Profiles in Heroism: Archive

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 11 Feb 2004 05:10

Captain Omkarnath Rao (22 MLI) - Op Rakshak

BANGALORE: As the Marathas bid adieu to their young martyr with tearful eyes in Uri sector on Monday, it was a goodbye to a friend and colleague, who had kept the honour of the uniform, an end to a story of great valour.

In life Captain Omkar Nath Rao had made his battalion proud by volunteering to the most difficult assignments, in death too he kept the prestige of hisu nit. Captain Rao was killed in a fierce encounter with a group of militants and Pak regulars at the Line of Control in Uri on Sunday. However, before laying his life, he killed a militant and a Pak armyman. A civilian porter was also killed when the patrol led by Captain Rao came under fire near Dardkote forward post.

"He had just returned from Siachen. In fact we didn't even get time to talk. I thought now that he has come back to the unit we will have a good time again," said Captain Rao's friend and colleague, Major A P Kumar. "Perhaps I had forgotten the inevitable in a soldiers life".

The only son of a retired Army officer, Col G V Rao, this 26-year-old captain hailing from Bangalore had just three and half years of service. Being from a fauji family, bravery was in his sweat and blood. Thus he volunteered to the most difficult postings and missions.

``He always wanted his father to feel proud about him,'' a colleague said.``In fact, the young officers belonging to Army families have always the penchant for sacrifice. They always want to keep the heads of their nears and dears high''.

Captain Rao had joined the unit in Uri sector on March 4 after serving for six months in Siachen glacer. "Officers get a peace posting after serving at the Siachen but this young captain preferred to join his parent unit,'' said Brigadier R K Sharma, remembering Rao as a brave young officer.

Major A P Kumar said Captain Rao was still going through the familiarisation process of the unit area. ``After joining on March 4, he was with us here in the unit headquarters getting to know the area. It was only on March 9 that he was sent to the forward post,'' he said.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 11 Feb 2004 05:22

Captain Jitesh Bhutani (31 CIU)

LUCKNOW : Twenty-eight-year-old Captain Jitesh Bhutani of the Counter Intelligence Unit (CIU) attained martyrdom during an anti-insurgency operation on November 16 at Shupian near Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir . His body was cremated with full military honours here at Bhainsakund on Monday.

Captain Jitesh was 15th son of the city since Kargil conflict to make the supreme sacrifice while defending the borders. Jitesh’s wife Lina, who had dreamt of coming to her sasural at Alinganj with the husband during next holidays, had the misfortune of escorting his body from Srinagar to Lucknow .

The martyr’s body was brought to the state capital on Sunday evening and was kept at the Command Hospital in the night. In the morning amidst sloganeering of Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Capt Jitesh Amar Rahen, the body was consigned to flames. With numb eyes, Jitesh’s uncle lit the pyre. Soldiers of the Kumaun Regiment sounded the last post and fired in the air to pay their homage.

Jitesh’s friends and family members said that destiny had always been cruel with him. He was just two-year-old when his father, an engineer in the irrigation department, died. A year later, his mother also left to remarry. Uncle Dr SP Bhutani, a retired medical officer, raised the boy, giving him both motherly affection and fatherly care.

Jitesh’s early schooling was at the City Montessori School and later at the La Martiniere Boys’ College, Birla Vidya Mandir in Nainital and then at the RIMC in Dehra Dun . He qualified National Defence Academy entrance examinations and was commissioned in 1996 in 5 Armoured Corps and was last serving in 3 CIU. He met Lina and the two got married in 2001.Only an year ago he had called the wife to stay with him in Srinagar , where she took up a teaching job.Governor Vishnukant Shastri, mayor SC Rai and director Sainik Kalyan Brig. (Retd) RD Singh laid wreaths on the martyr’s body to pay their respects.

Wreaths were also laid by chief secretary AP Singh on behalf of the chief minister, Maj-Gen Utpal Bhattacharyya on behalf of the Central Command General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Brig Sham Mediratta on behalf of the Chief of Staff and Col Nilesh Kunwar on behalf of Sub Area Commander. Maj Chandrashekhar laid a wreath on behalf of all ranks on the CIU.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 12 Feb 2004 04:16

Wonderful article on Capt Arun Kumar Bhargava who passed away couple of years ago...

Captain(Later Col) Arun Kumar Bhargava (Op Cactus Lily)

BHOPAL, Dec 16: The leaves of Capt Arun Kumar Bhargava’s diary not only portray hair-raising exploits of a daring fighter but also reveal the finer feelings of a loving husband and every page seems to depict the grim yet exciting hours of a historic war and a memorable victory whose anniversary is being celebrated today.

"Were fired at from Dhalai with LMGs/MMGs (almost all that they had — rather intense.) they got us. Noticed the leaking port tank with fuel gushing down on me. Came and landed at Kamalpur... There were seven bullet holes," reads the entry dated October 29, 1971 of the Indian army officer.

"When he landed the Krishak (the Hindustan Air Observation Post (HAOP) aircraft) he was soaked in oil and had my photograph with him in the cockpit, Mrs Bhargava said of her husband whose reconnaissance mission was to fly over Madanpur and "see if they were moving anything south towards P’kala and Dhalai."

"The man who liked smoking so much was scared to light a cigarette for days after that," the wife of late Col Bhargava told UNI.

Commissioned in 1963, the young air observation post officer, who also flew Pushpaks and helicopters, was lucky, as his buddy on another plane was killed in a blaze on board after a similar leak.

The details of the day on which his plane suffered the hits have been jotted down in red ink by Capt (later Col) Bhargava on the very second page of his weathered notebook that also contains the grim statistics of battle.

Under November 3, he writes about the fall of Dhalai to the Indians, "enemy cas(ualties). Found approx(imately) 50 dead. Captured appro(ximately) four..."

There are also brief entries such as "15 Nov ’71. Nothing much happened — waiting. Went to see Manipuri dance." A loving reference to the veteran’s better half is found when he writes about eating a ‘funny-looking vegetable’ and Chapatis while ‘reading Niru’s letter saying "guess what, we had real fun. We had stuffed tomatoes, aloo matar and parathas."’

On December 16, the officer wrote, "war has come to an end in the east and is very nearly over in the west."

"After the conflict was won, when he touched down in Dhaka, the tarmac was teeming with people, they could have got sliced," Mrs Bhargava said.

During the war, she was herself completing graduation at Ajmer.

"He was recommended for an award that he did not get but fought a gallant war," said the lady who stays here alone after Col Bhargava passed away in July. He had served as an instructor at the Mhow-based College of Combat in the 1970s and, after retirement, was head of the human resources department of a private firm at Mandideep.

Mrs Bhargava is Vice-Principal at the Bhopal Convent Co-ed School and her married daughter lives in Gurgaon. She proudly shows framed photographs of her husband in uniform and speaks of his love for riding.

‘’soldiers’ wives are more independent, confident, can do things much better and are satisfied with what they have,’’ said the lady whose father was also in the army and, at a personal level, fought a lifelong battle against cancer.

"Do your work with dedication," was the message the teacher wanted to pass on to the younger lot.

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p.s: Is there some way to determine what unit Capt Bhargava belonged to? Comments welcome..

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 12 Feb 2004 04:58

Major Milton V Kurien (5 Sikh)
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Caption:Relatives of slained Major Milton Boban Kurian breaks down as his coffin arrives in Kochi on Tuesday. Major Kurien was killed by militants at Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir on last Sunday

Major Milton Kurien's final homecoming on Tuesday was a sombre, dignified affair, complete with military honours, as befitting one who had died for his country. At the Nedumbassery international airport, the coffin, draped in the national Tricolour, was borne down from the aircraft by six Naval officers, clad in their crispest whites.

The Major's wife Mercy, mother Baby and sister Shalbi Mini, who so far had been waiting quietly, let out a cry of grief. But a hero's family is generally denied the luxury of grieving. They hastily regained their composure as a stream of ministers, MLAs, police and military officers came to lay wreaths and offer condolences.

A huge throng of mourners watched as Tourism Minister K V Thomas, MLAs V D Satheesan, M A Chandrasekharan and K Muhamadali, Aluva SP Shamsuddin and DSP George Sebastian, District Collector Gyanesh Kumar, Brig. R K Gupta (station commander, Kochi), Col. G Sasi (administrative commandant) and Captain R A Jaiswal (representing the Southern Naval Command) saluted the Major who lost his life in a `fidayeen' attack at Kupwara, Kashmir on Saturday morning.

Aluva was in complete mourning, with residents wearing black badges and even public transport vehicles flying black flags. Students of an upper primary school flanked the lane leading to Kurien's home, holding candles, as the military cortege wended its way.

``He was an armyman. Anyone who joins the forces knows that he might one day be called to make the supreme sacrifice. My boy died for his motherland. There can be no better death than this,'' his grandfather K George Thayyil said in the true military spirit of a retired soldier. Thayyil had served in the erstwhile Royal Indian Artillery.

A serpentine queue formed outside the pandal at NAD football grounds where the cortege halted for people to pay their last respects. A funeral guard as well as a local NCC platoon stood in attention.

Achal, the Major's four-and-a-half-year-old son, watched the proceedings in bewilderment. ``He's so young, he doesn't comprehend anything,'' said the boy's great grandfather.

The Major was later laid to rest at the St Sebastian's Church cemetery.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 12 Feb 2004 05:28

Not sure if this belongs here. Admins,make the call..

Sub-Inspector Shakeel Ahmed (Karnataka State Police)
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A high profile Police Officer of the previous STF officer of Karnataka, M.Shakeel Ahmed joined as a probationary Sub-Inspector of police in 1981, after completing his M.Sc. degree in Geology from Manasa Gangothri, Mysore University. Within a short period of time, Shakeel made a mark as an upright, disciplined police officer. On completion of his training of the PTC (Karnataka Police Academy), he was posted to Chikmagalore in western range where he earned the appreciation of his higher-ups.

The then S.P Chikmagalore Mr. Paute observed in his confidential report on the young and dynamic police officer that he had become extremely popular amongst the public for his integrity, intelligence and dedication to duty and exemplary courage in tackling very difficult situation.

Shakeel had passed his IAS preliminary examination in 1982 while undergoing training as a probationary Sub-Inspector of Police at the PTC was denied the opportunity to appear at the main examination by the then Mysore SP S.T.Madiyal and the then southern range DIG Mr.A.P.Dorai by rejecting his application for leave to write the main examination which would have enabled him to rise high either as an IAS or an IPS officer. As if that was not enough, Shakeel who had also made it to the All India Geological Service examination held by the UPSC, was cut down in the interview twice.

After serving for about two years in Chikmagalore, Shakeel got a transfer to the State Special Branch Bangalore in 1985. Later he was posted to State Special Branch in Mysore city where he again made a mark as an able and efficient police officer. In 1988 Shakeel was posted to Lashkar Police Station (Mysore) crime branch. He showed his mettle as a tough, no-nonsense super cop in tackling "gujury lobby" (dealing scrap metal and such) and containing crimes and goonda elements backed up by politicians. Next year he was shifted to saraswathipuram police station in Mysore city as S.I of Law and Order. It was here during 1989-90 that Shakeel's popularity as a versatile police officer capable of accepting any challenge peaked. In just over a year Shakeel transformed this area into an almost "NO CRIME ZONE". His relentless drive against anti-social elements, moneylenders cum extortionist lobbies and hardcore criminals won him the respect of the public and his high ups. Shakeel is remembered with a great deal of respect even today by Mysoreans for his meritorious service as well as for the garden he had laid in Saraswathipuram police station premises.

It was a turning point in the young and able Shakeel's career when he got the shocking news of the murder of his colleagues namely S.I. Dinesh, S.I. Ramalingu, S.I. Jagannath and another by the notorious forest brigand and sandal wood smuggler Veerappan in Hogenkal falls in April 1990. At that time, Shakeel had been deputed on an important official assignment to Panjim. He cut short his official tour and rushed to Mysore on hearing about the tragedy. When the entire police force was demoralized and no police officer was willing to take charge of the M.M.Hills police station out of fear of Veerappan's guerrilla tactics, Shakeel salvaged the prestige of the Karnataka police by volunteering to hunt down the bandit. Shakeel joined the first STF of Karnataka under the command of the IGP Mr. K.U.Shetty who was later succeeded by IGP Madiyal.

Despite constraints, Shakeel left no stone unturned to track down Veerappan and his associates. Shakeel worked hard and with a crusading zeal along with his SP Harikrishna to captivate the bandit. Though the bandit managed to slip away, Shakeel achieved tremendous success in tracking down many of his hard core gang members and reducing the smuggling activities considerably.

Shakeel achieved a major breakthrough in February 1992; he managed to set a trap to catch the bandit and his gang alive. With legendary courage, Shakeel walked incognito into the jungles and established contact through a set of informants with Veerappan's lieutenant Gurunathan posing as an arms dealer, Shakeel turned Gurunathan into an arms deal which was intended to be a trap for Veerappan. But due to the hasty decision of his SP Harikrishna and the unnecessary interference of the then Mysore DIG K.R.Shrinivasan, it was bungled otherwise Veerappan would have been a closed chapter by February 1992.

Undeterred by lack of support and lack of equipments like night vision binoculars, Shakeel went ahead with gusto and zeal to track down the bandit who had now been forced to seek the support of granite and quarry owners to maintain his gang and also to avenge the killing of Gurunathan by the STF.

August 14,1992 will go down in the history of Karnataka police as the saddest day. For it was on this fateful day that the two high profile police officers- SP Harikrishna and Shakeel Ahmed fell to the assassin's bullets in the Meenyam forest range in the Ramapura limits, when Veerappan and his gang of terrorists ambushed them. There are many intriguing aspects to the ambush. Why did the Mysore DIG K.R. Srinivasan stayed back in the Ramapura police station when he sent the two officers by a car to catch Veerappan in a fake ivory deal? The plan was not even decoyed. Veerappan snuffed out two precious lives on the eve of the Independence Day in 1992.

But for the betrayal by the fifth columnists inside the STF and the collusion of quarry contractors and politicians, Shakeel would have definitely succeeded in his mission to catch Veerappan dead or alive. Shakeel is a martyr who made the supreme sacrifice of his life in its prime. He will always remain a source of inspiration to the future generation of police officers for his legendary courage, exemplary integrity and his dedication to duty. Shakeel's honesty and integrity is exemplified by the fact that while he was working as a Sub-Inspector of police, Mysore city, Saraswatipuram police station in 1989. Mr.N.S.Basavaraju (Retd. SP), Lokayuktha DSP suggested Shakeel's name for appointment to the Lokayuktha wing of Karnataka (which was headed by former DGP A.J.Anand). As luck would have, it did not come through, as subsequently Shakeel Ahmed responded to the formidable challenge of the bandit Veerappan in the thick forest on the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Abdul Kareem, the person who fought the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments for a noble cause and his late son have proved:
"Cowards die many times before their death but valiant tastes death but once."

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 12 Feb 2004 06:22

Major Lalson Varghese (14 RR)

HYDERABAD April 28, 2003 Family, friends, colleagues and common folk bid a tearful farewell to Major Lalson Varghese of the Indian Army in Hyderabad on Monday afternoon.

Suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists killed the 29-year-old major in an ambush during the counter-insurgency Operation Rakshak at Sumblar village in the Bandipora region of the Kashmir valley on April 24.

The funeral was held with full military honours, with Home Minister T Devender Goud representing the state government. The coffin was brought to the New Life Assembly of God Church where the funeral service was conducted. The body was then interred at the Garrison cemetery at Trimulgherry. Thomas Varghese, a retired army officer, said, "A soldier has died for his country and I am proud to be his father." Lalson's brothers, Reverend Valson Varghese and Sabu Varghese, his mother Aleyamma, and wife Nisha fought back their tears as they bid him goodbye.

A resident of Ramakrishnapuram in the Secunderabad Cantonment, Maj Varghese did his schooling at the Ajmer Military School and passed out of the National Defence Academy in 1995. He was commissioned into the 42nd Regiment of the Indian Army after passing out of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, in June 1996.

He was on deputation to the 14th Rashtriya Rifles at the time of the Kargil war.

The youngest of three brothers, Lalson got married just seven months ago. He celebrated his birthday with the family on March 13 and left for Kashmir three days later. He called up his wife on April 23 and told her of his plans of returning in September for their first wedding anniversary. But he was killed the next day. The body was brought back from Kashmir on April 26.

According to the army, Maj Varghese was an outstanding officer and served in several posts. He also won many sports medals, and excelled in several disciplines. He also loved painting.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu recalled in a statement that Maj Varghese had earned a promotion by displaying exemplary courage during the Kargil war. He had done the state and the country proud, he said.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 12 Feb 2004 07:01

Capt V Tirupathi (AIC)

The body of Capt V Tirupathi of the Army Intelligence Corps, who was killed by Naga militants in Nagaland early this week, was brought to Bangalore this afternoon.

Originally hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Capt Tirupathi had moved to Bangalore after his marriage with Vanishree, a resident of Jayanagar, 9th Block. On Monday night, 35-year-old Capt Tirupathi, along with Havildar Kurien, also of AIC, who hails from Kerala’s Kozhikode district, were ambushed and killed by militants in Dimapur. The bodies of the two officers were brought to Bangalore by a special aircraft.

The body of Kurien was later taken to his hometown in Kerala.
Poignant scenes were witnessed at the Bangalore Airport, when the body of Capt Tirupathi was brought in an AN-32 aircraft, with relatives and friends thronging the airport. The body was accompanied by his wife and two children - T Madhukrishna (7) and T Hemanthkrishna (4).

As the aircraft landed at the airport, Tirupathi’s mother Yellamma, brothers V Venugopal, Shivakumar and his in-laws broke into tears and were literally inconsolable. The body was taken to Tirupathi’s in-law’s house on 37th Cross, 26th Main, Jayanagar 9th Block to enable the family and friends to pay their respects.
The last rites were conducted at Wilson Garden Crematorium in the evening.

Courage, tenacity, bravado! Capt V Tirupathi had all these and more. Joining the Army as a mere soldier in 1984, Tirupathi became a Captain by sheer hardwork and determination.

“He was all set to become a Major in July. We were all keenly looking forward to that day”, said Tirupathi’s father-in-law S Kannan. Tirupathi last came to Bangalore in the January 2002 to attend his brother-in-law’s wedding, said Mr Kannan, who retired from Mico. “We were all enthused by the presence of Tirupathi at the wedding”, he recalled. “He was an unassuming character and a jovial person, loved by all”, he recalled.

“Tirupathi was more than a son to me”, was how his mother-in-law Anandamma reacted after learning about the tragedy, which struck the family. Tirupathi’s wife Vanishree and her children were yet to recover from the shock of the tragedy. ‘‘I just can’t believe that he is no more’’, said Vanishree amidst tears rolling from her eyes.

A grief stricken Yellamma, Tirupathi’s mother, who is settled in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, rushed to her daughter-in-law’s house in Bangalore after being informed about the tragedy. “He was a courageous son”, she said. “Recently, Tirupathi sent me some money to conduct obsequies on the occasion of the first death anniversary of his father”, she recalled.
Capt Tirupathi was serving the AIC in Nagaland for over six months. He had taken his family along. His children were studying in a military school in Nagaland. Prior to his present posting, he had served AIC at Secunderabad. He was a daring officer, said a friend of Tirupathi.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Bose » 20 Feb 2004 07:16

I know he has slipped out of the limelight but any news on the recent condition of Surjan Singh
Bhandari the 51 SAG guy who got injured in the NSG
op. in Akshardham? Last I heard he was shifted to
AIIMS, New Delhi.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Rakesh » 04 Mar 2004 18:06

Originally posted by Raja Bose:
I know he has slipped out of the limelight but any news on the recent condition of Surjan Singh
Bhandari the 51 SAG guy who got injured in the NSG op. in Akshardham? Last I heard he was shifted to AIIMS, New Delhi.
I heard he is still in the same condition, no difference. There has been some damage to his brain, I think, and thus the reason for his coma. He will likely live on a respirator for the rest of his life, as the world does not currently possess the medical marvel to cure him. Brain and spinal injuries are just deadly.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby AmanC » 14 Mar 2004 12:09

War heroes gather for WDI convention
(HT Chandigarh,14 March, no archives)
HT Correspondent
Chandigarh, 13 March

FOR A city used to seeing many conventions being held here, this one was certainly with a difference. Around 100 war heroes and their dependents gathered at Tagore Theatre to take part in the triennial convention of War Decorated India (WDI), an association comprising winners of Param Vir Chakra, Mahavir Chakra and Vir Chara and their next of kin.

The two-day convention will address the many problems being faced by the ear-decorated soldiers of the country and their dependents. The opening session today which was addressed by the president of the association, Brig Sant Singh, MVC and Bar (retd) and Capt Reet MP Singh, VrC General Secretary of WDI.

Highlighting the problems faced by the gallantry awardees, Brig Sant Singh lamented that the government had failed to provide any remedy to their long-standing problems. Giving an example he said that widows of gallantry awardees whose spouses died after receiving their award were not entitled to any concession on railway fares.

He said that when the Minister for Railways was approached he expressed no problem in addressing this anomaly but down the line, the officials of Railway Board were not keen to accept their plea.

Similarly, the parents of unmarried awardees who received their awards posthumously too were not given any concession.

“On the other hand the government spends crores of rupees as grants to sportsmen who excel in various sports,” said Brig Sant Singh.

He questioned whether the defence and security of the nation was anyway less important than achievements in sports.

He also informed the gathering that the gallantry awardees do not have to pay any fee for the grant or renewal of arms license. The Director of Sainik Welfare Department Punjab also addressed the audience and informed them of the benefits being extended to the gallantry awardees by the state government. The opening session was marked by presentation of bouquets to the parents of some of the gallantry awardees. The parents of Capt Vikram Batra, PVC (Posth.), Capt Anuj Kalia, Vrc (Posth.) and Second Lt. Rajeev Sandhu, MVC (Posth.) were honoured.

The wife of Major Raguba Rane, PVC especially came down from Pune to attend the convention. Her husband was awarded the PVC during the 1947-48 war.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby AmanC » 14 Mar 2004 12:12

When the nation forgets its brave soldiers
(HT Chandigarh, 14 March, no archives)
Man Aman Singh Chhina
Chandigarh, 13 March

ONE OF the unique aspects of the War Decorated India convention, which began today, was the presence of the grandson of a civilian decorated with Mahavir Chakra (MVC). Ghulam Haider’s grandfather, Ismail Ahmed, was awarded the MVC during the 1947-48 Indo-Pak war when he was serving as a porter with 3rd Battalion of Jat regiment.

Incidentally, only two civilians have ever been decorated with the second highest war time gallantry award in the history of independent India. The second such person was Ram Chander, who was employed as a dhobi during the same war.

Ghulam Haider undertook a treacherous walk of four days in the snow bound areas of Sonamarg to catch a bus to Chandigarh from Srinagar in order to attend the convention.

However, forgotten by the officialdom of Jammu and Kashmir, this descendent of a brave Kashmiri lives in penury and does not even receive any monthly grant for the MVC.

“My mother, Halima Bano, used to get the grant till she was alive,” says Haider adding that after her death the officials stopped paying the grant. A small landowner with three children to support, Haider is fiercely proud of his father’s service to the Indian Army in the first Kashmir war.

“Unhonen achcha kam kiya, mulk ke liye bahaduri dikhaya, (he did a good deed, displayed bravery for his country),” he says with a request to the correspondent to ‘do something’ to get one of his children some job or to get him a allowance for his grandfather’s MVC. However, the MVC medal is not with the family and is in the possession of the Jat Regiment, he reveals.

Haider was accompanied from J&K by another brave soul, Havildar Shafi Ahmed, who was part of expeditions to Siachen Glacier in 1979 when it was far from the treacherous battlefield that it is now. Though not a gallantry awardee, Shafi is an accomplished mountaineer from Ladakh Scouts Karakoram Wing, and is living hand to mouth despite being one of the few jawans to have been decorated with Vishishth Seva Medal, Sena Medal (Gallantry) and having won Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation no less than four times.

A conqueror of peaks like Apsara-I, Saser Kangri, Neelkanth, Shivling, part of Everest expedition 1985 and having been instructor at Siachen Battle School thrice, he now works with the Border Roads Organisation as a labourer.

There are many such stories of neglect and abandonment of brave soldiers by the state in this convention. Soldiers, who did not flinch from doing their duty when the nation made its call, Soldiers who gave their blood and if necessary, their life, to defend the motherland, are now reduced to reliving their saga before journalists in expectation of moving a forgetful nation.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Jagan » 15 Mar 2004 14:01

Sumit Bhattacharjee (Hindu, Vizag Bureau) brings out another excellent piece
-------------------------------------------
http://www.hindu.com/mp/2004/01/26/stories/2004012601390100.htm

<img src="http://www.hindu.com/mp/2004/01/26/images/2004012601390103.jpg" alt="" />

Lest we FORGET...

"We want peace and our neighbours should realise that we are capable of producing thousands of Vikram Batras as and when required."

The plaque in the cenotaph that is constructed in remembrance of the slain soldiers in the Kargil, boldly proclaims: "When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today."

The modest appeal still reverberates in the serene hills and it makes every officer or jawan on duty, clutch his rifle and swear by the name of their motherland with every thud of an artillery shell from across the Line of Control (LOC) or with every crack from a militant's AK 47. It was just beginning to fade in the plains, when J.P. Dutta released his bigger than screen, multi-starred, celluloid opus, `LOC', with a very apt punchline, "Before we forget them."

Dutta's `LOC', happened just when cross border handshakes and bear hugs were systematically erasing the memory of M-16 helicopters dropping men in uniform, packed in their sleeping bags, day in and day out for months in 1999.

So, before one could forget that famed wireless message "Yeh dil maange more" that Capt. Vikram Batra of 13 JAK Rifles used to radio after conquering every enemy bunker and the contributions made Anuj Nayyars and Mangal Pandeys, here is one from this district to add up to the list of hundreds of such unsung heroes who gambled with their lives at sub-zero temperature and inched to glory braving heavy enemy fire.

Though S. Adi Sankara Narayana Rao was born to peasant parents in a village near Anakapalle, he had the urge to join the Armed Forces since his childhood. He was inspired by freedom-fighters like Chandrashekar Azad and Bhagat Singh, and by the time he reached the age of 18 years he was already serving in the Artillery Regiment as a gunner. The wish to be in the midst of action impelled him to volunteer for the Special Forces in the Indian Army. His tall athletic frame and stamina helped him get inducted into the prestigious 2 Para, a special commando force unit. And in no time he became an all-terrain armed and unarmed combat professional.

Ever since his induction into 2 Para, he was always on the move from Assam to Nagaland and from Jammu and Kashmir to Manipur seeking and destroying terrorist hideouts. He even operated in Operation Pawan in Jaffna as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF).

He was on the 17th year of his service when the nation beckoned him once again, but this time for a different purpose. It was for pushing back the infiltrators who had the audacity to cross the LOC with the intention of gaining control over National Highway 1-A, so that they could cut Ladakh from Kashmir and stifle the lifeline of the Indian Army personnel posted in Siachen.

"It was on April 30, 1999, when we were busy packing our bags in Srinagar, for the much awaited holidays that we got an urgent message to move to the Kargil sector. At that time our unit was drafted under the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and we were engaged in a counter- insurgency operation. Within 48 hours, we were airlifted and dropped in the Batalik sector in full combat gear. We were informed that a few mujhahideens had crossed the LOC and occupied our vacated bunkers and we have to throw them out.

"The Special Forces were the automatic choice to move ahead of the rest as we were rained in high altitude warfare and had the capability to cover more distance swiftly and survive for a number of days with minimum amenities in the most hostile ambience. We were backed by the 18 Grenadiers, the regiment that finally took over the Tiger Hills with maximum casualties and had heroes like Col. Kaushal Thakur, Lt. Col. R. Viswanathan, Lt. Balwan Singh and the Subedar duo of Yogendra Singhs (potrayed by Raj Babbar, Mohnish Behl, Akshaye Khanna, Manoj Bajpai and Ashotosh Rana respectively in the movie) and 2 Rajputana Rifles that had Major Padmapani Acharya (enacted by Nagarjuna).

"Seek and destroy were our orders. Moving cautiously for days in formation of 19 commandos and one officer we came under heavy medium machine gun (MMG) and mortar fire on May 19. The enemy was unseen, hidden behind dense fog and safely holed up in our bunkers. For a moment we felt that every head was in the cross hair of the enemy weapon. Firing from our AK-47s in staccato we inched towards the bunkers. When we were a few metres away from the first bunker an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) shell exploded a few feet away from me, instantly blowing my colleague to smithereens and a splinter from the grenade severed two of my fingers on the left hand. Not realising the gravity of the wound, I held on to my position giving cover fire to my unit men for 48 hours. The bunker was destroyed and the enemy who looked like Afghans were killed. But it was only then that we realised that the problem was much bigger. They were not just some Afghan mercenaries who crossed the border but it was a combined force of Pakistan's northern light infantry, men from its Special Services Group and a few battle-scarred Afghans. At the end of the engagement when I glided down the slopes I realised that my other two fingers had got benumbed and it was later in the makeshift hospital in the base camp I became conscious that they had to be amputated due to frostbites.

"Thereafter I was discharged from services with compensation and today I am without a job," says Narayana Rao.

This district had contributed many such people who exhibited exemplary bravery in the battlefield right from World War II to the present insurgency movement in various States, especially Jammu and Kashmir.

K. Simhachalam of Madras Regiment, who was drafted into the RR for counter-insurgency operation, died of a gunshot wound on July 12, 2002, in the Poonch sector. Sepoy Simhachalam was a member of `Operation Prachand Prahar' that was part of `Operation Rakshak III', on that day. The RR men, along with 9 Para (SF), were engaged in a seek-search-and-occupy operation when they came under heavy automatic fire from militants entrenched in a building in the Ranjoti area of Poonch. Giving cover fire to his commanding officer, Major Yogesh Gupta, Simhachalam was hit by a bullet in the abdomen. He continued firing while crawling forward until he killed one terrorist. That act of bravery allowed his company to move forward and kill all the other four terrorists. He is survived by his mother who lives in Kancharapalem.

The list and the stories of bravery could be enduring, Chucka Somi Reddy (35) of 96 Field Regiment died in a snowstorm in Siachen. His body was discovered a week later buried in three feet of snow. Similarly both K. Venkat Ramana of (RR) and Ali Hidayat of 18 Maratha Light Infantry were victims of `Operation Rakshak' in J&K.

Be it `Operation Vijay' in Kargil or `Operation Rakshak' in J&K the citation in the memorial reminds us of the sacrifice of officers and jawans. And it would not be soothing to the ears to hear once again the same fearsome war cry of the Gorkhas: `Jai maa Kali- ayo Gorkhali' or see the jawans of 13 JAK Rifles charging with their unsheathed bayonets against the hail of bullets.

"We want peace and our neighbours should realise that we are capable of producing thousands of Vikram Batras as and when required. But "yeh dil maange no more", says Havaldar Narayana Rao.

Too little for them

With every war fought or military operation undertaken, the story is the same. It leaves behind a trail of sorrow and sad memories. But apart from that, the most important factor is building a life after that, be it a widow or a mother, a fatherless child or an incapacitated soldier.

The question is who should take care of them, the Government or society or both?

"When it comes to the question of taking care both take a reverse turn," says C.S.Rao, a

Zilla Sainik Welfare Board member.

The board that is headed by a retired army officer or a gazetted officer from the Union Government in every district throughout the country is engaged in supervising the welfare of the families of such soldiers and retired service personnel.

"Programmes are there on paper but they are hardly implemented despite our requests. Welfare measures like allotment of house sites to ex-servicemen and war widows take years to materialise, exemption of house tax is not heeded by municipal authorities and banks do not process loans for self-employment without collateral security," says Rao.

Apart from these welfare programmes that take years to reach the beneficiaries, the pension that they get is too meagre even for sustenance. And the chance of employment in a decent company is very little. Most companies have abolished the ex-servicemen quota or do not follow the right percentage of quota system, he adds.

SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby putnanja » 16 Mar 2004 06:16

Meanwhile, an officer martyred in Poonch

JAMMU: Showing exemplary courage, a Company Commander of Rashtriya Rifles, Major Amit Sharma, on Saturday laid down his life during a gunbattle with ultras in the dense forests of Bafliaz in Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir.

Led by Major Sharma, the patrol party was ambushed by Jamait-ul-Mujahideen in a gunbattle in the dense forests of Bafliaz on Friday. Six Army personnel and a JuM commander was killed in the incident, official sources said. Despite losing five jawans and having two others injured, an injured Major Sharma managed to kill the JuM ultra and saved two jawans from gun shots. He succumbed to his injures the next day, after the injured were airlifted to Udhampur. — (Agencies)


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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 16 Mar 2004 07:20

Major Jagir Singh Khokri (7 Sikh)
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Ludhiana, March 15
The oldest war hero of the district, Major Jagir Singh Khokri (88 ) of 7 Battalion, Sikh Regiment, died at his residence in Barewal here after a brief illness on Saturday. The cremation will take place at the Barewal crematorium tomorrow. A Vir Chakra awardee for the Jammu and Kashmir operation in 1948, Major Khokri had joined the Indian Army in 1935 with distinction. He retired in 1972 and settled down in Barewal, a small village on the outskirts of this city.

This hero of the Indian Army bid adieu to his fellow countrymen on the morning of March 13 while he was getting ready to attend the triennial national convention-cum-reunion of the war decorated that was beginning at Chandigarh the same day. Major Khokri was born in Khokri Kalan village in Moga district. His father, Mangal Singh Batth, was also in the Army. Following the family tradition, after completing his education young Jagir Singh Khokri joined the British Army in 1935 as a soldier.

Being a hockey player, he was assigned to the First Battalion of the Sikh Regiment, which was deployed on the Peshawar-Landikotal axis, near the Khyber Pass. During World War II, he was selected as a commissioned officer in the Army in 1941 and posted to 15 Punjab and later transferred to 6/15 Punjab, as part of which he fought against the Japanese on the Kohima-Imphal axis.

On the night of April 25, 1948, keeping up the high traditions of the Army, Major (then Capt) Jagir Singh, who was then in 7 Sikh, fearlessly led his company to capture strongly held hill features by the enemy overlooking Trehgam village in Kashmir. This was vital to clear the advance. He positioned his troops and then personally led a daylight attack on the enemy. Throughout the fierce engagement, his complete disregard for personal safety and exemplary leadership inspired courage in everyone around him.

After retirement, he was involved in social work and the development of this area, especially Jeevan Preet Nagar. He is survived by his wife, a son and three daughters.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 16 Mar 2004 07:24

Major Amit Sharma (27 RR) - Op Rakshak

Meerut, March 15
The whole atmosphere here was charged with deep emotions as seven-year-old Abhijatya Sharma performed the last rites of his father, Major Amit Sharma, in the presence of hundreds of people who with tears in their eyes said goodbye to the brave soldier.

Major Amit Sharma made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty combating terrorists in the dense jungles of Bafliaz in the Surankot tehsil of Jammu and Kashmir. Bafliaz in Surankot is the area where Operation Sarp Vinash was carried out by the Indian armed forces some months back. In a gun-battle on March 12 Major Amit Sharma, serving in 27 Rashtriya Rifles, was killed by terrorists hiding in the forest. In the ensuing fight with other terrorists the officer sustained serious gunshot wounds and was evacuated to the military hospital in Surankot where he breathed his last in the early hours of March 13, 2004.

Earlier, the body of the slain soldier arrived at his residence on Bank Street where his relatives and friends along with family members paid tributes to him. Then the body was taken to the Surajkund cremation ground in a gun carriage. Several senior Army officials also accompanied the gun carriage. At the cremation ground floral tributes were offered and wreaths laid on the body of the officer wrapped in a Tricolour.

Wreaths were also laid by the Colonel Commandant of 9 Horse and General Officer Commanding, 21 Corps, Lt-Gen Aditya Singh, the GOC, Western Command, the GOC, Central Command. While jawans saluted the soldier by reversing their weapons and playing the last post three rounds of gunshots were fired by the jawans in honour of the officer.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 17 Mar 2004 05:20

Captain Nitin Chavan (115 Engr Regiment)- Op Rakshak

PUNE, SEPT 14: Tragedy continues to strike the Chavan family. Around this time last year, Captain Nitin Chavan was in Pune to complete the last rites of his mother, Sunanda. She had gone to Mahad to offer thanksgiving prayers when her son was commissioned as an officer. She lost her life in a road accident near Bhor Ghat before she could offer her prayers.

Even before the wounds could heal, yet another tragedy has hit the Chavan family. Captain Nitin Chavan lost his life on Monday while flushing out Pakistan-sponsored militants in the Rajouri sector in Jammu and Kashmir. Captain Chavan was leading a patrol party when he observed a group of about five militants near Majhiari schooli Surankot tehsil, Rajouri sector.

Immediately, Captain Chavan divided his party into two groups and chased the militants. Around 1.45 pm, contact was established with the militants in a maize field and fierce fighting ensued for over an hour. Exhibiting raw courage, Captain Chavan and Lance Naik Balwinder, his radio operator closed in onto the maize field from where the fire was coming. He was about to pounce on the militants when the both of them fired at a close range resulting in multiple gun shot wounds to both the brave soldiers who died. The area was soon cordoned by the reinforced troops and operations are still continuing.
Chavan is survived by his father Prakash Chavan and sister Smita. His mortal remains will arrive in Pune on Wednesday evening by the Delhi-Pune flight. The last rites will beperformed at BEG Sapras on Thursday.

Incidentally, Chavan had just completed an assignment in the Poonch sector a month ago. He spent a month with his family at Tingrenagar at their new bungalow, Sunanda Niwas, when he was called up to take on an assignment in Rajouri sector fifteen days ago. On Sunday afternoon, he telephoned home to convey that all was well. A telegram arrived this morning informing the family that Nitin had died in action while fighting militants in the Rajouri sector. Nitin Chavan (23) always nursed an ambition to become an officer in the Indian Army. His father Prakash Chavan retired as a Havildar from the Bombay Engineer Group in 1988. His uncle Sambhaji Chavan is with the paramilitary forces. A brilliant student, Chavan completed his schooling at St Joseph's School in Khadki and went onto study in S P College when he was selected for the NDA in 1994.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 17 Mar 2004 05:29

Major Amit Ahuja (2 Dogra) - Op Rakshak
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Ambala, August 23
Major Amit Ahuja hailing from Ambala City had promised his family members and friends that he will return home soon. That promise was broken when Major Ahuja of 2 Dogra was killed in shelling in Gurez sector yesterday.

A pall of gloom descended upon the family and friends as soon as the news of his death reached the Ahuja household in Urban Estate, Ambala City, this afternoon. A number of people turned up at their residence in Sector 7.

A close relative of the Ahuja family said Major Ahuja, who was born in February 1975, had done his schooling from Ambala before joining the Army. He had studied in St Paul School, Ambala City and then in Army School, Ambala Cantt. Major Ahuja had graduated from DAV College, Ambala City.

Keen to join the Army, Major Amit Ahuja had cleared the Combined Defence Services examination and joined the Indian Military Academy.He started his career with Dogra regiment.

Mr Ankush Mehta, a close friend of Major Ahuja, said he was posted in the Gurez sector. “Information about Major Ahuja’s sad demise was received from Chandimandir at about 2.45 p.m. We have been told that Major Ahuja was hit during shelling alongwith two other army personnel. The other two persons are said to be in a serious condition,” he said.

He had been posted in Jamnagar till recently. “Only last month he had come to Ambala for a course. He had recently undergone a Commando course at Mhow,” he said “We had a long talk when he had come over.” Mr Ankush Mehta said while recalling his very recent interaction with Major Ahuja.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Adi » 18 Mar 2004 23:58

Report on J&K DIG(Crime and Railways wing) Mohammed Amin Bhat, who was murdered by terrorists in Srinagar.
SIT probe constituted in DIG's killing

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 21 Mar 2004 07:31

Major Padmanabha Sri Kumar (27 RR) - Op Rakshak

NEW DELHI, Dec 15,1997: Major Padmanabha Sri Kumar was killed in an encounter with militants in the Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. ``He killed seven dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen militants and walked out of the ambush unscathed. But when one of his men was trapped and injured, he walked back into enemy fire with guns blazing all around him to rescue the injured soldier. Officers of the Air Defence Artillery spoke of his bravery,'' Sundara Raman, the major's brother-in-law said.

Major Sri Kumar was seriously injured in the rescue attempt when a volley of enemy bullets hit his chest. ``The injured soldier survived. But Major Sri Kumar made the supreme sacrifice of his life for the nation,'' an officer said.

Having graduated in science from Delhi University, the young Sri Kumar was keen to join the Army. Even though his father S Padmanabha Ayyar, an official of the Employees State Insurance Corporation and his mother Parimala realised the implications of their son's decision, not once did they oppose him. The fact that Sri Kumar was their only son did not deter them.

``He was very brave. He joined the 142 Air Defence Regiment and was posted in Kota in Rajasthan. His wife Annapoorna, a computer software engineer, had given birth to a son only in November. Even before his son was born, Major Sri Kumar knew he would be posted to Jammu and Kashmir but he did not tell us. He did not want anybody to panic. Only when his son was born did Major Sri Kumar tell us that he was going back to Jammu and Kashmir, not to Kota,'' Raman said.He was so respected and renowned for his bravery that the Commanding Officer of the Rashtriya Rifles gave him special leave to attend his son's first birthday. At the airport where the family waited for the body of the hero to be flown in the officers who knew him spoke of his courage, devotion and bravery.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 21 Mar 2004 07:36

Inspector Shaheeda Parveen (Special Operations Group - J&K Police)

RAJAURI, MARCH 29: When Shaheeda Parveen signed up for the Jammu and Kashmir Police, she ran smack into her very first hurdle: her family. "They put out a public advertisement in newspapers saying they had nothing to do with me,'' says the 30-year-old inspector and member of the elite Special Operations Group (SOG), the Jammu and Kashmir police's commando wing.

Parveen is the only woman commando in Rajauri and among three senior level women police inspectors in the SOG. She signed up just six years ago, but already, there's talk of her having killed 15 terrorists. It's a story that Parveen dismisses, but it fits in with her tough-as-nails look: khaki dungarees, sneakers and camouflage commando cap. The only detail missing is the police jungle boots: they don't fit her.

Parveen's father passed away; her mother lives with her brothers, one of whom is with the Army. At some point, Parveen even lined up for a school teacher's job. "When we went for the interviews, all applicants were praying that they got the job. I prayed that I shouldn't! I am glad Allah listened to me," she laughs.

Since Parveen grew up in Rajauri and understands the local language, it helps her in her job considerably. She works jointly with army commandoes and regular infantry platoons. ``The army jawans give me a lot of respect, and their dedication is worth emulating. They are doing a great service in working in these inhospitable conditions,'' she says. For the past three years, Parveen has been posted in Rajauri and has participated in several anti-terrorist operations. There are days when she, her 23-year-old bodyguard Rakesh Sharma and his team have been out on operations for two-three days at a stretch. "But there is no problem. I have never felt alone or inferior to my male colleagues," she says.

No surprises here: she derives inspiration from that other tough woman cop, Kiran Bedi. "She is India's first woman police officer. I read about her in newspapers and magazines. I really want to meet her and tell her that she's a great influence. I wonder if I will ever get the chance," she says.

Does she have any suitors? "I don't know,"smiles Parveen. "I am married to my AK-47"

"Parveen is very brave and has contributed to a number of operations in the past two-and-a-half years," says Gurbachan Jagat, Director General, BSF who was then the Director General of J&K Police. "Rajni Sharma at Kupwara and another young lady inspector at Badgam were the bravest and most active," he says. Sharma, in fact, earned an out of turn promotion when she extracted her team out of an ambush at Kupwara.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 21 Mar 2004 07:40

Major Ranbir Katoch (7 RR) - Op Rakshak

NEW DELHI, Aug 24 — Major Ranbir Katoch of 7 Rashtriya Rifles, affiliated to the Punjab Regiment, was killed while trying to save his men during a counter insurgency operations at Sungan village in Anantnag district of South Kashmir on Saturday.

Two hardcore Pakistani militants identified as Yasin and Omar Sharief (code name), who were coordinating the IED explosions in South Kashmir, were also killed and a large quantity of weapons and ammunitions recovered.

On August 21, after getting specific information about the presence of militants in the area the unit launched an operation to nab them. A search party led by Major Katoch reached the location after a seven hour march over mountains in pitch darkness to maintain surprise.In the morning, while searching the area his company column came under heavy automatic fire from universal machine gun (UMG) and AK-56 rifles.Realising the danger to his men he along with his party rushed to cut off and pin down the militants. During the encounter the gallant officer unmindful of his personal safety engaged the militants with heavy fire. During the gun battle he got seriously injured but in a daring act of bravery he charged the militants and killed them. The whole encounter lasted for more than three hours.

Major Ranbir Katoch born on June 26, 1970, did his schooling at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Delhi Cantonment. He graduated from Ramjas College, Delhi University and joined the Indian Military Academy where he was commissioned on December 11, 1993 in the Air Defence Regiment. He was on deputation to 7 Rashtriya Rifles (Punjab) since December 1998.

He was promoted to the rank of Acting Major only 12 days before he made the supreme sacrifice. He married Deepa on December 1, 1998.

Major Katoch belonged to a family associated with the Army. His father late Major PC Katoch was a Rajputana Rifles Officer. Originally the family belongs to Bhullana village in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh. The family resides in Hari Nagar. His father-in-law Col B S Pathania is a retired EME officer and mother-in-law Col (Mrs) Pathania retired from the Army Medical Corps. They reside at NOIDA.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby JaiS » 12 Apr 2004 20:25

Portrait of a Martyr

Martyrs never die. They become immortal. History records their names in golden letters. Lt. Triveni Singh, Ashok Chakra, is one such martyr. In a rare act of courage he killed two heavily armed militants at the Jammu railway station on January 02, 2004 and saved hundreds of helpless passengers at the platform before he succumbed to his injuries.

Before attaining martyrdom Lt. Triveni Singh saluted his GOC, Maj. General Rajendra Singh, in the true army tradition. His last words: “ Mission accomplished, Sir”. Lt. Triveni Singh was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, the country’s highest bravery award during peacetime for displaying conspicuous gallantry, utmost courage and making the supreme sacrifice in the highest tradition of the Indian Army, to save human lives. President APJ Abdul Kalam presented the award to Lt. Triveni Singh’s father, Captain Janmej Singh (Rtd.) on the Republic Day, this year.

Hailing from Pathankot, Punjab and born on February 01, 1978 at Namkum, now in Jharkhand, Triveni Singh, a Dogra, was not an aggressive child and never used to react to provocations. His parents recall that they decided to train Triveni, their only son, in martial arts, judo-karate and body-building when he turned 15.

He won gold medal at the national level in martial arts. Triveni also won gold medals in swimming and athletics. Lt. Trivini wanted to join the Army despite being an agriculture graduate from the Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana. After clearing his examinations with high rankings he went to the Indian Military Military Academy, Dehradun.

He was commissioned in the Army on December 08, 2001 and joined the elite unit of 5 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, reputed for its bravery and decorations in the Indian Army. It was for his hard work, dedication and involvement in assignments that he was sent to the College of Combat, Mhow for the Young Officers Basic Course and Commando Course. He came out with flying colours with a high ranking.

Triveni was destined to be a martyr. On the night of December 31, 2003 he danced and enjoyed the party at the Army Club, Pathankot with his family members and friends. In the wee hours of the New Year day he left the club saying “ you will not see us again”. After taking some sips of coffee at home on that day he left home for his unit and got himself busy in his daily routine of inspecting the arms of his colleagues in the Quick Reaction Team. He was in his combat uniform ready for any mission.

In the evening of January 02, 2004 Lt. Triveni Singh got to know about the fidayeen attack on the Jammu railway station while watching a TV news bulletin. On being ordered to challenge the militants, Lt. Triveni Singh rushed to the Jammu railway station with five commandos. In a swift action he killed the first militant and followed the other who was firing from the overhead rail bridge.

Lt. Triveni Singh knew that the hidden militant was equipped with lethal weapons and could kill over 300 passengers who had taken refuge in the parcel room only a short distance away. At that moment his deputy Havaldar Fazal Hussain, was at the militant’s target too. In a gallant action Lt. Triveni Singh grabbed that militant and killed him but got fatally injured himself.

Lt. Triveni Singh is now a role model. Today every young man of his native place, Pathankot, is eager to join the armed forces to serve the nation.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby JCage » 12 Apr 2004 21:39

Dude that link has a virus!!!! Please post a warning.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Aditya G » 12 Apr 2004 22:20

In the history of BRF has there ever been a thread more comprehensive than this one? No prizes for guessing who gets the credit.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 16 Apr 2004 05:13

Major Ushnisha Jaitley (3/11 GR) - Op Rakshak

LUCKNOW: The body of Major Ushnisha Jaitley was cremated with full military honours here at Bhaisakund on Monday. He had made the supreme sacrifice while fighting terrorists at Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district on Saturday last. He is survived by a wife and two children Bhaiya (6) and two-year-old son Ayush.

The pyre was lit by his younger brother Lt. Commander Rahul Jaitley. Last post was sounded by the 11 GR band and arms were reversed by the jawans after a gun salute. Among those present on the occasion were Lt. LS Gosain of 3/11 GR, who was with Major Jaitley in the combat and suffered gunshot wounds on his left arm.

It was learnt that on that day Major Jaitley had rushed alongwith his troops after he received information that Pakistani backed foreign mercenaries were hiding in the forest. As Major Jaitley reached the spot he was welcomed by a shower of bullets fired by the militants. A close encounter ensued. Major Jaitley killed two militants before he suffered bullet injuries on his chest. He died on the spot.

Emotions ran high at Bhaisakund as the martyr's pyre was lit by his brother. People from all walks of life also turned up in large number to participate in the funeral ceremony. The compound reverberated with slogans like `Down with Pakistan' and `Long live Major Ushnisha'. Those who attended the funeral ceremony included Param Veer Chakra holder (retd) Col DS Thapa of Gorkha Regiment and father of late Capt. Manoj Pandey PVC, Gopi Chand Pandey.

Maj. Gen. DK Dutt paid tributes on behalf of the chief of the army staff and army commander followed by sub area commander Brig Sanjeev Madan. Commandant 11 GR Brig Ajay Chaudhari and 3/11 GR Commanding officer Col. RB Yadav were also present on the occasion.

Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri and urban development minister Lalji Tandon also laid wreath on the pyre. Tandon announced that the state government will provide free accommodation to the family of Major Jaitley.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 16 Apr 2004 05:25

Captain R Veera Raja Reddy (69 FD REGT) - Op Parakram

The death of Captain R Veera Raja Reddy during a terrorist attack in Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday night has left his family in Hyderabad totally devastated.

The family received the news on Thursday afternoon, a relative told rediff.com. "His parents, wife and other family members were shocked," the relative added.

On receiving specific information that a group of seven terrorists had attacked a high-security VIP residential complex, troops cordoned off a major portion of Ward No 1 in Rajouri and mounted searches. As the searches began, the security forces came under heavy fire from the terrorists hiding in the complex, housing senior district officers, including the district magistrate and the district police chief.

"The militants hurled grenades and fired indiscriminately from automatic weapons killing an army captain on the spot," said a police official in Rajouri reached by telephone. The troops retaliated and the gun battle continued for several hours. Police sources said the troops finally mortar-blasted the house, where the militants were holed up, during the early hours of Thursday. Thereafter, sources added, the firing stopped. Bodies of four militants have been found so far. "This was one of the fiercest gun battles in Rajouri town," said an army officer wishing anonymity.

Raja Reddy (24) had joined the army four years ago after graduating from the National Defence Academy and had been promoted as Captain last year. Assigned to the 69th field artillery regiment, he was posted at Rajouri in Jammu region.

He had recently been on a visit to Hyderabad and had returned to Rajouri only eight days back, the relative said. He had got married to Varsha, who also hails from Hyderabad, only in May this year, he said.

"He could not take his wife along since he was posted on the border," he added.

Captain Reddy's father, R Kondal Reddy, is an advocate while his mother Pushpa is a housewife. Raja Reddy is their only son, though they have two daughters as well. The grieving and devastated parents, who stay at Ramanathapur on the city outskirts, were in no position to entertain queries.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 16 Apr 2004 05:35

Captain Arun Singh Jasrotia (9 Para SF) - Op Rakshak
Image

Ashok Chakra, the nation’s highest gallantry award during peace-time, has been awarded to two brave paratroopers—Capt Arun Jasrotia and Maj Sudhir Kumar Walia in 1996 and 2000 respectively. In fact, 9 Para (SF) Battalion, to which they belonged, has been awarded the singular honour "Bravest of the Brave" by the Chief of the Army Staff in 2001.

Capt Arun Jasrotia displayed grit and courage as he led his troops in a raid on a militant camp on September 15, 1995 where nearly 20 foreign mercenaries were holed up in the Lolab Valley. Finding his men in a disadvantageous position under rocket and rifle fire, Arun led the assault culminating in a fierce hand-to-hand fight. Despite multiple injuries, he pressed on with the assault and accounted for a number of militants, before a bullet ended his life.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 16 Apr 2004 05:41

Major Anurag Nauriyal (1/4 GR) - Op Rakshak

Noida, March 20
Noida is home to many brave soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the nation and also those who have returned victorious to narrate tales of courage and heroism. With unrelenting courage and fierce determination, these bold soldiers guard the country from the enemy’s evil designs risking their life at every step.

A soldier’s death is a soldier’s death, wherever the battlefront. Major Anurag Nauriyal was one such martyr who made the supreme sacrifice for the nation during 'Operation Rakshak’ in J&K, where he fell to terrorist bullets. He was awarded the Kirti Chakra posthumously for his act of bravery and was recently remembered by his family and friends at the Indian Oil Corporation retail outlet located in Sector 52.

While soft-spoken Uma Nauriyal radiated courage and determination, her two children, Vridhi now a doctor, and son Akshit studying engineering, offered floral tributes to their father on the occasion.

Justice J. S. Verma while paying homage to the martyr, said: “Are we doing enough for families of our brave soldiers? Are we discharging our duties to the best of our abilities for those who have laid down their lives for us? Think. The need of the hour is for every individual to adopt the humane formula - use empathy and appreciate their valour. That is the least we can do to pay homage to our martyrs.”

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 29 Apr 2004 06:13

Hav Dharam Pal Singh (7 Sikh)

Amritsar, April 22
The last rites of Hav Dharam Pal Singh of 7 Sikh Light Infantry were performed with full military honours at his native village Ghanaurpur Kale today.
The havildar died on duty in Imphal on April 17. The 72 Armour Regiment reversed arms and observed two minutes’ silence as a mark of respect to the departed soul. Villagers along with leaders and bureaucrats paid tributes.

Naik Kuldeep Singh (7 Sikh)

Hoshiarpur, April 22
Naik Kuldeep Singh of the 7 Sikh Light Infantry was cremated with full military honours at his native village Nangal Thathal today.Naik Kuldeep Singh was on patrol duty in Nagaland when an encounter with insurgents took place. He fought bravely and was killed in the shootout.

Col Partap Inder Singh Phoolka (retd.), general secretary, Bahujan Samaj Party, Punjab, on behalf of Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, former MP, placed wreath on the body and paid tributes.Hundreds of ex-servicemen and residents attended the funeral.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 29 Apr 2004 06:16

Martyrs’ kin honoured

Kumarhatti, April 24
The kin of 24 martyrs of the state who laid down their life for the country were honoured at the 14 Gorkha Training Centre in Subathu, 19 km from here, this morning.

Brig S.S. Sambyal, Commandant of the Centre on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, gave badge of sacrifice, shawl and commendation card to the next of kin of the martyrs at a simple function.

The martyrs who were honoured were Subedar Shamsher Singh, Shaurya Medal (1 JAK Rifles), Subedar Ramesh Chand, SM (8 Dogra), Subedar Dalip Singh, Shaurya Chakra (10 Dogra), Havildar Kashiram, Vir Chakra (6 Dogra), Naik Randhir Singh (11 Dogra), Naik Desh Singh (12 Dogra), Naik Om Prakash (15 Dogra), Lance Naik Karam Singh (3 Dogra), Sepoy Mukesh Kumar (3 Dogra), Sepoy Suresh Kumar (9 Dogra), Sepoy Ravinder Singh (12 Dogra), Sepoy Pradip Kumar (40 Rashtriya Rifles/11 Dogra ) Sepoy Dalip Chand (13 Dogra), Sepoy Jai Ram (18 Dogra) , Sepoy Satish Kumar (16 Dogra), Sepoy Kapoor Chand (16 Dogra), Sepoy Sunil Kumar (16 Dogra), Sepoy Harish Raj (2 Grenadiers), Sepoy Mansram (2 Grenadiers), Rifleman Devender Singh (18 JAK Rifles), Rifleman Dinanath (28 RR/4 JAK Rifles), Sepoy Pritam Singh (1 Dogra) ,Naik Surinder Singh (12 Dogra and Naik Hari Singh (3 Dogra).

Speaking on the occasion, Brig Sambyal said the supreme sacrifice made by the martyrs can never be forgotten and the nation is indebted to them. The loss of a soldier is irreparable for his family, he asserted. Meanwhile, the 189th regimental day of the 1st Gorkha Rifles was also celebrated on the occasion.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby vishnua » 19 May 2004 19:02

[url=http://in.rediff.com/news/2004/may/19aksh.htm]
Akshardham: Injured NSG commando dead[/url]

The National Security Guard commando who had been comatose after sustaining bullet injuries in the Akshardham operation in Gujarat in September 2002 died early on Wednesday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.

Surjan Singh Bhandari passed away at 4.25am, his brother Commandant Uttam Singh told PTI in Ahmedabad.

Bhandari had been suffering from kidney problems and high fever in the last few days, Singh said adding he died in his sleep.

The 26-year-old Bhandari, an NSG commando selected from the army's Garhwal Scouts in 2000, was part of the elite group that was air-dashed to Gujarat on September 24 after two terrorists stormed the Akshardham temple complex in Gandhinagar.

Firing indiscriminately and hurling grenades, the terrorists had killed 39 persons, including devotees and two security persons.

The NSG commando team managed to gun down the terrorists in the wee hours on September 25 but lost one of their own men while Surjan was injured in the cross-fire.

He was immediately rushed to the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad where he slipped into a coma and was put on a ventilator in a special ward with round-the-clock surveillance.

School children and other well-wishers often visited him to wish him speedy recovery.

He was shifted to a special ward in the AIIMS at the request of his brothers in October 2003.

The deceased commando's two brothers are also in the defence services.

Arrangements were being made to fly the body to Bhandari's native village in Uttaranchal.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Aditya G » 19 May 2004 20:41

He is NSG's first KIA. RIP.

George J

Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby George J » 19 May 2004 21:15

Originally posted by aditya.g:
He is NSG's first KIA. RIP.
Nope. He is the second NSG commando to die from the Akshardham assault. The first died during the operation itself.

Also IIRC at least one NSG personnel died during Op.Black Thunder too.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Guest » 19 May 2004 21:18

Hi George

No NSG died in BT1 or BT2

George J

Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby George J » 19 May 2004 21:21

Yep...mea culpa..i was just reading the BR page on NSG....only 2 injured no deaths.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Mandeep » 19 May 2004 22:44

The NSG had a KIA on CI ops in Punjab i think. They observe Balidan Divas in his memory.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Guest » 20 May 2004 00:03

While researching my article on CI ops in J&K , I spoke to an IA officer about Arun.

This is what he had to say

"The guy was from 9 Para(SF). A brave lad who died when op in
the Lolab valley. It's a tough area, but then so was Arun. A shy lad,
very simple in his outlook, never talked much, and was always chased by
girls and militants alike. He ran away from the girls, but faced the
militants stoically.His speciality as a commando(cdo) was
mountaineering and underwater ops. An excellent scuba diver if I ever knew one
Arun was shot up so badly, that he had to be stabilised first, in order
to undertake the journey to Army Hosp, Delhi. (The Srinagar hosp is a well laid out Hosp with good facilities). The lad had indeed stabilised, was
awake, spoke to his Dad and Mom who visited him at the Hosp. Also had a
word with his former Boss, the COAS who went out of his schedule to
meet
Arun. The Chief was deeply moved and directed a 'no-holds- barred' to
save Arun's life. Chest down, Arun was immobilised due to spinal
injuries. It was not a complete 'win-win' situation, and our Army
Docs(who are the best in the world) tried their best to save
him."

His fight for life still brings tears to my eyes.

Subra

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Rudra » 21 May 2004 01:46

Akshardham: Injured NSG commando dead

May 19, 2004 11:33 IST
Last Updated: May 19, 2004 12:30 IST

The National Security Guard commando who had been comatose after sustaining bullet injuries in the Akshardham operation in Gujarat in September 2002 died early on Wednesday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.

Surjan Singh Bhandari passed away at 4.25am, his brother Commandant Uttam Singh told PTI in Ahmedabad

Bhandari had been suffering from kidney problems and high fever in the last few days, Singh said adding he died in his sleep.

The 26-year-old Bhandari, an NSG commando selected from the army's Garhwal Scouts in 2000, was part of the elite group that was air-dashed to Gujarat on September 24 after two terrorists stormed the Akshardham temple complex in Gandhinagar.

Firing indiscriminately and hurling grenades, the terrorists had killed 39 persons, including devotees and two security persons.

The NSG commando team managed to gun down the terrorists in the wee hours on September 25 but lost one of their own men while Surjan was injured in the cross-fire.

He was immediately rushed to the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad where he slipped into a coma and was put on a ventilator in a special ward with round-the-clock surveillance.

School children and other well-wishers often visited him to wish him speedy recovery.

He was shifted to a special ward in the AIIMS at the request of his brothers in October 2003.

The deceased commando's two brothers are also in the defence services.

Arrangements were being made to fly the body to Bhandari's native village in Uttaranchal

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 30 May 2004 04:25

Flight Lieutenant Bharat Kumar - IAF

Image
Mr Ajay Kumar Sharma, grief-stricken father of Flt-Lt Bharat (inset) who died in a MiG-23 crash in the Chandhan field firing range, about 40 km from Jaislmer, in Rajasthan on Saturday at his residence in Bartana village near Zirakpur on Sunday

Zirakpur, February 8
A pall of gloom descended at the house of Master Warrant Officer Ajay Kumar Sharma as the news of the death of his son Flight Lieutenant Bharat Kumar reached in Preet Vihar Colony in Bartana village, near here, this morning.

A Flight Lieutenant with Desert Tigers of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Bharat Kumar (30) died in a MiG-23 crash in Rajasthan on Saturday morning. Bharat Kumar died on the spot while his fighter plane soon after take off caught fire and crashed at the Chandhan field firing range about 40 km from Jaisalmer.

Bharat Kumar’s father came to know about his son’s death while watching a Watching TV news channel on Saturday morning. Subsequently the IAF authorities also informed the family. Relatives and family friends from civil and IAF flocked the house of Sharmas. Bharat’s wife Nidhi Sharma and mother Indira Sharma were still unconsolable.

Bharat had finished his schooling from Central School, Subathu, and graduation in science from Bangalore. After qualifying Combined Defence Services (CDS) he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in 1996. His first posting was at Sikandrabad. After that Bharat Kumar also served at Tejpur and Jodhpur. Currently he was posted at Halwara in Punjab. While talking to The Tribune Ajay Kumar Sharma, father of the deceased, recalled that Bharat had called up his family three days ago.

His last words that still echo in my ears were, “I am missing you all. I will come soon and take Nidhi and Sparsh to Amritsar.” Bharat was married to Nidhi in 2000 and has a five-and-a-half years old son, Sparsh. He had last come home in January to attend the marriage of his younger brother, Himesh Kumar Sharma, a Captain in the Army, and had returned on January 26.

Ms Tara Devi, grandmother of Bharat rushed to Bartana from Subathu soon after getting the news. Accompanied by a unit officer, the body reached Chandigarh Air Force Station today morning and was taken to the Command Hospital. Meanwhile, the cremation ceremony will be performed with full military honour at Mani Majra cremation ground on Monday.

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Re: Profiles in Heroism: Archive

Postby Shishir » 30 May 2004 04:43

Major Vinod Kumar Rana (37 RR) - Op Parakram

NEW DELHI: The Government no longer takes special interest that it exhibited during the Kargil war to fly back bodies of the military personnel to their villages and cities for the last rites.

When Major Vinod Kumar Rana of Deccan Horse fell to the militants' bullets after killing one of them on the spot in an encounter on October 20 in the course of a counter-insurgency operation, the military found no other way except to hire a private truck to cart his body to his village Bajghera in Gurgaon district (Haryana) off Delhi.

Officers who first tried to see if his body can be flown found no response from the higher-ups and hence the last journey of the hero took three days in a truck bundled like any other goods.

The cremation took place in his home village on Wednesday, of course with the guard of honours given by the soldiers of the President Body Guards and Rajputana Rifles, but 5000 people who had gathered to say "adieu" to "son of the soil" felt sad at the disrespect shown to him by putting his body in a truck. At least, they could have used a military vehicle if not an aircraft, many remarked.

The major was heading a company on patrol as part of the counter-insurgency operations. On detecting some suspicious movements, the area was cordoned off and the major himself led the search party. Cornered, the militants opened fire which were immediately retaliated by Major Vinod, killing one militant. He was, however, wounded in the fierce firefight and later succumbed to injuries.

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