things happen, not to wait and watch.” Col Crasto strongly believes every child should get a substantial measure of adventure sports and character building, because in the long run it is these, not mere text books, that help fulfil life’s dreams.

This ‘retired’ (a misnomer for one so active) officer is learning the ropes of working on civvy-street as the Personnel Manager of Cidade de Goa. Here he is involved in honing the skills and talents of young men and women in the hospitality industry. He is clear in his mind that whatever he does, he will succeed.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 07 Jan 2004 21:38

Profiles of a few women who displayed admirable courage amidst great personal loss.

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Lt. Geetanjali Choudhary transformed herself from an Army Officer's wife to an Army Officer by passing out successfully from Officers Training Institute,Chennai, and being commissioned on 6 March'99. Being married to Major Sanjit Chaudhary of 13 Garhwal Rifles, life held a bright and happy future for her, but she was rudely shaken from her world of bliss, when her brave husband made the supreme sacrifice of his life while combating insurgents in J&K. He was awarded the Sena Medal (Posthumus) and COAS Commendation cord for exhibiting exemplary courage and gallantry. Lt. Geetanjali,a mother of a proud daughter,courageously decided to continue the saga of bravery & heroism and is indeed a gallant wife of a gallant soldier!

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Lt. Geetanjali Gairola was commissioned into AEC on 6 March'99 after completing her training at Officers Training Institute, Chennai. She suffered a tragic and great loss when her brave husband, Flt.Lt. Rajeev Juyal, a fighter pilot in the IAF, sacrificed his life in the best traditions of the IAF, while flying in an operational sortie for casuality evacuation. Geetanjali decided to join the Armed Forces to serve the nation and to carry on with her gallant husband's heroic task. Though primarily posted as Instructor English in the National Defence Academy, she was allotted the task of Additional Registrar, NDA, and has proved to he highly dependable and determined to achieve rare distinctions. She is indeed a 'Veer Nari' to emulate!

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Lt. R J Randhawa underwent training at OTA, Chennai and was commissioned into the Army Ordance Corp., after an unfateful event had brought her life to a stand still. Her husband Capt. Sukhwinder Jeet Singh Randhawa, an Army Officer of 167 Fd Regt made the supreme sacrifice of his life while combating militants in J&K. He was awarded Kirti Chakra (P) for displaying exemplary courage and an indomitable fighting spirit. After this great loss, a journey full of struggle lay ahead for Ravinder Jit and her little daughter. But this dauntless & courageous Veer Nari overcame this difficulty with sheer grit & will power and joined the Armed Forces as a biggest tribute to her gallant husband!

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Lt. Rashmi was commissioned into the Indian Army on 4 Sep 1999 after passing out with flying colours and a gold medal from Officers Training Academy, Chennai. Her academic qualifications have been brilliant throughout, with distinctions in Maths & Physics and an out standing 1st division in Masters in Physics. Her husband, Maj. Sanjay Singh of 26 Rajput, was a brave & daring soldier who made the supreme sacrifice while combating militants in J&K and was awarded the Sena Medal (Posthumous) for his heroic and courageous action. Lt. Rashmi, a caring mother of a little boy, decided to cope up with this massive loss by carrying on with the rich, Army traditions by being an 'active' member of it than a 'passive' one! Indeed, a 'Veer Nari' of a 'Veer Sainik'!

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Lt. Sabina Singh, an alumni of Officers Training Institute, Chennai, joined the Army Ordance Corp. on 5 Sept'98, after the sad & sudden demise of her brave husband, Captain Gurmeet Singh of Army Aviation Corp., in a helicopter crash during duty. Within a year of her passing out from the Academy, Lt. Sabina Singh received the Army Commander's Commendation Card for showing exemplary courage and action in an unfortunate fire accident in the FAD (Field Ammunition Depot) where she is posted. Lt. Sabina, an efficient and dedicated lady officer, as also a caring mother of a little girl, is indeed a true Veer Nari and a living example to the young girls of today!

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 07 Jan 2004 21:57

Lt Narendra Mayenkar (11 Sikh)- Operation Rhino

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Goa salutes 36-year-old Lt Narendra Mayenkar, a brave Indian soldier, who died fighting for his motherland, on February 26, in faraway Assam.

Hailing from Sada in Vasco, Mayenkar was an exceptionally gallant soldier, who earned promotion by dint of hard work and dedication. His colleagues always found him cheerful, even in the face of danger and difficulties. He had already excelled himself at the tough task of tackling the ULFA militants in Assam. His very name terrified them and they had nicknamed him 'Marshal'.

On February 26, Lt Mayenkar, a part of 'Operation Rhino', was leading a search party between beyond Gauwahati. They located the house in which they militants had holed up, but they would not surrender despite being advised to do so. So, asking his men to give him covering fire, Mayenkar stormed the house all by himself. While he was searching each room cautiously, when a militant suddenly sprang up and fired two rounds in his stomach from point blank range. Despite being shot, he continued boosting the morale of his soldiers, and killed two militants in a face to face encounter.

Large crowds gathered to pay homage to this gallant Goan officer at Vasco. The entire Army top brass was their to pay their respects to their courageous colleague. The buglers sounded the last post and self-loading rifles roared in the air to salute the martyr of the country, while the funeral pyre was being lit.

Says his patriotic father, Atmaram Mayenkar, "I am proud of my son for laying his life fighting for the country." Narendra, who had studied at Vasco Municipal School, is the eldest in the family of two brothers and two sisters. He leaves behind his grief-stricken wife Neha and his two-year-old daughter Nidi.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 07 Jan 2004 22:32

Major Mohan Gangadharan (Bengal Engineer Group, 59 Engineer Regt)- Operation Rhino
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EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Saturday, February 27, 1999 (No Link)
For 75-year-old ex-servicemen Col K G Gangadharan it is a proud moment that his soldier-son died a hero's death serving the country but for a father loss of a son brings untold grief.

Bangalore's Major Mohan Gangadharan (38 ), of the Bengal Engineer Group, 59 engineering regiment, stationed at Naugong in Assam, was killed in an encounter with the ULFA militants on Tuesday.On that fateful day, Mohan had flagged down three men on a motorcycle when the pillion rider opened fire with an AK-47. He was hit by a bullet on his hand. Ignoring the injury, the Major retaliated with his gun. The Major's bullets killed two of the militants on the spot. However, before one of the militants died, a shot from his bullet hit Mohan's chest and it was instant death for him. The third militant managed to escape.

On Thursday evening, a special aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) brought his body to the city. The body has been kept at the Air Force Command Hospital mortuary. Mohan's military family at Benson Town in the city has accepted his death bravely. One of Mohan's elder brothers Lt Col Keshav Gangadharan is at Jhansi while another one, who would have also been a military man but for his health, is employed in the State Bank of India, Bangalore. Their father recollects, among the three, Mohan was a topper all through his life.

He always stood first at the Bengal Engineering Centre at Rourkee. Besides being a champion basketball player, a swimming champion and a coach, he was the best sharp-shooter of the regiment in the Army, said Col P Madhavan,Mohan's co-brother. He had got into the Army on a direct recruitment through the Indian Military Academy. Mohan had married P G Nair's daughter, Renjini, and had a two-year-old daughter Nayanthara. Says a grieving Nair, "My daughter was living with him in Rourkee until he got transferred to Assam border. He was to have come to Bangalore in about ten days to take his family along."

Bangalore-based MEG Centre's Major R Premachandran said, as the Bengal regiment did not have its centre in Bangalore, his centre would perform the last rites complete with military honours.

In memoriam by a classmate of his alma mater KREC, Surathkal. (Extract from the pdf file)
Memories
Saturday, June 09, 2001
Dear friends

For one moment, let us take a step back in time and travel to a monsoon day of 1979, when a motley crowd of guys was waiting at the steps of KREC to be admitted inside the portals of the institute. There they were, young and callow,in the hushed ambience of the college, with anxious thoughts roaming their minds about the future.It was a dark and wet day, darkened by gray clouds and drenched by monsoon sprays wind blowing and the palm fronds in front of the college swaying to the wind. From a distance came the regular and rhythmic sounds of the sea waves cresting and falling in their incessant fury.In a dark corridor outside a room huddled boys, some alone, some accompanied.

Names were called out aloud; one by one boys went in, certificates were submitted, admission granted.. complete the formalities, search for room partners, search for a room (which does not leak)…buy buckets and mugs.. There, along with the others was a tall, taciturn and lean guy…. Mohan Gangadharan.It took little time for the boys to adjust to each other… new friendships took root. Soon the pain of leaving homes was forgotten. Mohan became Capo…Kundoori, Kuntz…Uchil, Booty. Years rolled by. Finally a day came in 1984 when goodbyes were to be exchanged.. with each other and with the Alma Mater. Hands were shaken…old memories recalled…promises were made to keep in touch.

Today we have traveled several years down the road. But one of us has stopped marching. Capo is not there with us. After leaving college, Capo, true to his family tradition, joined the Army, on 18th December. Soon, he climbed the ladder and rose to the rank of Major. On the fateful day of 23rd February, he was Post Commander at Shankarbasti Post in Nagon District, Assam, operating under 311 Mountain Brigade, under Operation Rhino. In the evening he received intelligence that a group of militants was holed up at Jainkhan village.

He immediately rushed to the village with the Quick Reaction Team and placed a cordon around the village.A group of three armed militants on a motorbike tried to flee the cordon in the cover of darkness. Using their arms, they laid down a curtain of bullets to facilitate their escape. Unmindful of the deadly barrage, Mohan charged through with his gun blazing and brought down one Pratap, who was the self styled Area Commander of the Action Group of Karbi National Volunteers, with a bullet in his leg. In the process, he received bullet injuries in the right arm and chest and fell down. Blood was pouring out of his wounds but Mohan rose undeterred and led the charge, the gun now in his left hand. His bullets found their mark and Pratap was killed. Now, he switched attention to the other two militants. Mohan was still firing when he finally succumbed due to loss of blood.Due to the exemplary courage and leadership displayed by him,the other two militants were captured and a veritable cache of arms was seized.

For the gallantry displayed on the battlefield, Mohan was awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously on 15th August 1999. Friends, Mohan is no more but his wife Renjini and a four-year-old daughter Nayanthara survive him.He also leaves behind a large family of his KREC friends……us. It is our bounden duty to this son of the soil who made the supreme sacrifice by laying down his life at his country’s service that we KRECians unite and get behind the bereaved family.

In this regard, we have set up a fund in his memory such that money accrues on a regular basis to his daughter as she grows up, continually expressing our care, concern and solidarity. We are also planning a befitting memorial to him at the college so that future generations of KRECians shall remember this great son of the Alma Mater and be proud to have graduated from the same institute as he. In this regard a Mohan Gangadharan Memorial action plan has been prepared which is appended.The plan outlines the mode of payment, the modus operandi for the funds collected and the actions envisaged. Kindly go through the same and send in your contribution as per the plan. You can enhance your contribution much further if you are able to connect to other KRECians known to you and pass this mail on to them.

With best regards,
SATISH CHANDRA
Electronics & Communication,
Batch of 1984
Bangalore
E-mail : madhurisatish@netkracker.com
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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 08 Jan 2004 03:57

Major Sameer Katwal (21 Kumaon) - Op Rhino

A martyrdom

I would like to bring to the attention of readers the story of the martyrdom of Major Sameer Katwal.

Katwal was killed on the morning of August 28 while attacking a camp of the newly formed Dima Halong Dowga (DHD) militant group in the North Kachar Hills district of Assam. He was not waylaid and killed while travelling in a vehicle, as reported by newspapers.

Sameer, born on July 25, 1974, was the son of K.P.S. Katwal, an officer of the Indian Forest Service posted in Tamil Nadu. He had his school education in Tiruchi and Chennai, got trained at the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, and was commissioned into the 21st Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment on June 10, 1995. In the words of his Commanding Officer, Colonel J.J. Bajwa, Sameer was a very competent soldier with enthusiastic devotion to duty.

The night before he died, Sameer had led a group of 40 soldiers on foot for about 20 km across difficult terrain, to a DHD hideout. All the soldiers, including Sameer, had the protection of bullet-proof vests and steel helmets. The approach was so skilful that the militants, numbering about 15, did not notice the soldiers even whey were within 50 metres. The colonel had given clear instructions against any adventurism. Therefore several volleys were fired upon the camp before the final charge was made. Sameer was in the forefront. A fleeing militant turned around and emptied his AK-47 rifle, and one fatal bullet found its mark: it ripped through the right collar bone and neck of Sameer.

A.J.T. Johnsingh
Dehra Dun
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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby shiv » 08 Jan 2004 08:32

Thank you shishir and others.

Just a little comment - the number of stories from Bangalore suggests to me that there is some media attention being paid to heroes locally in the Bangalore region. If so, what the heck are the DDM doing in other cities and towns?

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 08 Jan 2004 23:11

Sep Bhag Singh (7 SIKH LI) - Op Rhino

FATEHGARH SAHIB, Sept 13 - A tearful farewell was given to martyr Bhag Singh at his native village, Pola, 19 km from here, today.Jawan Bhag Singh was a wireless operator in Sikh Light Infantary Regiment posted in Assam.

He was killed during Operation Rhino at Kalia village in Assam on September 9,1999 while fighting with ULFA extremists.

On behalf of the Punjab Government the Deputy Commissioner, Mr V.K Janjua, and Mr Sawarn Singh Chimarthal, district president of the SAD, were present at the cremation ground to pay last respect to the martyr. The Deputy Commissioner said all facilities would be provided to next of kin of the martyr by the state government.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 08 Jan 2004 23:49

Major Samir ul Islam (17 Para Field Regt) - Op Rhino

Following the glorious tradition set by Brigadier Usman and Havildar Abdul Hameed, another young Muslim from Lucknow laid down his life in defence of the country. Major Sameerul Islam made the supreme sacrifice while fighting ultras in North East on 3 July. He was serving the 17 Para Field Regiment at Silchar in Assam.

35-year-old Major Sameer had received information that ultras were hiding in a house in Halflong area In Cachar distt. Sameer, as battery commander, led his men and cordoned off the area and in the ensuing gun battle with the ultras made the supreme sacrifice and raised the head of his family, community and country with pride. He received gun shot injuries in chest, shoulder and stomach but managed to kill three ultras before collapsing due to heavy bleeding and injury. He was rushed to the nearest army hospital but was declared ‘brought dead’.

Major Sameerul Islam was the son of Mr. Zameerul Islam, a retired chief engineer of irrigation deptment who lives in Gomti Nagar locality in the state capital. A pall of gloom descended on Major Sameer's house when the news of his martyrdom was broken by army officers. At that time Begam Zameerul Islam, the mother of martyr Sameer, was alone as Sameer’s father had gone to Basti and his wife Fauzia with their children Yusuf (5) and Saher (3) were in Faizabad with her parents. Sameer was the youngest son of Zameerul Islam. His sister is settled in Jeddah and elder brother is working in Chandigarh.

According to the martyr’s uncle, Dr. MK Pasha, Major Sameer joined army on his own. He last visited Lucknow in March and was again to visit on 18 July but on 5 July his dead body reached Lucknow instead. At Amausi airport it was received by top military, civil and police officers besides family members and admirers. The state government was represented by Lalji Tandon, the urban development minister, and Ms Sheema Rizvi, minister of state for medical education. From airport it was brough to the military hospital and then to his residence. Chief Minister Rajnath Singh with excise minister Surya Pratap Sahi reached the residence and consoled the bereaved family. Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri, almost all state ministers, Lucknow Mayor Dr. SC Rai, Commissioner Saurabh Chandra,Distt magistrate Jeevesh Nandan DIG Sulkhan Singh and SSP BB Bakshi and thousands of people irrespective of caste and religion joined the last journey. All Muslim organisations including Sunni Youth Federation, All India Muslim Forum, Rahman Foundation, Muslim Samaj, etc. were represented by their respective leaders. Shia Aalim Maulana Kalbe Jawwad with many Shia youth remained there till last. Maulana Sajjad Nomani, Mr. Salahuddin Abubakr, Haji Musharraf Husain, Ch. Sharfuddin ,Mohd. Aslam Dr. M A Haleem, MK Shervani, Salahuddin Khan etc, visited his house to console the bereaved family and joined the last journey funeral procession.

On 5 July after Zuhar prayers the funeral procession started from martyred Major’s residence. His body was covered in the tricolour and was escorted by army officers and jawans of the 24th battalion of Punjab regiment and 17th Para Field Regiment . After funeral prayers the last post was sounded and a volley of 21 gunshots were fired as a salute to the brave son of the country and community.

Major Sameerul Islam by his supreme sacrifice has made his family and community proud. Bereaved father Zameer could not hide his sentiments when he said one more ‘ISI agent’ has laid down his life for the motherland and will continue to present same supreme sacrifice when and where needed.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 08 Jan 2004 23:53

Captain Javed Ali Saifi (35 RR) - Op Rakshak

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The country lost yet another promising young soldier in front of the lofty chinar trees in what used to be ‘paradise on earth.’ Captain Jawed Ali Saifi, who had just celebrated his 32nd birthday on 1 August, was shot at around 11 in the night of 22 August in Srinagar. He succumbed immediately to his injuries on the spot itself. His body was brought to Delhi next day.

But the martyrdom of the young captain made no news for the ‘national’ or mainstream media which goes berserk to highlight the religious affiliation if the victim is a non-Muslim. Newspapers and TV channels which gave full coverage to the death of a colonel and a lieutenant on the same day failed to cover the news of Javed Saifi’s martyrdom or the emotion-charged burial given by the people of his area, Zakir Nagar, in the national capital. It is observed that this is habit of the so-called national media when it comes to cover news of this sort, unless, of course the news is somehow anti-Muslim.

Martyr Jawed was given a grand burial by the people of his area. Thousands of people thronged his burial site and prayed for him. Thousands gathered in front of his house to mourn the death of a young and promising soldier from the community who sacrificed his life defending the country in the insurgency-hit state of Jammu and Kashmir. Hundreds of those who had gathered to mourn his death, did not even know the person who lost his life in Srinagar, but had come to condole his death because he had sacrificed himself for the country. Everyone seemed aggrieved, tears rolling down their eyes and trying to know who the young soul was.

Muhammad Ashraf, who attended the funeral of the young captain, was one of the hundreds who did not know Captain Jawed Ali Saifi, but had gathered to mourn his death nonetheless. When this correspondent asked Ashraf as to why he is attending the funeral without knowing who the martyr was, he replied that now he knows him better than himself. It is enough to know that he has given up his life in order to defend his country, and this reason alone is enough to make Jawed nearer to him than any of his relatives. A number of other people including Rahmat Yar expressed same sentiments. They mourned and prayed for the young soul who has parted in the midst of his prime youth.

Jawed was born on 1 August 1968. He did BSc in civil engineering from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and joined the army in 1995 as lieutenant. Soon he was promoted to the rank of captain. The sole bread-earner of his family, he is survived by his young wife Abida whom he married in 1994 before he joined the army. He has left behind a 4-year-old son, Faisal, an ailing father, two brothers, one of whom is blind and three sisters.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 09 Jan 2004 00:31

Constable Allah Rakha Unadjam (SRP - Grp 3) - Akshardham

Shock and pride. Residents of Umej village in Junagadh district felt both sentiments as news of the death of Allahrakha Unadjam, the SRP constable of Group Three Mandana (District Banaskantha), Company ‘C’, while fighting terrorists at Akshardham reached them on Wednesday. Allahrakha’s body will reach his native Umej village around 7 in the evening and he will be given a guard of honour.

On hearing the news of the SRP jawan’s martyrdom, the entire village - with a population of around 7,000 joined hands for a clean-up operation. Sulemanbhai, a family friend who is quite close, to Allahrakha’s father Hajibhai Aliyas Unadjam, said, “Apart from cleaning all the roads, water has also been sprinkled in the entire village. After all, Allahrakha laid down his life for the country.” The entire village will observe a bandh on Thursday as a mark of respect.

“The news of Allahrakha’s death has not been broken to his parents and family. Hajibhai has only been told that his son is injured and is being brought to the village. The family will be informed when the body reaches the village”, Sulemanbhai said. “The last rites will take place at Datarpir Dargah and people have even started coming from Una city to pay homage to the martyr,” Sulemanbhai said.

“Though the son of a farmer, Allahrakha always dreamt of joining the police or Army,” said Hakimbhai Jummabhai, the tutor who taught Allahrakha from Class I to VII. “Allahrakha was a good student. His favourite subjects were Maths, Science and English. In Maths, he used to score above 90-95 per cent,” recalls Hakimbhai. Principal of Shanter High School Dilipsinh Virsinh Jadav said, “Allahrakha was very good at sports besides being a good student.” “After completing his Class XII from Shah H D High School Una, Allahrakha immediately joined the SRP. His father was very happy about it”, Sulemanbhai recalls.

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