Profiles in Heroism: Archive

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Postby Airavat » 13 Nov 2005 17:12

Narayanan’s favourite falls to terrorists bullets in J&K

A strange coincidence it is. Even as former President K R Narayanan was cremated on Thursday evening in New Delhi, at distant Bandipore in Jammu and Kashmir, his “most favourite” AsDC Major Gopi Singh fell to terrorists bullets.

Thirty-five-year-old Gopi was in tears when he came to know that Narayanan was no more. He spoke to his friend S N Sahu, director Prime Minister’s Office, who was formerly press secretary to Narayanan. Gopi expressed his desire to come to Delhi to attend his former boss’s funeral.

Gopi Singh Rathore was a rare phenomenon, a rare blend – an army officer , a poet and a man with an extraordinarily sensitive mind, said Sahu.

But fate had other plans. Gopi was not granted leave to attend the cremation, and instead, his Commanding Officer asked him to flush out terrorists holed up in a building at Bandipore. The building was locked from outside and Major Gopi Singh fired at the lock to open it. But in the ambush a militant fired at his face and the major died instantaneously.

Sahu, who worked with Narayanan for 13 years and knew Gopi Singh well during his stint in Rashtrapati Bhavan as AsDC, said Singh was “profoundly” mature for his age. He room was full of books – on literature, horticulture and military strategy.

The unmarried Gopi Singh was a brilliant army officer and was one of the most favourite AsDCs of both Narayanan and First Lady Usha Narayanan. He also served President A P J Abdul Kalam for four months.

“Apart from being an excellent army officer, he had a passion for literature and literary work, read extensively, wrote poetry and had a fine and sensitive approach to life. His first collection of poems had been published in 2002 and President Kalam had received the first copy of the publication in the Rashtrapati Bhavan,” Sahu told DNA.

Apart from his duty as AsDC, he also looked after the Moghul Gardens and had indepth knowledge about plants and flowers in the gardens. “Once when President Narayanan heard him explaining to a foreign dignitary about the history of a plant and giving botanical details about it, he expressed his happiness and commented “Gopi you should have been a horticulturist.”

Sahu said when he came to Delhi a few months back he revealed that he was reading Quran and trying to understand the great Islamic religion.

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Postby rajkumar » 22 Nov 2005 13:05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4439556.stm

Delhi bus driver who saved the lives of around 70 passengers when he took a bomb from his vehicle during last month's terror attacks has been speaking of his experience........"I will teach the child to be like its father - really brave."

Lets not forget the aam janta.

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Postby daulat » 22 Nov 2005 14:51

Obituary of Hon. Captain Umrao Singh VC

London Telegraph


When a friend told him he could sell his VC for thousands of pounds he refused to part with it, saying that such an act would dishonour his comrades who fell in battle when he won his medal.


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Postby Manne » 22 Nov 2005 16:21

rajkumar, thanks for sharing that with us. Indeed one brave man.

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Postby Airavat » 01 Dec 2005 07:46

Brig. Pritam Singh remembered

POONCH, Nov 29: A bust of Brig Pritam Singh was unveiled by Brigadier A K Bakshi, Commander of local garrison here today.

The ceremony was attended by several senior army and civil officers besides prominent persons of the town.

Brig Pritam is known as the saviour of Poonch and the ‘Tiger of Poonch’. He earned MC, after his historical escape from the Japanese prisoner of war camp alongwith two other oficers.


His battalion 1 Para (Kumaon) was first asked to proceed towards Valley and thereafter to Poonch. When he reached Poonch the situation was grim. Poonch was surrounded by hostile enemy led by Pakistan Army officers and were well equipped.

He managed to muster the military personnel and civilian in such a manner that they were able to withhold the attack and finally on Nov 21, 1948 linked up with rest of the Indian troops.

Hailing from Sangrur in Punjab, Pritam Singh after retiring from the Army settled at Noida and then at Panchkula. He died in 1978.

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Postby Arun_S » 03 Jan 2006 12:34


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Postby Jagan » 02 Apr 2006 06:23

http://www.hindu.com/2006/04/01/stories ... 371200.htm
President confers gallantry awards

"The Shaurya Chakra, given for gallantry otherwise than in the face of the enemy, was conferred on Wing Commander Alagaraja Perumal for showing extraordinary professional courage and flying skills. Wing Commander Perumal's aircraft was hit when he was entrusted with a vital photography mission near the Line of Control. Despite his aircraft having been badly damaged, he displayed tremendous presence of mind, got out of the danger zone and managed to save the mission photographs. "

-------------------------------------------

I cant but wonder why it took six and a half years to honour what was clearly a commendable feat. Maybe the intial set of commandrs thought landing on a single engine was no big deal? (I did hear that the PR squadron trains heavily in Single Engine approaches - Maybe it was a 'normal' thing for them?)

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Postby Anindya » 05 Apr 2006 10:44

Behind every brave soldier...

Ashok K Mehta


It is always there for you. You seek it out in times of trouble but don't think about it when the going is good. It belongs to you and is usually taken for granted. It provides you hot food no matter what the hour, a sympathetic ear when you feel defeated and deafened by the clamour of life and unconditional support. What is it?

Your wife - and the Indian Army.

Readers will forgive me if this column is not about my usual preoccupations - insurgency, strategy, military relations between countries, etc - but something that doesn't strike us Indians very often - how much the Indian Army does for us; and how much more the wives of soldiers give to the country.

To understand this, I would urge all of those who can, to visit the Fauji Mela currently on at Dilli Haat in Delhi. Not enough can be said in praise of the effort and to support the endeavour is not charity, it is something more: A direct intervention in the lives of the women who, half of their married life, wait for their husbands just to come home safe.

Talk to any Army wife, no matter what her husband's rank, and she will tell you of the fluttering in the pit of her stomach when she turns on the TV and hears the announcer saying Rangiya or Rangpahar, Baramulla or Bandipora. Anxious phone calls and hugs of relief are all part of this sisterhood. So is the job of comforting recent widows in the unit, the reassurance that the children have both a father and a mother in the Indian Army, and while the husbands are out on duty, actually delivering that promise.

Thankfully, there is an institution that supports all this. This is the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA), an integral part of the welfare activities of the Army. AWWA is one of the largest NGOs in India. Since it was formed in 1966, it has transformed itself from a coffee-and-ikebana club into a body that focuses on social empowerment and skill building in families of soldiers.

Everyone knows the problems of soldiers' families in wartime. "While the soldier is on the borders maintaining a vigil and in full operational readiness it is the role of the wives, whose efficient management of the home front that keeps him in high spirits and enables him to face all external challenges," said Roopa Padmanabhan, the wife of Gen S (Paddy) Padmanabhan, Chief of Army Staff during the halcyon days of 2001-02 when the Army was out in operational readiness to face a war on the western border.

As the COAS's wife, Mrs Padmanabhan was president of AWWA and during one of biggest mobilisations in recent Indian history, it was her job as a wife to set a goal for other Army wives. As most Army wives are homemakers, it is AWWA's responsibility to see that they get companionship in their husband's absence, help with their children's education and assistance in caring for parents and parents-in-law.

But the task is more challenging during peacetime, when in addition to all this, there is the job of ensuring the stability in marriages, counselling on emotional discord and encouragement to wives who show talent in a particular field - for there is nothing that causes more bitterness than foregone opportunities.

Fauji Mela was about all this, the blossoming of an Army wife's personality, the sense of organisation that the Indian Army imparts and the talent of management. On display were products made by AWWA vocational training centres and regimental centres all over India - superbly finished and packaged, including jams and pickles (from rhubarb jam from Doda to gongura pachadi from Andhra Pradesh).

From Eastern Command was canned bamboo shoots, fish sauce, home made noodles and a host of local items. For sale were lamp shades, printed fabric, embroidery and objects for every-day use - quilted toilet bags, laundry bags, quilts and comforters, table cloths, handkerchiefs and jewellery cases. Almost everything was made by hand by Army wives. Some things, those who were managing the stalls said, were bought from the local market. But value was added in every single case, in one way or another.

What delighted utterly was the pride of ownership on the women's faces. If you reached for an item, someone was at your elbow to describe how it was found/made, the hours that had gone into making it and why you should buy it. "You have to see the 41 Artillery Division stall," said a young soldier in civvies, obviously proud of the work his wife had done.

Lurking behind the wives were the senior most officers of the Indian Army, trying to camouflage their pride. Mrs Anupama Singh, president of AWWA and the wife of Chief of Army Staff, Gen JJ Singh, came on a wheelchair. She had sprained her ankle just before the Fauji Mela, an unfortunate occurrence on the eve of what should be the most triumphant moment in her presidentship.

Previous AWWA presidents used to vie with each other to lay out the most innovative 'get togethers' traditionally hosted at Army House once a year. These ranged from themes like 'old and gold' (where wives had to wear something old and something gold) to 'a morning in pink' (before which your wife drove you mad until you bought pink clothes for her for the occasion). I am told that in addition to great takeaways and superb food, the conversation, song and dance was topped by risqué jokes, usually at the expense of toiling and absent husbands. But what the hell, wives must have their fun, too!

However, Fauji Mela gives a whole new dimension to AWWA activities. The mela describes the 30-odd schools that the organisation runs, called 'Asha' - meant for differently abled children of soldiers. Hostels are run for the children of war widows, recognising that in the absence of a father, it is the Army that has to share in the responsibility of bringing up the child of a dead soldier. The organisation runs a girls' hostel in Delhi Cantonment and in Mumbai, so that daughters can complete their education or can work in Delhi even if the mother is in a village somewhere in India and the father is serving on the border. Pune has a similar facility for a boys' hostel. This in addition to a host of scholarships and freeships that the organisation provides for children of soldiers.

In one corner of the Fauji Mela was a stall with the poignant universal symbol of the Indian soldier: Wooden boxes painted black that said: "Capt Shamsher Singh Dhillon, Khadakvasla, Pune." Every young cadet who joins the Army possesses such boxes and they increase in number as your status in life goes up. When you die, these are packed up and returned to your family.

Sharayu Summanwar, the wife of Director General Military Intelligence (DGMI), Gen Deepak Summanwar, has written a book called, Shaurya. It is a dedication to the wives of the Indian soldier: A tribute to their courage, fortitude and sacrifice. A fictional but not implausible account of a young bride who is married at 19 and widowed at 25, it explores an emotional landscape that will be familiar to every Army wife.

The protagonist of the book, Vidya Iyengar, is married to a Sikh officer Capt Shamsher Singh Dhillon, whose own father fell a martyr to the 1971 war for Bangladesh. Dhillon dies on the Line of Control. What follows is Vidya's struggle to bring up three small children, her search for an emotional anchor and her ultimate release from guilt when she does find it. Fittingly, the book was released on the first day of the Fauji Mela by Gen JJ Singh - from this stall.

The Indian Army, I hope we know, has not ceased fighting in Jammu and Kashmir since the day Sikh soldiers landed in Srinagar in October 1947. More soliders have been killed countering terror and insurgency than in all the wars fought by the country. When IC-814 was hijacked to Kandahar, families and wives of those on board forced the country into a humiliating act of surrender.

So, do go and see the Fauji Mela. It will take you to places you didn't know, existed. You knew that the Indian Army is the last bastion of democracy. What you didn't know was what the wives go through to support it.



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Postby AmanC » 07 Apr 2006 19:30

Col Avtar Singh Ahlawat, Vir Chakra, has passed away on March 29. He was awarded the decoration during the 1971 war. Col Ahlawat was commissioned into Poona Horse.
Does someone know about the action in which he got the decoration? I'm trying to get it from his family so that we can put it up on the site with a picture.

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Postby Mandeep » 07 Apr 2006 19:49

Avtar Ahlawat got a well-deserved VrC in the Battle of the Basantar as a subaltern.In fact he was wounded,evacuated and rumoured to be dead. When he got back to Poona Horse there was jubilation among all ranks.

Later he served as ADC to the President.

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Postby Jagan » 07 Apr 2006 19:49

AmanC wrote:Col Avtar Singh Ahlawat, Vir Chakra, has passed away on March 29. He was awarded the decoration during the 1971 war. Col Ahlawat was commissioned into Poona Horse.
Does someone know about the action in which he got the decoration? I'm trying to get it from his family so that we can put it up on the site with a picture.


Aman,

Avtar Singh ahlawat was the third tank in 2/Lt Arun Khetarpal's action in which Khetarpal won the Param Vir Chakra posthumously.

The tank troop was led by IIRC Capt V Malhotra, Avtar Singh and Khetarpal. During the action, avtar singhs tank was hit and he was wounded. then Malhotras gun jammed i think. Khetarpal ofcourse stood ground and beat back the rest of the tanks.

Very sad to hear about him passing away. My condolences.

Added Later: The story from KC Pravals book has been adapted here http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/1971/Dec16/Art03.htm

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Postby Mandeep » 07 Apr 2006 23:26

A little point of military history here. Malhotra was the Sqn 2IC, both Khetarpal and Ahlawat commanded troops. The other two tanks in Khetarpal's troop were commanded by Risaldar Sagat Singh (who was also killed) and Daffadar Virendra Singh.

The Sqn Comdr was Major (later Brig) Amarjit Singh Bal who was awarded an MVC.

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Postby Jagan » 08 Apr 2006 00:37

Mandeep wrote:A little point of military history here. Malhotra was the Sqn 2IC, both Khetarpal and Ahlawat commanded troops. The other two tanks in Khetarpal's troop were commanded by Risaldar Sagat Singh (who was also killed) and Daffadar Virendra Singh.

The Sqn Comdr was Major (later Brig) Amarjit Singh Bal who was awarded an MVC.


Mandeep Thanks.

But at the actual action in which Khetarpal was killed, how many tanks were there? Surely it was not the whole squadron? From all accounts it appears only a troop was there (and the opposing pak forces were a squadron of tanks?)

So who led the three tanks in that action?

I am quite sure, somehow the Sqn 2iC and the troop commanders ended up facing the Pakistani Squadron in the battle that fell Khetarpal

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Postby Mandeep » 08 Apr 2006 15:48

The tactical situation was changing all the time but yes, Malhotra's, Ahlawat's and Khetrapal's tanks were the last left in action against Nissar's squadron of the 13th Lancers. My point was that they were not organised or fighting as a troop.

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Postby Jagan » 08 Apr 2006 19:57

Mandeep wrote:The tactical situation was changing all the time but yes, Malhotra's, Ahlawat's and Khetrapal's tanks were the last left in action against Nissar's squadron of the 13th Lancers. My point was that they were not organised or fighting as a troop.


Mandeep, what happened to Malhotra? I remember reading somethign recently but cannot recall what it is now. Any idea?

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Postby Mandeep » 08 Apr 2006 20:29

He was wounded but retained command. After the war he left the Army and is abroad now I think. Used to be known as 'The Cossack' after the hat he wore. Poona Horse types were all eccentric dressers.

He's a stalwart Mayoite. Mayo has provided at least 5 Commandants to Poona Horse including HE Lt Gen Ajay Singh, Governor of Assam. Quite a few other officers are from Mayo.

Poona Horse is also known as the Kunadi Horse after Kunadi village in Kota Distt of Rajasthan which has given 3 Commandants to the Regiment including General Ajay Singh.

BTW it might interest you to know that the Poona Horse website has been taken down on the orders of the MI along with all other regimental portals.

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Postby Jagan » 08 Apr 2006 20:50

Mandeep wrote:

BTW it might interest you to know that the Poona Horse website has been taken down on the orders of the MI along with all other regimental portals.



I thought so as much. It was a great site, with excerpts from Gen Hanut Singhs book

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Postby Rishi » 03 Jul 2006 21:36

Hi All,

Am in Delhi right now. One thing to notice is that Delhi newspapers carry a lot of mil obits (unlike most othrt papers in India). Paraphrasing from today's ToI, a bit of Info on the fallen officer:

Lt. Col. Chouhan, who was KIA on 29th June while leading a 15 RR unit in Kashmir, was from 1 GR, and a recepient of Sena Medal in 1999 for Kargil Ops.

:( :cry:

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Postby Kakkaji » 04 Jul 2006 08:10

’48 martyr commemorated as war hero on death anniversary

Usman, trained at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, had famously declined an offer from Islamabad after partition to join the Pakistan Army as a General. After the erstwhile Baluch Regiment, of which he was a part, was allotted to Pakistan, Usman was transferred to the Dogra Regiment in 1947 and became commander of the 77 Para Brigade. Shortly after that he was side-stepped to command 50 Para.

Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma, Master General Ordnance and colonel of the Para Regiment, said, ‘‘In our brotherhood of paratroopers, we will always look up to Brigadier Usman as an icon, a warrior who will always inspire us to rise to the occasion.’’

It is said that the Pakistan Army frequently spread rumours of Usman’s death to demoralise Indian troops during the 1947 operations, though it is still ironic that after fierce battles for Nowshera and then Jhangar, Brig Usman fell to a shell during a virtual lull in firing. The Pakistan Army is believed to have announced a Rs 50,000 reward for Usman’s death.

The Defence Minister also indicated that similar commemorations would shortly be held to felicitate other war heroes of the J-K operations of 1947-48, including independent India’s first MVC awardee Brigadier Rajinder Singh, Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai killed in Baramulla and Major Somnath Sharma who was killed defending Badgam in 1947.

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Postby Harshad » 17 Aug 2006 18:28

Beyond the call of DUTY
Bravery - it’s the virtue of a few good men, who dare to stare death in its face and stop at nothing. As the Chandigarh War Memorial unveils, we salute these gallant heroes

Express Features Service

Chandigarh, August 16:
The Braveheart
Col Gurjeet Singh Bajwa (retd), VC,SC
There is no second chance and no second place. It’s all about facing the odds with spirit and going for the goal, ‘‘with a will to win,’’ asserts Col Gurjeet Singh Bajwa (retd). There’s both pride and excitement in Col Gurjeet’s voice as he recalls the moments in his career which won him the Vir Chakra in 1971 and the Shaurya Chakra in 1985. ‘‘The year was ’71, and it was when Longewala was threatened and we planned an action to repulse the enemy.’’ It was a pitched battle at BP 638 and his company attacked the Pakistani company on the Indian side. ‘‘The resistance and fire from the enemy was tremendous and I directed our own artillery guns on the enemy which led to heavy causalities and broke the enemy’s morale. And thereby, we captured the BP 638 post,’’ Col Bajwa remembers the proud and unforgettable moment. ‘‘It was the spirit and love for the nation that encouraged me to go on.’’

Braving hostile weather conditions, high altitude and no landing space, Col Bajwa, in ’85, rescued an Austrian woman, Carl, a member of the mountaineering team, who was stuck in snow. ‘‘It was the Nankun peak in J&K and due to the bad weather conditions, it was very difficult to place her.’’ After long hours of search in the helicopter, of which Col Gurjeet was the captain, Col Gurjit and his co-pilot finally spotted Carl, who had fallen from a cliff and broken her ribs. ‘‘There was no helipad and the landing was really tough and the moment Carl saw the helicopter she started moving her limbs and then we extricated her from the snow. She was 65-years-old and thanked me profusely, calling me her son,’’ explains the Col, who received the Shaurya Chakra for his bravery.
Parul





Strength of a man
Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri (retd), MVC, VSM
Ninety-two men against an army of 3,500. Ninety-two men who had to face marching tanks (T-57 tanks, 48 in number), heavy artillery fire and a night so dark, it could have been death in disguise. But they survived. In fact they did better. The Battle of Longewala (Rajasthan) may have made it as a Bollywood blockbuster as Border, but for Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, the night of December 4, 1971 and the day that followed beats reality.

‘‘We were clearly outnumbered in the physical sense but all that ran in my mind was that the post of Longewala was too important to be given to the enemy,’’ reminisces the officer who then as a Major was commanding a company battalion of the Punjab Regiment. ‘‘The enemy first attacked at midnight and continued to proceed towards Longewala. Our post was well fortified and we had enough rations, ammunition and water, which given the desert surroundings was a boon. But since it was dark, we couldn’t get our Indian Air Force fighter planes to give us cover,’’ recalls the Brigadier who despite being outnumbered moved from bunker to bunker and inspired his men to put up a fight. ‘‘Longewala was too important to give up,’’ the Brigadier asserts even today. The night was long but Chandpuri and his men hung on. It was in the early hours of the morning of December 5, 1971 that the enemy launched another massive attack. ‘‘Though we were yet to get reinforcements, we retaliated with all our strength. We were able to inflict heavy casualties on the enemy and forced them to retreat. They left back 12 tanks and Longewala remain untouched,’’ the Brigadier ends his story.

It was for this conspicuous act of gallantry and exceptional devotion to duty, that Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.

Jagmeeta Thind Joy


Face of valour
Brig Sant Singh (retd), MVC & Bar
His home tells the story of his bravery, with photographs and memorabilia depicting the milestones in his long and illustrious service in the Army. An epitome of courage, Brig Sant Singh was recommended for the Maha Vir Chakra four times and was presented with the award once in 1965 and then in 1971. ‘‘Twice, the recommendation did not reach Delhi in time, but there are no regrets,’ he tells you matter-of-factly.

Brig Sant Singh went beyond his call of duty several times, for his country. ‘‘The year was ’65 and it was a Kargil-like situation. Pakistan had occupied a hill complex on our side of the ceasefire line and two of our attacks to eject the enemy had failed,’’ Brig Sant Singh gives you a detailed account of the incident. On the order of his division commander, he moved his batallion to Poonch district and a brigade attack was planned. ‘‘I attacked from the enemy-held area to achieve surprise, for that’s one of the major factors for success,’’ he smiles. And yes, he captured the vital ground and two more objectives, ‘‘that was my own initiative, and I was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for the first time,’’ Brig Sant tells you with pride.

‘‘I was awarded the second MVC in 1972. The Pakistan Air Force had attacked many of our important bases. We were to advance on two axis, to secure Mymensingh (largest district in Bangladesh) and protect our main axis. I had only one batallion, no engineer support, as the enemy had blown all bridges. So on foot we set out to clear heavily defended positions and faced stiff opposition.’’ What’s more, he also captured Madhopur too, again at his own initiative. Bravo!
Parul


Battleground zero
Lt Gen J S Gharaya (retd) MVC, KC, VSM
Valour is a tricky nobility. For the sake of those who call for it, it’s a blessing in disguise. But for those who answer the call, it’s a dance with death. And you have to be a worthy partner. Lt Gen J S Gharaya (retd) proved to be one. It was the Bangladesh Freedom Struggle of 1971 and Brigade Commander Gharaya and his troops had marched to protect the East Bengal territory of Jassaur. ‘‘At that time, freedom fighter Mukti Bahini was carrying out an excursion in East Bengal and I received orders to counter attack the Pakistani pockets in the area.’’ The Pakistanis had the Jassaur area under attack with tanks and a full-forced batallion, ‘‘and my brigade was called on to intercept them immediately,’’ Lt Gen Gharaya structured his brigade into attack and marched towards the enemy and met their savage assault. ‘‘The battle raged till the next morning. We suffered many casualties. Even my jeep was shelled, but we managed to capture the area.’’ For the next 12 days, Lt Gen Gharaya and his brigade secured the sector when war finally broke out on December 5. A bloody battle raged and the Lt Gen’s side seemed to be weakening. ‘‘That’s when I drove to the command posts and was spotted by the enemy. They attacked and I fell,’’ a brave Gharaya then went out of the battle with a few wounds. But his mere presence and steer of the wheel, invoked will in his soldiers who fought to throw out the infiltrators. Lt Gen Gharaya was decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra. ‘‘But honestly, my troops saved the day,’’ the decorated Lt Gen sits beams with pride.

Sharin Bhatti


In the line of fire
Maj Gen D P Singh (retd), VC
War makes men out of boys. For Maj Gen D P Singh (retd), the 1971 battle of Akhaura in the eastern sector, gave him a savouring taste of fire and fight, guns and gallantry. ‘‘Our brigade was given the task of capturing Akhaura in Agartala, and it was a tough nut,’’ the Maj Gen, then a Major in the Bihar Regiment, rewinds to the night of November 30, ’71. Singh’s company had to create a corridor, secure a gap between two villages and Bridge 1 on the railway line running adjacent to the road next to the villages. ‘‘The gap had to be used by 4 Guards to cut off the enemy from behind. Confident of our move, we marched on only to come under heavy artillery.’’ While the Maj Gen was toying with the idea of skirting around the village, the 4 Guards column, without any signal, intermingled and created total chaos. ‘‘My first reaction was: I’ll be court martialled,’’ recalls Singh, who quickly regained control and the bridge was secured. The following morning, Bridges II and III had to be secured. Fire had created a thick blanket of fog while the barbed wire fence and sharp bamboos stretched out like a minefield. Shoving the dilemmas away, the troops walked on, and faced a 105 mm Howitzer, an army artillery gun, on the enemy line. The battle began and Maj Gen Singh’s grenade attack had killed four Pakistanis. Heavy rounds of firing, air bursts, fiery artillery attack, a formidable strength that came down to half and three days later, Akhaura was captured. The unit was awarded the prestigious Theatre Honour along with three Vir Chakras. The Howitzer’s still at Agartala. ‘‘Gallantry is an act beyond the call of duty at a grave risk to your life in the face of the enemy. You either kill or get killed.’’ Jaskiran Kaur

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Postby Jagan » 17 Aug 2006 18:47

Rishi wrote:Hi All,

Am in Delhi right now. One thing to notice is that Delhi newspapers carry a lot of mil obits (unlike most othrt papers in India). Paraphrasing from today's ToI, a bit of Info on the fallen officer:

Lt. Col. Chouhan, who was KIA on 29th June while leading a 15 RR unit in Kashmir, was from 1 GR, and a recepient of Sena Medal in 1999 for Kargil Ops.

:( :cry:


Rishi,

I had noticed that sometime back. A number of army regiments also publish obits to commemorate the fallen soldiers.

One need not be in delhi to see them. Just fcheck the Times of India epaper edition everyday - feel sad to come across so many notices

Jagan

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Col. N. J. Nair KC, AC

Postby member_8618 » 30 Aug 2006 11:24

www.bharat-rakshak.com/HEROISM/Nair.html

The above is a link that exists in BR pages. I quote below, what is given in the pages

Quote:
Colonel Neelakantan Jayachandran Nair was commissioned into the 16th Maratha Light Infantry. In 1983, he was awarded the Kirti Chakra for engaging insurgents in Mizoram.

In December 1993, the 16th Maratha LI battalion, deployed for mobile COIN ops in Nagaland, was being de-inducted, in military parlance. Colonel N.J. Nair was then due for his transfer & promotion. On 20 December 1993, at 8:40 a.m., negotiating a series of road bends with his soldiers on the Mokokchung-Mariani road, he was ambushed by about 100 armed insurgents.
Unmindful of the overwhelming fire that killed a JCO and 13 Jawans on the spot, and of his own grave injures, he ordered a Lance Naik to mount upon his shoulders and throw grenades at the enemy. In the brief respite that followed, he organised his troops in an assault line and charged, leading from the front. Confounded by such recklessness, the enemy broke ranks and fled. Colonel Nair was later found dead, close to the firing position of the insurgents. He was awarded India's highest peace-time gallantry medal, Ashok Chakra, posthumously for displaying exceptional gallantry and courage, far beyond the call of duty. Colonel Neelakantan Jayachandran Nair, in the finest traditions of the Indian Army, attained martyrdom fighting for his motherland. Jai Hind!! Jai Jawan!!
________________________________________
Unquote:

I want to post little bit more about the mission in Mizoram for which he was awarded Keerthi Chakra.

He was posted to Mizoram in 1982 at the hight of Mizo Insurgency. He had an inborn talent with languages and with in an year he could converse in Mizo tounge. It was towards begining of February 83, the unit which was on COIN operations, became aware of one of the Top Mizo Insurgent in their area of operation.

What followed could be mistaken for being the Climax of a Bollywood thriller

Col Nair (then Major still a bachelor at 32) volunteered for the mission and two of his trusted unit members from his beloved 'Charlie' company joined him. The known location of the rebels were with in thick jungles somewhere in Mizoram by one of the many river waterways. Nair and his compnay dressed in the tradition garb of Mizo boatmen and paddled for two days up stream to the location of choice. For two days they were talking Mizo lingo only and behaving exactly like the Mizo boatmen who are petty traders as well.

On the third night, they had camped by the river and were cooking their meals and waiting in anticipation of what was to come.

Soon they saw one man approaching the camp. Nair was sitting at the fire with a blanket around him, other one apparently doing the cooking and the third one concealed on a peremetre watch.

When the man came in to the circle of light of the fire Col. Nair hailed him in Mizo and the man responed and reveled who he was. The man Col. wanted. But by then the person relised that the man at fire was no Mizo boatman and started evasive action. Nair did not hesitate and opend fire with his pistol which he was hiding under his blanket.

The Rebel chief died instantly. But the evasive action initiated by the rebel chief signaled his companion who was consealed in the nearby woods, who opened fire with his rifle. The rifleman was conseled to the right of Col Nair and the bullets penetrated Col. Nairs legs at the top of the right thigh and exited through the middle of his left thigh (fortunately missing bones of both legs)

Col Nair not knowing that he was injured returned the fire with his pistol and injured the back up rebel as well, who ran and jumped in the river followed by the injured Col. Nair

By then the othere two infantrymen (who was in wrong positions foran immediate response) joined the firfight and fatally shot the 2nd rebel as well.

By then Nair was down on the ground and bleading profusely. But full credit to his men, that they managed to stem the bleeding from his wounds and ferried him back to the nearrest communication point, which was away by a 3 hour boat trip and 2 hour trek.

Col. Nair was with 16 Maratha LI. In the Officers Mess there is a Painting of Col. Nair in the tradition garb of a Mizo River Boatman.

Perhaps he is the only soldier in Indian Army to have been decorated with the 2nd Higest and Higest Awards for bravery

Another strange coincidence is that his course at NDA produced two who won the top honours of the country - the other one being Lt. Kethrapal.

Jai Jawan

Regards

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Postby JCage » 30 Aug 2006 11:36

Ram, thanks for sharing that with us. Amazing person.

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Postby Manne » 30 Aug 2006 17:36

Wow!

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Postby Raja Bose » 31 Aug 2006 00:50

I used to follow them when I was back in India. Only from there I learnt of the existence of the Special Group (SFF) coz they had a big share of the obits some times (though understandly almost always with sketchy mission descriptions)

Worse still sometimes you notice multiple obits of fallen soldiers who died together in the same op. :(

Jagan wrote:
Rishi wrote:Hi All,

Am in Delhi right now. One thing to notice is that Delhi newspapers carry a lot of mil obits (unlike most othrt papers in India). Paraphrasing from today's ToI, a bit of Info on the fallen officer:

Lt. Col. Chouhan, who was KIA on 29th June while leading a 15 RR unit in Kashmir, was from 1 GR, and a recepient of Sena Medal in 1999 for Kargil Ops.

:( :cry:


Rishi,

I had noticed that sometime back. A number of army regiments also publish obits to commemorate the fallen soldiers.

One need not be in delhi to see them. Just fcheck the Times of India epaper edition everyday - feel sad to come across so many notices

Jagan

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Postby ashishmittal » 31 Aug 2006 12:06

rajkumar wrote:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4439556.stm

Delhi bus driver who saved the lives of around 70 passengers when he took a bomb from his vehicle during last month's terror attacks has been speaking of his experience........"I will teach the child to be like its father - really brave."

Lets not forget the aam janta.




Here is the sad aftermath:

-----Capital blast hero doesn’t get his due


NEW DELHI: Remember Kuldeep Singh? He is the DTC driver who ignored his own safety to save the lives of about 70 passengers. This was exactly five months ago when terror bombs ripped the city. Kuldeep was maimed for his act of bravery.

He has lost his eyesight, his hands are broken and still held by iron splints, and he still needs some more operations. In short, Kuldeep is no longer fit for work. It’s precisely for this huge sacrifice that the government assured him financial compensation. He is, after all, a big hero.

The promise of money, says Kuldeep, was made by none other than home minister Shivraj Patil when he paid Kuldeep a visit at AIIMS soon after the blasts. The minister promised him Rs 3 lakh. But it seems, he has forgotten all about it; the officers certainly have no instruction to this effect.

Says a visibly bitter Kuldeep: "Leave aside Rs 3 lakh, I haven’t got three paisa. I was told that I would be given free accommodation, but each month, they deduct the rent from my salary. At the end of the month, all I manage to take home is about Rs 5,000."

On top of this, his promotion from bus driver to vehicle inspector too has not been of any help as he is still on the same payscale and draws a salary of Rs 3,200 per month. The government has allotted him a flat in Shadipur, but he has to pay a monthly rent of Rs 1,700.

His eyesight, meanwhile, shows no signs of returning even after doctors performed an amniotic membrane surgery on one eye. "He can’t see anything and is forced to sit at home all day. He listens to the radio and TV and feeds (son) Deepak. We have to escort him each time he has to go out," says wife Nigam.

As of now, there seems to be little hope for him. "The possibility of his vision being restored is low. We will wait another six months for his eye tissues to heal. An eye transplant will be possible only if his corneas don’t melt further," said Dr Raj Pal of AIIMS.

All the couple has received by way of compensation is an amount of Rs 2 lakh from the Delhi government. A private company in Okhla came forward with Rs 1,26,000 and chief minister Sheila Dikshit handed him a cheque for
Rs 20,000. Sad indeed.
-----


Now here is a question-how many of us would be willing to come forward and contribute to Kuldeep's welfare? We can establish a fund in his name-and one of the Delhi based guys can get in touch with Kuldeep once we have enough money in there.

Any thoughts?

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Postby rajkumar » 31 Aug 2006 15:12

ashishmittal wrote:
rajkumar wrote:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4439556.stm

Delhi bus driver who saved the lives of around 70 passengers when he took a bomb from his vehicle during last month's terror attacks has been speaking of his experience........"I will teach the child to be like its father - really brave."

Lets not forget the aam janta.




Here is the sad aftermath:

-----Capital blast hero doesn’t get his due


NEW DELHI: Remember Kuldeep Singh? He is the DTC driver who ignored his own safety to save the lives of about 70 passengers. This was exactly five months ago when terror bombs ripped the city. Kuldeep was maimed for his act of bravery.

He has lost his eyesight, his hands are broken and still held by iron splints, and he still needs some more operations. In short, Kuldeep is no longer fit for work. It’s precisely for this huge sacrifice that the government assured him financial compensation. He is, after all, a big hero.

The promise of money, says Kuldeep, was made by none other than home minister Shivraj Patil when he paid Kuldeep a visit at AIIMS soon after the blasts. The minister promised him Rs 3 lakh. But it seems, he has forgotten all about it; the officers certainly have no instruction to this effect.

Says a visibly bitter Kuldeep: "Leave aside Rs 3 lakh, I haven’t got three paisa. I was told that I would be given free accommodation, but each month, they deduct the rent from my salary. At the end of the month, all I manage to take home is about Rs 5,000."

On top of this, his promotion from bus driver to vehicle inspector too has not been of any help as he is still on the same payscale and draws a salary of Rs 3,200 per month. The government has allotted him a flat in Shadipur, but he has to pay a monthly rent of Rs 1,700.

His eyesight, meanwhile, shows no signs of returning even after doctors performed an amniotic membrane surgery on one eye. "He can’t see anything and is forced to sit at home all day. He listens to the radio and TV and feeds (son) Deepak. We have to escort him each time he has to go out," says wife Nigam.

As of now, there seems to be little hope for him. "The possibility of his vision being restored is low. We will wait another six months for his eye tissues to heal. An eye transplant will be possible only if his corneas don’t melt further," said Dr Raj Pal of AIIMS.

All the couple has received by way of compensation is an amount of Rs 2 lakh from the Delhi government. A private company in Okhla came forward with Rs 1,26,000 and chief minister Sheila Dikshit handed him a cheque for
Rs 20,000. Sad indeed.
-----


Now here is a question-how many of us would be willing to come forward and contribute to Kuldeep's welfare? We can establish a fund in his name-and one of the Delhi based guys can get in touch with Kuldeep once we have enough money in there.

Any thoughts?


Any Delhi based BRFit please let me know, willing to help.

Raj

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Postby ashishmittal » 31 Aug 2006 21:53

rajkumar wrote:
ashishmittal wrote:
rajkumar wrote:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4439556.stm

Delhi bus driver who saved the lives of around 70 passengers when he took a bomb from his vehicle during last month's terror attacks has been speaking of his experience........"I will teach the child to be like its father - really brave."

Lets not forget the aam janta.




Here is the sad aftermath:

-----Capital blast hero doesn’t get his due


NEW DELHI: Remember Kuldeep Singh? He is the DTC driver who ignored his own safety to save the lives of about 70 passengers. This was exactly five months ago when terror bombs ripped the city. Kuldeep was maimed for his act of bravery.

He has lost his eyesight, his hands are broken and still held by iron splints, and he still needs some more operations. In short, Kuldeep is no longer fit for work. It’s precisely for this huge sacrifice that the government assured him financial compensation. He is, after all, a big hero.

The promise of money, says Kuldeep, was made by none other than home minister Shivraj Patil when he paid Kuldeep a visit at AIIMS soon after the blasts. The minister promised him Rs 3 lakh. But it seems, he has forgotten all about it; the officers certainly have no instruction to this effect.

Says a visibly bitter Kuldeep: "Leave aside Rs 3 lakh, I haven’t got three paisa. I was told that I would be given free accommodation, but each month, they deduct the rent from my salary. At the end of the month, all I manage to take home is about Rs 5,000."

On top of this, his promotion from bus driver to vehicle inspector too has not been of any help as he is still on the same payscale and draws a salary of Rs 3,200 per month. The government has allotted him a flat in Shadipur, but he has to pay a monthly rent of Rs 1,700.

His eyesight, meanwhile, shows no signs of returning even after doctors performed an amniotic membrane surgery on one eye. "He can’t see anything and is forced to sit at home all day. He listens to the radio and TV and feeds (son) Deepak. We have to escort him each time he has to go out," says wife Nigam.

As of now, there seems to be little hope for him. "The possibility of his vision being restored is low. We will wait another six months for his eye tissues to heal. An eye transplant will be possible only if his corneas don’t melt further," said Dr Raj Pal of AIIMS.

All the couple has received by way of compensation is an amount of Rs 2 lakh from the Delhi government. A private company in Okhla came forward with Rs 1,26,000 and chief minister Sheila Dikshit handed him a cheque for
Rs 20,000. Sad indeed.
-----


Now here is a question-how many of us would be willing to come forward and contribute to Kuldeep's welfare? We can establish a fund in his name-and one of the Delhi based guys can get in touch with Kuldeep once we have enough money in there.

Any thoughts?


Any Delhi based BRFit please let me know, willing to help.

Raj


Thanks Raj.

Anyone else willing to vounteer? I'd expect a lot more response from folks on BR!

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Postby Paul » 01 Sep 2006 00:19

Maybe something can be done about this at the All CA meet in October.

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Postby Jagan » 02 Sep 2006 18:47

A very poignant Obituary was published in the Times of India - that paid tribute to Subedar Alois Lakhra and his troops who were killed in Srilanka.

The Obit Notice

A Platoon of B Coy, 15 BIHAR was tasked to defend a hospital building at Mannar, were attacked by 100 pers of the LTTE led by the second supremo 'MAHATAYA' on the night of 16/17 Aug 89. Sub Alois Lakra and troops displayed rare courage and acumen and fought to the last man last round despite heavy fire, being outnmbered and ensuring safety of civliian patients in the hospital. These brave soldiers laid down their lives in executing their tasks in the highest traditions of the BIHAR Regiment and the INdian Army.


I checked up the IPKF database and was shocked to find a list of 23 soldiers who died on that day - all came from one single unit - 15 BIHAR

Code: Select all

JC-137597 SUB Alois Lakra
4253991   LHAV Baban Mishra
4255095   SEP  Udaya Nath Sethi
4255564   SEP Kornelius Marudi
4256576   SEP Mahesh Oraon
4258825   NK  Francis Majhi
4258944   NK  Kerobin Tirkey
4259409   NK  Jitendra Tiwari
4262208   SEP Chhatrai Hembram
4262246   SEP Ramashish Singh
4262631   SEP Kalandi Charan Behera
4263795   SEP Saratha Pradhan
4264607   SEP Rabindra Nath Samal
4265556   SEP Raghuban Singh
4265713   SEP Digambar Behera
4265838   SEP Bandhna Oraon
4266311   SEP Gobardhan Marandi
4268210   SEP Mani Oraon
4268211   SEP Soma Bhagat
4268212   SEP Shiv Nath Lohar
4268258   SEP Manjar Bhagat
4268533   SEP Bimal Kumar Mohanta
7430708   SEP Ram Padarath Choudhary


One of the untold stories of Sri Lanka.

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Postby JCage » 20 Oct 2006 08:28

A somewhat bizarre account of a meet with Col Anil Kaul

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/thsc ... 2/&prd=mp&

It seems to be a food column, and the author (somehow) finds a way to slip in the dishes through..

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Postby Raja Bose » 20 Oct 2006 20:32

This is the second instance I heard when our troops fought to last man, last round...the 1st one being the Sikh LI raid on Jaffna univ. Is it possible to get more details re. this battle.....very disturbing that no other unit came to their assistance. Any estimate of LTTE casualties?

Jagan wrote:A very poignant Obituary was published in the Times of India - that paid tribute to Subedar Alois Lakhra and his troops who were killed in Srilanka.

The Obit Notice

A Platoon of B Coy, 15 BIHAR was tasked to defend a hospital building at Mannar, were attacked by 100 pers of the LTTE led by the second supremo 'MAHATAYA' on the night of 16/17 Aug 89. Sub Alois Lakra and troops displayed rare courage and acumen and fought to the last man last round despite heavy fire, being outnmbered and ensuring safety of civliian patients in the hospital. These brave soldiers laid down their lives in executing their tasks in the highest traditions of the BIHAR Regiment and the INdian Army.


I checked up the IPKF database and was shocked to find a list of 23 soldiers who died on that day - all came from one single unit - 15 BIHAR

Code: Select all

JC-137597 SUB Alois Lakra
4253991   LHAV Baban Mishra
4255095   SEP  Udaya Nath Sethi
4255564   SEP Kornelius Marudi
4256576   SEP Mahesh Oraon
4258825   NK  Francis Majhi
4258944   NK  Kerobin Tirkey
4259409   NK  Jitendra Tiwari
4262208   SEP Chhatrai Hembram
4262246   SEP Ramashish Singh
4262631   SEP Kalandi Charan Behera
4263795   SEP Saratha Pradhan
4264607   SEP Rabindra Nath Samal
4265556   SEP Raghuban Singh
4265713   SEP Digambar Behera
4265838   SEP Bandhna Oraon
4266311   SEP Gobardhan Marandi
4268210   SEP Mani Oraon
4268211   SEP Soma Bhagat
4268212   SEP Shiv Nath Lohar
4268258   SEP Manjar Bhagat
4268533   SEP Bimal Kumar Mohanta
7430708   SEP Ram Padarath Choudhary


One of the untold stories of Sri Lanka.

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Postby Shwetank » 20 Oct 2006 20:47

This is the second instance I heard when our troops fought to last man, last round.


I suggest going throught the BR history sections and links to various other sites. There are plenty more examples of such situations, off the top of my head there was the stand which took place in '62 war by Kumaon regiment (mainly Ahir soldiers subdivision took part in it I think).

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Postby Jagan » 20 Oct 2006 20:50

Shwetank wrote:
This is the second instance I heard when our troops fought to last man, last round.


I suggest going throught the BR history sections and links to various other sites. There are plenty more examples of such situations, off the top of my head there was the stand which took place in '62 war by Kumaon regiment (mainly Ahir soldiers subdivision took part in it I think).


I am sure he meant the statement for Sri Lanka.

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Postby ASPuar » 20 Oct 2006 20:56

JCage wrote:A somewhat bizarre account of a meet with Col Anil Kaul

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/thsc ... 2/&prd=mp&

It seems to be a food column, and the author (somehow) finds a way to slip in the dishes through..


It had taken a great deal of wrangling by the army brass with the defense ministry to ensure that Col. Kaul got his medal in the 80s. I dont know why this is, but its what happened.

I believe he later went on to become principle of army public school.

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Postby Raja Bose » 20 Oct 2006 20:56

Yes I meant incidents in Sri Lanka. Where is the IPKF database? amar-jawan.org database seems to be having problems.

Jagan wrote:
Shwetank wrote:
This is the second instance I heard when our troops fought to last man, last round.


I suggest going throught the BR history sections and links to various other sites. There are plenty more examples of such situations, off the top of my head there was the stand which took place in '62 war by Kumaon regiment (mainly Ahir soldiers subdivision took part in it I think).


I am sure he meant the statement for Sri Lanka.

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Postby Babui » 20 Oct 2006 21:21

Very strange story. As per Obit - a 100 strong LTTE cadre attack resulting in 23 IPKF soldiers dying while defending a hospital. The reason its strange is that it takes our troops hours and sometimes days to clear out a few huts of 2-10 terrorists in Kashmir (from numerous news accounts).........yet......only 100 LTTE killed 23 well armed soldiers (who presumably had cover behind walls or at least were in trenches). And no nearby Indian unit came to the rescue? Did the hospital collapse on them? Perhaps someday the story will come out.

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Postby Surya » 20 Oct 2006 21:24

I still remeber the day the newspapers carried a little para on this incident.

I was depressed to know so many of our troops died that day although I think the newspaper said it was Bihar military police.

I believ the LTTE infiltrated the hospital and the men were caught from fire from inside and outside and were limited in firing back inside because of the patients (human shields).

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Postby Jagan » 20 Oct 2006 21:51

The Bihar Regiment has a published history and much to our frustration, it ends just before 1987

Palsokar, R.D. Bihar Warriors: A Historical Record of the Bihar Regiment, 1758-1986. Danapur: Bihar Regiment, 1986.


I guess we will have to wait for "Vol 2"?

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Postby Raja Bose » 20 Oct 2006 22:49

From what you mention I think I read about this incident in some LTTE propoganda website. They claimed that the troops had living quarters inside the hospital (maybe a lot of them were unarmed when the sudden attack took place)...but some of them escaped the LTTE attack? is that true??
Our troops take sometimes days to clear our holed up piglets to avoid damage to civilians and their homes.....not like the US forces who call up airstrikes on individual homes if the going gets tough....maybe thats the difference when you are used to fight on foreign lands only as opposed to on your home land.

Surya wrote:I still remeber the day the newspapers carried a little para on this incident.

I was depressed to know so many of our troops died that day although I think the newspaper said it was Bihar military police.

I believ the LTTE infiltrated the hospital and the men were caught from fire from inside and outside and were limited in firing back inside because of the patients (human shields).


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