Category Archives: Inspiration

Salute to our hero – Veer Shambhudhan

Let us all remember Veer Shambhudhan his valor and courage and pay homage on the 138th Martyrdom Day of the great freedom fighter Veer Shambhudhan Fungalo. Veer Shambudhan was born in 1750 in a Dimasa tribal family. The tribe is inhabited in the Assam and Nagaland states. He fought against British colonial rule along with his guerilla fighters.
The then British Deputy Commissioner of NC hills Major Boyd came to arrest him along with 11 other policemen all of them were slaughtered by the army of Shambudhan in Mambang.
In reaction he was surrounded by and murdered at Khaspur at the young age of 33 years.He was martyred on 12 February 1873. Let’s salute our hero Veer Shmbudhan.

Captain Chandra Narayan Singh – Who Was Awarded Maha Vir Chakra For His Gallant Act of Bravery and Unparalleled Courage

Captain Chandra Narayan Singh was a second generation soldier in uniform. His father Honorary Captain Balwan Singh, a Himachali Dogra, served with the 4th Battalion of the Dogra Regiment during World War II and was decorated during the battle for ‘Magwe’ in Burma Campaign. For Himachali Dogras, soldiering is not just another profession, but a calling. 

Chandra Narayan, a Himachali Dogra, was born on July 2, 1939, at Dharamsala. After obtaining Faculty of Arts (FA) degree (present day equivalent to senior secondary), Chandra, with a firm resolve to follow into his father’s footsteps applied for the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and was selected in the very first attempt. After two years of training at the IMA, on June 11, 1961, Chandra Narayan was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion of The Garhwal Rifles Infantry Regiment, the same battalion that gave to the British Indian Army two bravest of the braves who went on to win the Victoria Cross during World War I – Darwan Singh Negi and Gabbar Singh Negi, both from the 39th Garhwal Rifles. 

Chandra Narayan, affectionately known in his battalion simply as CN, based on his above average profile, very early in his service, was posted as a staff officer in an Infantry Brigade guarding sensitive areas along the cease fire line between Poonch and Mendhar in Jammu region. It is there, that he proved that nobody beats the Himachali valour. 

Poonch Sector: 05 Aug 1965

During Aug 1965, Captain Chander Narain Singh’s unit was deployed in the Poonch sector in J & K and was engaged in an intense fight with the enemy forces to capture and hold on to the strategically important ground features. On 5th August 1965, his unit got information that some Pakistani soldiers had infiltrated in the Poonch area and were seen around the location of the Brigade Headquarters.

On getting his orders, Captain Chander dispatched his patrol team immediately in the evening at 18.30 hours to carry out a search operation.  Around at 19.30 hours, an encounter with the Pakistani infiltrators commenced wherein Pakistanis started firing using the heavy & light machine guns, mortars, and grenades from a higher position. However, Captain Chander ordered his patrol to take their positions and fire back at enemies. He instructed his soldiers to keep firing and keep the enemy pinned down while he himself crawled towards one of the flanks to engage the enemy perched at advantageous position. In this process, Captain Chander silenced one of the machine guns firing from the hilltop. But, the onslaught of fire continued on them. In order to neutralize the threat, he prepared a plan to launch an attack in night as the enemy position was too strong to conquer during the daytime.

At the opportune moment in the night, Capt Chander led a daring charge with a handful men within the 50 yards of the enemy position. In one rush they progressed halfway up and then paused to reorganize. While half of his patrol was engaged in cover fire, he led the other half to a flank attack on the enemy position, which was successful. During the operation, a fierce fight took place wherein six enemy soldiers were killed and many more were wounded and the enemy left behind considerable quantities of arms, ammunition, and equipment. However, Captain Chander Narain Singh was hit by a Light Machine Gun burst and was martyred.

During this operation Captain Chander Narain Singh displayed conspicuous bravery, leadership and courage in the highest traditions of the Indian Army before laying down his life. For his Gallant act of Bravery and unparalleled courage, Captain Chander Narain Singh was posthumously awarded India’s second highest gallantry award, “Maha Vir Chakra”.

A road in his native place Ramnagar, Dharamshala has been named after him as “Chander Maarg”. Captain Chander Narain Singh’s memorial has been installed at his native place in Dharamshala.

Sepoy Anusuya Prasad – Whose Heroism and Sacrifice Have Become Part of the Mahar Regimental History

Sepoy Anusuya Prasad, was born on 19th May 1953, in the village of Nanna, Chamoli, in present day Uttarakhand. Son of Shri Dayanand and Smt Ukha Devi, Sep Anusuya Prasad was enrolled in 10 Mahar on 19th May 1971. Sepoy Ansuya Prasad  despite being a young soldier of his regiment played an active role during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Operation Cactus Lily: 1971

During the 1971 war, for liberation of Bangladesh, the Mahar Regiment was given the task of capturing an enemy position, a tea factory at Chatlapur on the Eastern Front, which was a well-fortified building dominated by machine guns around the entire area. The plan of action, under Commanding officer, Major Gen K V Krishna Rao, was to send a squad to get into the enemy defences and set the building on fire.

Sepoy Ansuya Prasad, with utter disregard for his personal safety, volunteered for the task and crawled towards the enemy position, holding a few phosphorous grenades. During the process, he was shot in both his legs but undaunted, he continued crawling up towards the stock of ammunition in the building. Thereafter, he received a machine gun burst in his shoulder, and still undeterred, though bleeding profusely, he crawled up to the building and lobbed the grenades into it, setting it on fire before succumbing to his wounds and was martyred, that too when he was just 18 years old. His exceptional bravery forced the enemy to abandon the building and enabled the troops to capture the objective and subsequently, the two Pak Brigades which were defending the town, surrendered on 17 December, ’71. The daredevil action of Sep Anusuya Prasad changed the course of battle and ensured a decisive victory for Indian forces. In this action Sepoy Ansuya Prasad displayed conspicuous gallantry and made the supreme sacrifice.

Sepoy Ansuya Prasad, with just 11 days of service with the Battalion, displayed outstanding courage with utter disregard to his personal safety. His heroism and sacrifice have become part of the Mahar Regimental history. Sep Anusuya Prasad was awarded nation’s second highest award for gallantry, Maha Vir Chakra for making the supreme sacrifice, and became the youngest recipient of the award.

A parade ground at Sagar in Madhya Pradesh has been named after Sepoy Anusuya Prasad.  A statue of the brave soldier has been installed in front of the unit, that is today famous as Anusuya Prasad Battalion in honor of the exceptional courage shown by the martyred soldier.

Sep Anusuya Prasad is survived by his wife Chitra Devi. “I was merely around 13 when I got married. I remember that my husband (Sepoy Prasad) had come down during a break from the training for collecting some documents — that is when we got married. Five days and he went back for training and went straight to the battlefield. What I received was a telegram, saying my husband was dead. I could not even read the telegram, forget understanding the severity of it,” said Chitra Devi who, in March 1963 went to Delhi to receive the MVC by then President V V Giri.

In 2002, I started an organisation called Veer Shaheed Anusuya Prasad (MVC) Mahila Samiti in Bhauwala, Dehradun, working for women empowerment. “Now, there are just two things I want to do — empower other women and visit the place where my husband fought bravely, for which I need a passport,” she has said.

Pawan Kumar – Despite Being Wounded in an Earlier Encounter Refused to Proceed on Sick Leave to be With His Team for His Next Operation

Capt Pawan Kumar was born on January 15, 1993 and hailed from Jind in Haryana. Born on the Indian Army Day (15 Jan), Capt Pawan Kumar nursed the idea of joining the Armed Forces since his younger days. He pursued his interest and got selected to join the prestigious NDA after his schooling. He graduated from the 123 course of the National Defence Academy and joined the Army on December 14, 2013. He got commissioned into the Dogra Regiment, an infantry Regiment known for its gallant soldiers and numerous battle exploits.

Capt Pawan Kumar was a die hard soldier and loved adventurous life. Consequently he volunteered to join the elite special forces and got trained as a para commando. In June 2015, he eventually joined 10 Para(SF) battalion, the elite force known as “Desert Scorpions” as officers and jawans of this unit were trained specially for desert warfare. Donning maroon beret and “Balidan” badge, Capt Pawan Kumar was proud to be part of the force that had men of steel, whose physical and mental toughness was beyond compare.

During 2016, Capt Pawan Kumar was serving with 10 Par (SF) deployed in J& K for counter insurgency operations. On 20 February 2016, 4 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists armed with AK-47 Assault rifles, hand grenades and explosives attacked a CRPF convoy on the main road linking Srinagar to Jammu, killing two policemen and a civilian. The militants then took refuge in the government-run multi-storey “Entrepreneurship Development Institute” in Pampore. The security forces with elements of Army and Central Reserve Police Force rose to the occasion and cordoned off the building in a joint operation to evacuate civilians from the building.

The main objective of the security forces was to evacuate civilians to safety. However the militants responded with automatic gunfire and hand grenades. A fierce gun battle ensued thereafter with heavy exchange of fire from both sides. Capt Pawan Kumar led his men from the front and engaged the militants courageously. During the ensuing battle, Capt Pawan Kumar got hit by bullets and was seriously injured. He later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred, but his gallant action paved the way for the security forces to complete the operation successful. Capt Pawan Kumar was a committed soldier and a brave officer who laid down his life at the age of 23 years in the service of the nation. Capt Pawan Kumar was given the gallantry award, “Shourya Chakra” on 15th Aug 2016 for his exceptional courage, fighting spirit and supreme sacrifice.

According to Army officials, he had taken part in two successful operations earlier in which three terrorists were killed — including the operation on February 15 in Pulwama in which one terrorist and two civilians were killed.

“I had one child and I gave him to the Army, to the nation. No father can be more prouder. He was destined to be in the Army as he was born on the Army Day, January 15, 1993, Pawan’s father Sri Rajbir Singh said.

His last Facebook post said it all, “Kisi ko reservation chahiye toh kisiko azadi bhai, humein kuch nahi chahiye bhai bas apni razai (Some want reservations, some even freedom, but I want nothing, just my blanket).”

He had voluntarily taken upon himself to lead his men into this most difficult phase of the operation. His commitment to his men, duty and the uniform he so proudly donned, can be gauged from the fact that despite having been wounded in an earlier encounter with terrorists only last month, he had refused to proceed on sick leave to be with his team for this operation.

Lieutenant Hawa Singh – Despite Being Seriously Wounded, Courageously Cleared Five Enemy Bunkers and Killed Number of Enemy Personnel

Second Lieutenant Hawa Singh hailed from Mirzapur village in Hissar district of Haryana. Son of Mr Sheokaran Singh and Mrs Chand Kaur, 2nd Lt Hawa Singh followed his childhood dream and joined the Army after completing his studies. He was commissioned into 4/5 GR of 5 Gorkha Rifles, a regiment known for its valiant soldiers and numerous battle honours.

During 1971, 2nd Lt Hawa Singh’s unit 4/5 GR, got deployed in the Eastern sector and took part in one of biggest assaults on enemy forces before the 1971 war. The battle of Atgram complex, fought on 21 Nov, 1971 between the 5 Gorkha Rifles and the 31 Punjab of Pakistani Army, was one of the first engagements between the two opposing forces that preceded the Indo-Pak war of 1971 and also one of the first large scale assaults launched by the Indian army against East Pakistani forces before the 1971 war. The battle was fought on the border village Atgram, in the Sylhet district of then East Pakistan, approximately 35 Kms from Sylhet town. The village lay across the Surma river, which served as a de-facto border, separating East Pakistan from the Cachar district of Assam. The target of the Indian operation was the Atgram complex. Situated two kms inside the International Border across the River Surma, Atgram served as a major road communication centre , connecting it with Zakiganj to the south opposite the Indian Border town of Karimganj.

As per the attack plan 4/5 GR was tasked to capture the Atgram Salient by first light 21 November 1971 and advance further towards Charkhai and secure Sarkar Bazar, which lay approximately 4 Kms west of Atgram. The plans for the attack, drawn up by the CO, Lt Col  A B Harolikar, was aimed to surprise the enemy forces by infiltrating, and establishing road blocks to prevent reinforcements from Sarkar Bazar from the west Zakiganj to the south. This meant that to reach the Atgram, 4/5 GR troops had to cross the River Surma, infiltrating between Pakistani defences of Raigram and Amalsid, proceeding through four kms of marshes and launching the assault on Atgram complex from the rear. The force was then to proceed and clear the Border Outposts. The C Company and an Adhoc Force, was tasked to setup the road blocks and hold the approaches, while the main attack on Atgram was to be carried out by A and D Companies. To achieve maximum possible surprise, as well as a psychological factor, the main attack was planned with Khukris. 2nd Lt Hawa Singh was the  commander of one platoon of A company.

As planned 4/5 GR crossed River Surma in the earlier part of the night of 20 November 1971. C Company and Commanding Officers Group were first to cross with the help of pneumatic boats, established firm base across the river for battalion to pass through and move in between Pakistani BOP’s. The assaulting troops {A and D Company} including the platoon of 2nd Lt Hawa Singh neared the objective in the later part of the night. At about 0430 Hours on 21 Nov 1971, when A and D Company, led by their commanders, with CO in the centre, launched fierce Khukri assault and as the dawn broke captured Atgram. Pakistanis were caught by surprise and met their end with raw courage of Indian soldiers. The assaulting platoons led by 2nd Lt Hawa Singh and Capt Praveen Johri fought with gallantry and sheer dare devilry. However during the fierce fighting, 2nd Lt Hawa Singh got seriously injured and was martyred.

2nd Lt Hawa Singh was given the nation’s third highest gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” for his outstanding courage, unyielding fighting spirit and supreme sacrifice during the operation.

The citation of the Award reads:

“A Battalion of the Gorkha Rifles was given the task of capturing an enemy position in an area in the Eastern Sector. The enemy was holding a well fortified position supported by Medium Machine Guns.  During the assault Second Lieutenant Hawa Sigh was seriously wounded by enemy fire. Undeterred and regardless of his personal safety, he pressed his charge and cleared five enemy bunkers and killed a number of enemy personnel.  His daring example inspired his Company to capture the objective.  Later he succumbed to his injuries. In this action, Second Lieutenant Hawa Singh displayed commendable courage, initiative and determination.”

The inauguration of a War memorial to honour Lt Hawa Singh was held at his village Mirzapur, Hisar on 21 Nov 2019. A bust of the martyr was also unveiled.