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    A Brief History of Pakistan’s Army Chiefs

    he Chief of Army Staff is arguably the most powerful post in Pakistan, with the military ruling the country for more than half its 69-year history. Here’s a brief timeline of the men who have commanded its soldiers and shaped history.

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    Listen to voiceless by ……..Lt Gen (retd) Baljit Singh

    Listen to voiceless
    Villagers beat to death a leopard that ran amok in Mandawar village, near Gurgaon.

    THE image of a leopard beleaguered by lathi-wielding assailants in Gurgaon district published in newspapers captured my attention instantly. I wondered whether the idea was (a) to bring to the fore the consequences of the ongoing, flawed strategies for “development,” which have expanded the human footprint all around and even through the heartland of animal habitats, (b) that wildlife refuges have in the process been fragmented into disjointed, meagre patches which hold inadequate prey-populations, in the instant case for the leopards’ survival, and (c) the inevitable transgression of predators into human habitation in search of food and resultant horrors of the avoidable man-animal, tragic conflict situations. Sadly, the inadequate related reportage is more likely to have demonised the leopard as a wanton killer because nine persons were injured. It unwittingly drummed up fear psychosis, furthering the prevalent antipathy towards our wildlife in general, beleaguered as it is. In almost all such conflict situations, my  mind always reaches out to wise but unheeded utterance of Mahatma Gandhi: “The worth of a civilisation is judged by the manner it treats its animals.” Even some 80 years later today, there is little evidence to suggest that we Indians have developed more empathy with the animal world.  The misconceived notion of a leopard surfeit in India and therefore frequent encounters in rural habitations and occasionally in urban India is patently borne out of ignorance.  Of the three larger surviving cats — namely the lion, the tiger and the leopard, the former two, fortunately, have reasonable habitat to support their current, diminished numbers. However, the leopard being reclusive had created niches for itself throughout the country in landscapes similar to the Aravalli range as in the instant case. The leopard alone is able to live and thrive almost anywhere except for the Thar Desert and beyond the tree-line in the Himalayas which is the exclusive domain of its more elusive sibling, the snow leopard.The leopard, as indeed the lion and the tiger, all had immigrated from the North, entering India from the two flanks of the Himalayas, ages ago.  And the leopard is believed to have preceded the other two cats, a theory supported by the fact that leopards had colonised up to the southern-most tip of our land, which ultimately got detached and became the island state of Sri Lanka, complete with leopards! The lion and the tiger evidently arrived in India after that geological event, which also explains their absence from that island nation.  Over time, while the lion got almost wiped out and the tiger too came under severe hunting pressures, the cunning leopard managed to fare better.   In the light of this historical backdrop it becomes easier to understand why today the leopard exceeds the lion population manifold and that of the tiger by a factor of perhaps 10. No matter how numerous the leopard may be but man has little to fear from them. Lieut Col AHE Mosse (1864-1929, the Indian Army), considered an authority on the leopard in India, had summed up his lifetime’s experience thus: “Generally speaking it may be laid down as an axiom that neither tiger nor panther will ever, unprovoked, attack mankind.  It is the Jungle Law, by virtue of the respect for and dread of man in which all the jungle creatures are brought up.”Lieut Col R G Burton (1868-1963), also of the Indian Army, who was a dedicated wildlife conservationist and is credited with the movement which resulted in the creation of the Indian Board for Wildlife in 1954, had opined that: “Leopard are timid and retiring, and no doubt conceal themselves on the approach of a human being…….I have known of a man who was lying asleep in the open in daylight, wrapped up in a black blanket.  It (Leopard) perhaps mistook him for a goat but dropped him as soon as he (man) cried out…I have myself nearly trodden on a panther.  I was going down a hill covered with sparse jungle when I smelt the animal and looking down, saw it lying under a bush at my feet.  It rose and walked over the slope into denser thicket…” Nevertheless, just as today it would be suicidal for a man to walk across a six-lane express-way so it would be unwise to invite a leopard’s wrath either through wanton provocation or by interfering when he is closing upon his prey.  Now why did that leopard stray into rural habitation in Gurgaon district? Well, just as a North Indian is drawn hopelessly to the aroma of saag garnished with a dollop of fresh butter and topped with a makki roti or a South Indian by the idli and rasam, similarly a leopard cannot resist the dog (domesticated or stray, one among its gourmet delights), goats or bovines. As the feline preys mostly nocturnally and on occasional misty winter’s nights when the scent of prey does not arise above the ground surface, the predator keeps his nose to the ground in search of prey and in the process tends to lose direction and discretion. Once inside any human habitation, the combination of high-voltage light beams with the constant thrumming of  vehicular traffic noise, engulfs the strayed leopard in a sense of panic and he seeks out a secluded, dark spot to take shelter.In the instant case, the leopard had been prowling in the area of encounter for about two weeks and the State Forest Department was in the process of trapping or perhaps tranquilising it to prevent any fatalities. But then who can prevail when an irate, hysteria-seized crowd of some1500 decides to pulverise one hapless and voiceless creature, unmindful that extinction of a species is irreversible?  It is ironic that four days prior to the above incident we had another gut-churning image of a cow elephant who was on a pathway genetically imprinted in her system since eons and so fell into a newly dug pit. She fractured a rear leg and her infant calf snuggled by her trunk, putting his head consolingly, on her  inert body. But to no avail as she died and the calf may or may not survive the shock. It is time that we learn to live and let live in the true symbiotic spirit.  And never forget the sage advice offered by the Red Indian Chief Seattle, to President Franklin Pearse of the USA in the 1850s: “What is man without the beasts? Once the beasts are gone, man will surely die from a great loneliness of the spirit.”


    Not the friends one should have

    The rise of white nationalists is a boon for Islamic extremists. Both sides believe Muslims and non­Muslims cannot coexist

    TRUMP BLAMES MEXICO AND CHINA FOR LOSS OF JOBS, BUT TOMORROW IT COULD BE INDIA. AND IF AMERICA PULLS BACK FROM GLOBAL TRADE AS TRUMP HAS PROMISED, INDIA WOULD ALSO SUFFER FROM THE SUBSEQUENT GLOBAL RECESSION

    In a desire to embrace the enemy of their enemy, some Hindus have been making some very foolish alliances. Earlier this year, one of the biggest Hindu groups in Britain invited one of the most prominent white racists to speak at their annual conference. Obviously, I made a big stink about it. Why legitimise someone like that in the eyes of the community? Some British Hindus also started asking similar questions. The organisers eventually cancelled the event after the uproar. They weren’t happy with me.

    reUTersAs neo­Nazi nationalist groups have grown in popularity across Europe and the US, some Hindu groups have started to see them as allies against Muslims

    The invited speaker went by the alias of “Tommy Robinson” — founder of the English Defence League (EDL). The EDL wasn’t a debating society. They organised violent rallies, harassed non-white people and got drunk. Supporters made neo-Nazi signs, posted racist messages online and didn’t hide their hatred.

    The National Council of Hindu Temples UK said they invited the EDL’s founder merely for a “respectful dialogue” with him but many, including me, suspected a different motive: They wanted him to talk about why UK Hindus should be afraid of Muslims.

    In politics, people have always made odd alliances on the basis of mutual interest. But even by those standards something weird is happening. As neo-Nazi nationalist groups have grown in popularity across Europe and the United States, some Hindu groups have started to see them as allies against a common enemy: Muslims. Others think the election of nationalist leaders in the West, such as Donald Trump in the US, would be good for India.

    Recently, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said Indians “should feel proud” of Trump because his victory mirrored that of Modi. The Hindu Sena, an extremist group from New Delhi, celebrated when he won, saying: “India will now have the support of the US in our efforts against terrorists.”

    One was Trump’s biggest backers, donating tens of lakhs of dollars. On Twitter and Facebook there have been hundreds of jubilant Indians welcoming Trump for similar reasons.

    In Britain, the EDL courted Hindus and Sikhs so its leader could pretend they weren’t racist. Though they largely failed, some were willing to ignore the EDL’s racism against a common enemy.

    But allow me to be a bit blunt here: These people are out of their bloody minds.

    Hindus and Sikhs who think an alliance with western white-nationalist groups will help us in any way are being delusional. It isn’t just wishful thinking, it is self-sabotage.

    At a glance, the white neo-Nazi groups look like nationalists who take a strong stance against Islamic terrorists and too much immigration. I can see why some Indians would regard them as harmless.

    But appearances can be deceptive. Over the last decade these neo-Nazis have worked hard to look more respectable, ditching the Hitler-salutes, shaved heads, pro-Nazi chants and violent marches. Now they wear sharp suits and choose their language very carefully. They’ve realised that nationalism sounds a lot more attractive than traditional neo-Nazism.

    This “cleaning-up” act coincided with a western backlash against globalisation, immigration and liberal values after the financial crash of 2008. Most of their supporters are poorly educated, poorly paid and older voters who feel their country is changing too fast and they are losing out.

    So here are three big reasons why any alliance with them will hurt Indians.

    First, these nationalist groups are riding a wave of populist anger not just against Muslims but against all nonwhites in the West. Scratch the surface and you can see the evidence. Last week Trump supporters at a conference in Washington DC were caught on video doing Hitler-salutes, saying he would make whites powerful again. There have been similar incidents in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary and Romania too.

    With every victory, from Brexit to Trump’s election, there have been big jumps in the number of racist attacks. If they become more powerful, Indians in the West will be among the first to suffer.

    Second, most of these movements are against globalisation, immigration and trade. Trump blames Mexico and China for loss of jobs, but tomorrow it could be India. And if America pulls back from global trade as Trump has promised, India would also suffer from the subsequent global recession. If Britain becomes poorer after Brexit, as is predicted, Indian jobs will also be lost.

    Third, the rise of white nationalist groups is a boon for extremist Muslims, not a threat. The extremists on both sides believe Muslims and non-Muslims cannot coexist , so any conflict will just reinforce their point. Trump is the best thing that happened to Islamic State and al-Qaeda recruiters in years. They too are celebrating his election.

    Let me put it simply. White nationalists only care about white power. They hate what the modern world has become, and Indians are a big part of how the world has been shaped. We are their natural enemies, not their potential friends. Sunny Hundal is a writer and lecturer on digital journalism based in London The views expressed are personal


    Civil military liaison meet on veteran welfare held

    PANCHKULA: The civil military liaison conference on welfare of veterans was held between Western Command headquarters and Himachal Pradesh government, on Wednesday.

    HT PHOTOHimachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh and Lt Gen Surinder Singh during the civil military liasion conference at Chandimandir on Wednesday.

    The meeting was co-chaired by Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh and general officer commandingin-chief, Western Command, Lieutenant General Surinder Singh.

    Sainik welfare minister, Colonel Dhani Ram Shandil, along with civilian officers of the state government and senior military officers from Western Command graced the conference.

    The army commander in his opening remarks highlighted the initiatives taken by the armed forces towards the welfare of veterans and towards civil military joint functioning in the field of security and disaster relief.

    The CM addressed the gathering and assured support for welfare of ex-servicemen and serving personnel.

    CENTRAL ARMY COMMANDER VISIT ENDS General officer commandingin-chief, Central Command, Lt Gen Balwant Singh Negi, was on a three-day visit to Chandimandir military station.

    He interacted with his counterpart from Western Command, and discussed strategic cooperation, effective utilisation of strategic forces and higher military planning.

    Lt Gen Negi also visited the specialist engineer bridge regiment of the Surya Sappers and witnessed operational training to include specialist bridging and rafting operations for rapid induction of mechanised formations. He also stressed on maintaining the highest levels of operational readiness and commended the Sappers for their specialist skills and high levels of training.


    Told soldiers to shoot enemy, not wait to be martyred: Parrikar

    Told soldiers to shoot enemy, not wait to be martyred: Parrikar
    Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inspects a guard of honour before commissioning the destroyer INS Chennai into the Indian Navy in Mumbai on November 21. AFP photo

    Panaji, November 21

    Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said the armed forces in Kashmir have complete power to shoot at those wielding guns, instead of waiting for the terrorists to open fire and “getting martyred”.“When I took over as the Defence Minister, the first thing I told them (soldiers) that if you see machine gun or pistol in anyone’s hand, don’t expect that he has come to say hello to you. Before you get martyred, you should eliminate him,” Parrikar said addressing the BJP’s election rally at Vasco on Sunday evening.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)“In Kashmir our army was fighting with the terrorists. The Congress government had given them direction that till they (terrorist) fires at you, you don’t retaliate,” he said, claiming that the morale of the Army had gone up since Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government had come to power at the Centre.In the backdrop of intense ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Parrikar said the Indian troops had complete power and they were giving an apt reply to the enemy.“Our soldiers now don’t need to seek permission from the Defence Ministry to fire at the person who fires at them. They have complete power and they are giving apt reply to our enemy. I feel bad that some of our soldiers are martyred,” the former chief minister said.Parrikar said it took almost six to eight months for him to understand the functioning of the ministry.“I initially did not understand how the Defence Ministry works. It took six to eight months for me and after that I understood,” the former Goa chief minister said. PTI


    54th anniversary of Battle of Rezang La celebrated

    Tribune News Service

    Jammu, November 19

    The Army yesterday celebrated 54th anniversary of Battle of Rezang La fought during the 1962 war in eastern Ladakh.This battle is one among the few in the world where troops fought with the enemy till last man, last round and created history for their valiance in the defence of the land.The troops of ‘C’ Company of 13 Kumaon, led by Maj Shaitan Singh, PVC, who fought the Battle of Rezang La, have always been remembered as the ‘bravest of the brave’. The Chushul Brigade commemorated the historic day on November 18.War veterans, ex-servicemen and war widows from adjoining areas were invited and honoured during the function. The celebrations commenced with the conduct of archery and drawing competitions among the villages of Chushul, Tsaka, Tangtse, Durbuk, Mann, Merak, Phobrang and Parma.The occasion witnessed participation from the villagers in sports and cultural competitions. The event culminated with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Battle of Rezang La War Memorial.

    Indian Army observes 54th anniversary of battle of Rezang La

    To commemorate the epic Battle of Rezang La, war veterans, ex-Servicemen and war widows from adjoining areas were invited and honoured during the function.

    The Indian Army has observed the 54th anniversary of the battle of Rezang La at Chushul in Ladakh, to commemorate the historic battle with China in 1962. “Battle of Rezang La that was fought during the war of 1962 is one among the few battles of the world where troops fought with the enemy till last man, last round and created history of their valiance in the defence of the motherland,” a defence spokesman said.

    He said that the troops of ‘C’ Company of 13 Kumaon, led by Major Shaitan Singh, will always be remembered in the annals of history as ‘Bravest of the Brave’. “Upholding the tradition of honouring our war heroes, Chushul Brigade commemorates this historic day every year on November 18,” he said.

    To commemorate the epic Battle of Rezang La, war veterans, ex-Servicemen and war widows from adjoining areas were invited and honoured during the function. The event culminated with wreath laying ceremony at the Battle of Rezang La War Memorial, where war veterans, senior army officers, war widows, civil dignitaries and locals paid their homage to the fallen heroes of Rezang La, he said.

    The 54th Rezang La day celebrations once again revived the memories of the supreme sacrifices made by our valiant soldiers in battle of 1962 and added another memorable chapter in the history of Eastern Ladakh, he said.

    Unforgettable Battle of 1962 : 13 Kumaon at Rezang La by Col N N Bhatia (Retd): Courtesy-Bharat Rakshak

    The Battle of Chushul was a saga of unprecedented courage, valour and supreme sacrifice. Never before had so many officers and Jawans (114 out of 120) laid down their lives in one battle. Colonel N N Bhatia writes on the battle in detail – along with some rare photographs of the aftermath

     

    “If you know the enemy yourself, you need not fear the result of hindered battles,

    If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer defeat,

    If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”.

    -Sun Tzu

     

    The rivalry for the leadership of the Afro-Asian countries between India and China and disputed international border were the main pretext for China to launch 1962 War. But the other issues also played their roles. The perceived Indian role in Tibet to undermine Chinese control was not appreciated by the Chinese and granting asylum to the Dalai Lama after the uprising in Tibet annoyed them immensely.  There had been a series of violent border incidents. As part of the forward policy, India had placed many outposts along the border, including several on the MacMohan Line that Chinese did not recognize as the international border. They claimed many disputed areas along the border existed and occasionally carried intrusions across the entire border for reconnaissance. In August 1959 Indian border post at Longju in NEFA was seized while in Ladakh Chinese established a camp near Spanggur and arrested Indian police patrol with in Indian territory. On 21 October 1959 in a skirmish near the Konga pass nearly 80 km inside the Indian territory, 9 policemen were killed and 7 captured by the Chinese. Since the Chinese were always interested in Chushul and Walong, not only their skirmishes increased in these areas but they also constructed good network of roads in the border region right up to Spanggur Gap in the Western  sector and Indian Border Post in Walong in the eastern sector. Sadly, unlike the Sun Tzu’s quotation on top of this article, while the Chinese had enough strategic and tactical intelligence about us, we had none and fought in dark like blind men with tied hands.

    The Chinese strategic aim in 1962 conflict was to ensure heights both in the Aksai Chin and the Lohit Valley across the watershed overlooking their positions were captured and India was militarily defeated so that they could overlook Indian territory across the border and assume the undisputed leadership of the Afro-Asian countries.

    We cannot reverse history, but no self respecting Indian soldier or citizen would like to ever remember the ignominy of the rout of the Indian Army in 1962 Sino- Indian War. There was nothing to cheer or feel proud of total unprofessional defeat, except the sympathies for the families of fallen soldiers whose lives could perhaps be saved with adequate and appropriate modern equipment, training coupled with apt diplomacy, political will and military leadership then found missing. In that utter chaos, the two Battalions of the Kumaon Regiment namely the 6 Kumaon and the 13 Kumaon fought savagely against the Chinese hordes with indomitable spirit of their regimental officers and men. The courage of the Kumaonis, now a part of the folklore in their villages against the overwhelming disaster has been the only grace for the disgraced Indian Army.  Though the country lost the war that was thrust upon the army, these two Battalions deployed at the two extremes ends of 3500 km long disputed border, won their honours respectively at Rezang La and Walong against heavy odds and huge sacrifices in an otherwise catastrophic national shame.

     

    13 KUMAON’s ‘Battle of Rezang La’

     

    Brief Description on Ahirs

    Ahir and Yadav are synonymous and the same side of the coin residing throughout the country especially in Haryana and call themselves Somavanshi Kshatriyas. The Yadav contribution to the composite kaleidoscopic culture of India is immense especially most of all in ‘The Krishna Cult’. They form one composite group and are an important community of Haryana. Most of them live in the region around Rewari and Narnaul which is known as Ahirwal or the abode of the Ahirs. Rao Tula Ram was one of the most important Ahir leaders of the 1857 War of Independence. In the Indo-China War of 1962, almost all the Ahirs hailing from the Ahirwal region of Southern Haryana serving in 13 KUMAON set an unparallel example in the military history of India by defending their motherland at frozen windy heights of Rezang La with a  missionary zeal. Many Ahirs excelled in Kargil war and insurgencies in Punjab, J&K and the Northeast. Havildar Umrao Singh of Palra village in Jhajjar (Rohtak) was the only Ahir and a gunner, who was awarded Victoria Cross in Arakans during Burma Campaign in the Second World War. Yadavs are good sportsmen and their new found passion is boxing. Besides 13 KUMAON, many brave Ahir soldiers from Haryana and other parts of the country have made their mark in the various wars fought by the Indian Army and won gallantry medals. Among them are Brig RS Yadav, MVC, Commodore BB Yadav, MVC, and Leading Seaman CS Yadav, MVC. Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav born in Aurangabad village in Bulandshahr (Uttar Pradesh) of 18 Grenadiers was the first Ahir and the youngest recipient of the PVC in the Kargil War. Incidentally, his father served in the Kumaon Regiment and took part in 1965 and 1971 India – Pak Wars. 13 Kumaon again created history by routing Pakistani 1 PUNJAB plus a Company of 10 PUNJAB in a multi-directional day light attack with almost no artillery support in Longewala desert in the Rajasthan sector. On 26 Sep 1994, Sub Sujjan Singh won Country’s highest peace time military gallantry award of Ashok Chakra while fighting Pakistani sponsored militants in Kupwara district posthumously. 13 KUMAON is the rarest of rare Battalion that has won the Param Vir Cakra and the Ashok Chakra in its short checkered history.

     

    Prelude to Operation

    13 Kumaon was raised on 5 August 1948 at Kanpur by Lt Col HC Taylor with class composition of 50 percent each of Ahirs and Kumaonis. During the 1956 Reunion, Lt Col NS Krishna, the then Commanding Officer accepted the proposal of the Colonel of the Regiment, General KS Thimayya that the Regiment must have a 100% Ahir Battalion.It was decided to make 13 th as the first pure Ahir Battalion by transferring its Kumaonis to 2 Kumaon and 6 Kumaon who reciprocally sent their Ahirs to 13 Kumaon. This process was completed by March 1960.

    Since its raising the Battalion had seen no active operations except to serve in Jammu &Kashmir. Col Krishna volunteered to serve in Naga Hills, as Naga Land was then known. The Naga hostilities were at their prime at that time. The Battalion was put through tough regime of counter insurgency operations and did extremely well by capturing maximum weapons,  many self styled senior officers and destroying the headquarters of notorious  Kito Sema, the so called self styled Commander in Chief of the hostile underground Naga Army. The tenure in Naga Hills and able leadership led to the “seasoning” of all ranks and   prepared them for the impending Battle of Rezang La. Incidentally, during this time only 6 Kumaon also was operating in the Naga Hills and second in command of 13 Kumaon, Major CN Madiah eventually was posted to be its commanding officer during 1962 War and the Battalion excelled in the Battle of Walong.

    The ‘choras’ as Ahirs are affectionately called, excel in sports and both individual and collective training. I joined Indian Military Academy (IMA) in June 1962 and I did not know much about 13 Kumaon. I was commissioned a year later and by then from a battalion, 13 Kumaon had become ‘The well known Battalion’ of the Indian Army for its heroics that became folklores of Haryana, northern Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh. The one night battle on 18 Nov 1962 made 13 Kumaon one of the most hardened, die hard, battle worthy, respected ,honoured and decorated battalions of the Indian Army. This battle   has been compared by many military historians with the famed battles of Thermopylae fought between Greek and Persian empires in 480 BC and the incredible Saragarhi fought on 12 September 1897 in the North-West Frontier Province Battle by the 21 men of the 36th Sikh Regiment (currently the 4th Battalion, the Sikh Regiment) who gave up their lives in devotion to their duty fighting over 10,000 tribals. Both these battles are listed ion the eight stories of collective bravery published by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Like wise the ill clad and ill equipped but hardy Ahirs of the Charlie Company of the 13 Kumaon led by undaunted leadership of Major Shaitan Singh ferociously fought in blood freezing minus 30 degree temperature till there was nothing left in manpower and equipment.

     

    Strategic Importance Of Chushul

    Running north to south, 40 km long and 5.6 km at its widest, Chushul is a narrow, sparsely populated, barren sandy valley across the water shed at altitude of 14,230 feet with towering mountains, high passes, where only the best of friends or worst of enemies may desire to meet. It is virtually close to the Chinese border. It is bounded in north by deep 160 km long clear salt water Pangong Tso (lake) running parallel to Indus River, the east and west by higher ranges rising over 19,000 feet and all weather airfield in the south. Pangaso changes colour with the phases of sun and moon. The Spanggur Gap is the opening in the eastern side that leads to the Spanggur Tso (lake). Like the Pangong Tso, it extends well into Chinese territory. Before the war commenced, the Chinese had built a road from Rudok in Tibet right up to the Spanggur Gap capable of carrying tanks. Chushul could be approached from Leh by going over the Chang La pass skirting the Pangkong Lake, while another route crossed the Chang La pass and took a deep turn to the east. For all Indian out posts in this sector from Daulat Beg Oldi to Damchok, Chushul was the nodal rallying point. Loss of Chushul as such would not have jeopardized defence of Ladakh region, but in those days its importance caught up with Indian psyche and pride. The terrain and climatic conditions favoured the Chinese and they made most of these in 1962 operations.

    In the early sixties the Hindi- Chini Bhai Bhai and Panch Sheel era was crumbling and war clouds started gathering due to deteriorating relations between India and China, 13 Kumaon was moved from its peace location Ambala to Baramula in June 1962 and got involved it self in high altitude collective training that made it battle worthy for the unexpected impending operations. The Battalion by 2 October 1962 had moved to Leh on the orbat of 114 Infantry Brigade. The formation had then just two infantry battalions and was scheduled to move to Chushul in March 1963.There were no intelligence inputs of any Chinese build up opposite this sector. But the events moved quickly and the Chinese threat was perceived in Chushul valley that had an all weather landing ground. 3 Infantry Division was hurriedly raised under Maj Gen Budh Singh, MC. On 13 Oct B and C Companies of 13 Kumaon were quickly moved to Chushul and rushed to Mugger Hill and Rezang La feature located 30 km south –east of Chushul. The Battalion reached Chushul on 24 Oct and D Company occupied the Spanngur Gap. The Battalion Headquarters was located in High Ground with A company as Brigade reserve.  On 26 Oct the Tactical Headquarters of 114 Infantry Brigade under Brig (later General and COAS) TN Raina arrived in Chushul. Tactical features known as Gurung Hill, Gun Hill and the Spanggur Gap were held by 1/8 GR with Battalion Headquarters and adhoc Company at the airfield. The flank of 13 Kumaon towards strategic un-mettled Chushul- Leh road at Tsakla was manned by Company less a platoon with section 3 inch Mortar of 5 Jat while rest of the Battalion was deployed at Lukung. 1Jat (LI) was deployed in Thakung Heights, north of Chushul. The RCL guns of the infantry battalions less 1 Jat (LI) were brigaded and located in the Spanggur Gap.  Two troops ex B Squadron 20 Lancers (6 AMX-13 tanks), a battery of 13 Field Regiment, a troop of 32 Heavy Mortar Regiment, 1 Jat (LI)less a Company  and a Company of 1 Mahar (MMG) joined as meager reinforcements. The AMX tanks in the mountainous terrain were not very effective and the artillery resources not only meager but mostly crested but they played a major role in destroying and destabilizing the enemy in Spanggur Gap.

     

     

    Routes of Ingress (Approaches) to Chushul

    To capture Chushul, the following appreciated approaches were available to the Chinese:-

    (a) Khurnak Fort- Dungra Ford- Yula- Thakung-Lukung- Darbuk – Leh. It was difficult circuitous route on a mountainous track where battalion worth with support of animal transport (AT) could only move.

     

    (b) Rudok- Shinghang- Chushul. Maintained by class 9 road that could sustain divisional strength thrust.

    (c) Rudok-Rezang La-Chushul. It was comparatively shorter approach that had road developed up to Spanggur Gap that could sustain force more than (a)  but less than (b) given above.

     

    Tasks Allotted to 114 Infantry Brigade

    (a) To defend Chushul for as long as possible and to withdraw only when continuation of the battle would annihilate or turn the round into rout.

    (b) To inflict maximum causalities on the enemy.

    (c) To save as much stores and equipment as possible.

    Needless to say, the tasking of 114 Infantry Brigade was rather ambitious with the paucity of troops, fire power and wide gaps in the defended localities.

     

    Deployment of 13 Kumaon

    (a) B and D Companies less a platoon plus Section 3 inch Mortar under overall command of Major RV Jatar-Mugger Hill.

    (b) C Company plus Section 3 inch Mortar under Major Shaitan Singh- Rezang La about 30 km south of Chushul.

    (c) A Company plus four recoil less (RCL) guns as Brigade reserve under Major GN Sinha, poised for counter attack with Battalion Headquarters at High Ground under Commanding Officer Lt Col HS Dhingra.

     

     

     

     

    A Word about Rezang La and War Preparations

    Rezang La is a pass on the south-eastern approach to Chushul valley. The feature is roughly 3 km long and nearly 2 km wide at an average altitude of 16000 feet above the sea level. Digging defences in the rocky boulders, due to paucity of oxygen was extremely tiring both mentally and physically due to lack of mechanical digging equipment, oxygen and bitter cold. Walking a few paces made men breathless as they were not yet acclimatized to the high altitude. The first few nights were the most uncomfortable ones as local ponies and yaks had not fetched woolen clothing, sleeping bags and rations. It took hours to boil kettle of water and fruits and fresh rations were frozen hard like cricket balls. Rezang La had another serious flaw. The

    high crests of mountain-tops interfered with the flight of artillery shells and adversely affected artillery fire, thus, denying Rezang La the much needed fire support. War preparations were being made on hectic scales by both sides. But the under strength Indian defenders had no artillery support, were equipped with poor antiquated .303 single shot bolt action rifles of the World War II vintage, paucity of woolen clothing, automated digging tools and old 62 radio sets that did not communicate due to frozen batteries, where as the Chinese had 7.62 self loading rifles (SLRs) and acclimatized troops. They had enough, ammunition, rations, heavy engineering equipment, vehicles, artillery and tanks could come right up to the Spanggur Gap as they had built a road up to their terminal post. During nights their boats were observed plying with men and war like stores in Spanggur Lake. Our observation posts regularly observed hectic Chinese build-up and their commanders spreading their maps and carrying out reconnaissance. Chinese troops also being locals from Singkiang region were hardened to the existing climatic and terrain conditions whereas many of the Ahirs hailing from the plains of the north India were deployed in high altitude environment for the very first time in their service.

    Major Shaitan Singh deployed C Company over 2 km frontage on the massive 5 km long Rezang La feature as under:-

    • 7 Platoon under Jemadar Surja 3 Km north of the pass on forward slopes.

    • 8 Platoon under Jemadar Hari Ram in pass area.

    • 9 Platoon under Jemadar Ram Chander 1 km south of 7 Platoon position.

    • Company Headquarters behind 9 Platoon along with section of 3 inch Mortar under Naik Ram Kumar Yadav 150 meters west of Company Headquarters.

     

     

     

    There was little time to stock, mines and prepare defences adequately. As per national policy, no patrolling along the international border was permitted and as per battle routine regularly during day light OPs (Observation Posts) and in the night LPs (Listening Posts) were sent to provide early warning, Due to wide frontages, there was no mutual support with in the sub-units, not many mines could be laid and as highlighted earlier, the artillery fire across Rezang La was totally crested. Thus, Rezang La had no artillery support and paucity of anti personal mines to halt the advancing enemy. In spite of all these inadequacies, the Battalion Operation Order issued on 24 October tasked all sub-units to fight to ‘the last man and the last round’. To cover the numerous gullies which were expected approaches for the enemy to attack, three additional light machine guns (LMGs) were provided to C Company. The defences were wired and stocked with six first line scales of ammunition along with 1000 bombs for the 3 inch Mortar Section.

    The Battle of Rezang La

    On night 17-18 November around 2200 hrs, a heavy snow storm was leashed in the battle zone for nearly two hours. After the snow storm, visibility improved to 600 meters. At 0200 hrs, LP ahead of 8 Platoon observed a large body of Chinese soldiers swarming through the gullies at a distance of about 700-800 meters moving from the pass. Lance Naik Brij Lal the LP commander ran back to Platoon Headquarters to in inform this unusual development. He, with his Section Commander Hukam Chand and one LMG were rushed as reinforcement to the post. By then the Chinese had advanced with in firing range of small arms from the post. The LP fired a pre-determined red Verey Light signal along with long bursts of LMG fire, warning the C Company to ‘stand to’ in their dug out positions. Similarly, 7 Platoon’s LP on the forward slopes also saw Chinese forming up and the entire C Company was alerted. Maj Shaitan Singh immediately contacted his sub-unit commanders on the radio communication who confirmed that all ranks were ready in their battle positions. Since the paucity of troops had caused wide gaps in 7 and 9 Platoon localities, he also ordered 9 Platoon to send a patrol to ascertain the situation. The patrol confirmed massive Chinese build up had taken place through the gullies. Though, the Chinese had brought their assaulting troops to their forward assembly areas under the cover of inclement weather, their intensions to shock the defenders with silent surprise attack had failed miserably in all aspects.

    All ranks of the Charlie Company with their fingers on triggers, waited patiently for the impending major frontal attack on their positions around first light with improving visibility. Around 0500 hrs, the first wave of the Chinese were spotted through their personal weapon sights by every Ahir manning the defences and hail of LMGs, MMGs and mortars fire greeted the enemy. Scores of the enemy died, many were wounded but rest duly reinforced continued to advance. Soon all the gullies leading to Rezang La were full of Chinese corpses. Constant wave after wave of the Chinese launched four more attacks that were beaten back that dwindled defenders strength and ammunition as many Ahirs fell fighting. As the fifth attack was launched, Naik Chandgi Ram, a wrestler of repute led his comrades with bayonet charge killing 6-7 Chinese single handedly till he fell to martyrdom. There were some skirmishes with the Chinese patrols that too were beaten back but one such patrol had severed the telephone line leading to the Battalion Headquarters. By about 0545 hrs, the Chinese frontal attack was beaten back and failed.

    By now, the Chinese realized Rezang La was not a cake walk and changed their operational plan. Rezang La was resorted to heavy artillery shelling and to destroy field fortifications they used concentrated fire of 75 mm recoilless (RCL) guns brought on wheel barrows from the flanks. The deep craters near the Company Command Post (CP) indicated use of 132 mm rockets. The Chinese shelling was a spectacular display of fire power against defenders who had no artillery support and no bunker on the Rezang La feature, re-visited after 3 months in February 1963, was seen could bear the preponderance of enemy’s devastating artillery fire.

    The Chinese started regrouping for a long detour over 7 Platoon positions that had no survivors. A little distance away Naik Sahi Ram the only survivor detached from his platoon waited for the enemy to assemble and let them have it with accurate LMG fire. The Chinese dispersed and Sahi Ram waited for the next wave that came with RCL guns and blasted his lone firing position. Major Shaitan Singh re grouped his dwindling assets to charge the advancing Chinese. Since all the platoon positions had been over run with no survivors, the enemy was re-grouping to assault the C Company Headquarters after heavy pounding. While moving from one gun position to other, motivating his depleted command, Major Shaitan Singh was hit by the enemy LMG fire on his arm but undaunted he kept motivating, regrouping and reorganizing his handful men and weapons. His Company Havildar Major (CHM) Harphool Singh kept persuading him to move to safer place with few survivors who could walk .Ahir guns kept firing till silenced but camouflaged sniping enemy MMG covering the flank fired long bursts killing many. Maj Shaitan Singh was hit again severely in the abdomen. Grievously injured and bleeding profusely he was pulled by Phool Singh and Jai Narain to safer place behind a boulder and bandaged his wounds. Since there was no line or radio communication, he ordered Phool Singh and Jainarain to leave him and rush to the Battalion Headquarters and froze to martyrdom in the night. In the Spanggur Gap, 1/8 GR fought bravely with artillery support by Lt Goswami and troops of tanks commanded by 2 Lt Baswani firing and destroying the enemy. While the Chinese kept swarming to capture Gurung Hill, held by the company of 1/8 GR under command Capt PL Kher, Goswami to give closest support, ordered to fire on his own observation post (OP) position that killed 3 other ranks and severely wounding Goswami whose frost bitten legs had to be amputated later. He was decorated with well deserved Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) for his heroics.

    Harphool Singh led 3 survivors to fight and stop enemy’s onslaught till martyred. Ram Kumar’s 3 inch Mortar Section having coughed all its ammunition was ordered to be disabled and fire plans and maps destroyed less they fell in the Chinese hands. As Ram Kumar was disabling his mortars, he was hit by rifle fire from the Chinese 20 yards away. Though wounded, he took position in his command post and as the Chinese peeped in, he pumped bullets with his bolt action .303 rifle and killed many of them. The remaining Chinese hurled hand grenades to silence him and left. After many hours profusely bleeding, he regained consciousness and painfully trekked back to Battalion Headquarters to narrate the chilling, gallant untold story of the Rezang La Battle for the posterity. Five soldiers were taken prisoners of war by the enemy and Sepoy Balbir Singh died in captivity. Silence of war engulfed Rezang La as the last round had been fired and the last soldier bled to martyrdom. Neither any help or reinforcements were asked for nor could any be provided to C Company..

    The Chinese massive two-pronged advance and offensive embarked to secure Chushul succeeded with heavy causalities on both sides. The remoteness of Mugger Hill, Gurung Hill, both the Brigade and Battalion Headquarters and A Company as brigade reserve, negated the possibility of  any reinforcement or counter attack at Rezang La.

     

     

    The Chinese did not attack Mugger Hill on 18 November but shelled it heavily. B Company had good observation of the Spanggur Gap and directed artillery fire on the enemy gun positions. D Company had sent patrol to Rezang La under Naik Roop Ram and was engaged by the enemy MMG that killed two and wounding another two soldiers. Enemy fired over 600 shells on Battalion Headquarters but there was mercifully not a single causality.

    The Ceasefire and Aftermath

    Surprisingly though the Chinese claimed area up to Chushul as theirs, on 21 November 1962, without any further offensives, they declared unilateral cease fire.

    As per the War Diary of the Battalion, 13 Kumaon regrouped after the ceasefire less the C Company that had ceased to exist.

    C Company after the war was re-raised from the ashes of Rezang La by milking men from the other companies and fresh recruit drafts that came as reinforcements after the war and rechristened as the Rezang La Company to honour its war heroes and deservingly in the precedence, it became the senior most company of the Battalion.

    In January 1963, a local Ladakhi shepherd wandered over the Rezang La feature. He was amazed by the awesome war specticle of soldiers frozen to death but still clinging to their damaged weapons in enemy’s shelling. Their weapons were mostly with empty magazines and bulged barrels due to excessive firing. A month later in February 1963, the first Indian party under the aegis of International Red Cross visited Rezang La could find 96 bodies with multiple splinters and gun shot wounds frozen to death with weapons in their hands in the shattered trenches. Major Shaitan Singh’s body was recovered from the same spot where he was last left by the two jawans. While the other ranks were cremated with full military honours in Chushul, the body of Major Shaitan Singh draped in national flag was flown to Jodhpur and cremated in his village with state honours.

     

     

     

    The Honours and the Awards

    Every soldier out numbered 10 to 1, who fought and died at Rezang La, was a national hero and deserved a gallantry award. But wars are never fought for personal glory or award. Major Shaitan Singh was conferred with the Param Vir Chakra-the country’s highest gallantry award posthumously. Of the others, Jemadar Hari Ram*, Jemadar Surja* Jemadar Ram Chander, Naik Hukam Singh*, Naik Gulab Singh* Naik Ram Kumar Yadav*, Lance Naik Singh Ram * Sepoy (Nursing Assistant) Dharam Pal Dhaiya* were decorated with Vir Chakra and CHM Harphool Singh*, Havildar Jai Narain, Havildar Phul Singh and Sepoy Nihal Singh were decorated with Sena Medal each, while Jemadar Jai Narain* was mentioned-in-dispatches. Brigadier TN Raina, another die hard Kumaoni and the inspiring Brigade Commander of the 114 Infantry Brigade deployed for the defence of the Chushul was awarded country’s second highest gallantry award Maha Vir Chakra while Lt Col HS Dhingra, the Commanding Officer of 13 Kumaon was warded Ati Vashisht Seva Medal for his inspiring leadership under adverse battle conditions. The Battalion was also awarded ‘The Battle Honour Rezang La’ and ‘The Theatre Honour Ladakh’

    (*Awarded posthumously was Martyr Major Shaitan Singh)

     

     

     

    It was at High Ground, the place where Battalion Headquarters had been at the time of the battle, the 96 bodies of the heroes of Rezang La were consumed to flames with full mil honours in mass cremation amidst chanting of Vedic Mantras. The Rezang La Memorial was constructed by the Battalion to honour those who gave their lives to defend our values and way of life. On the first anniversary of the epic Rezang La Battle on 18 November 1963, I stood close to the Memorial, overlooking the massive Rezang La feature, in biting chilly winds, I had the unique privilege and honour to pay my homage to Rezang La warriors with pride and tears in my eyes, as I read the inscription on the marble slab as under: –

     

    “How Can A Man Die Better?

    Than Facing Fearful Odds,

    For The Ashes Of His Fathers,

    And Temples Of His Gods.”

    Maculay

    India Vs China – The Battle of Rezang La : 1962

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    Flight Delight

    Flight Delight
    The British Royal Air Force aerobatic team, ‘Red Arrows’, performs manoeuvres at the Indian Air Force Academy in Dundigal, Hyderabad, on Thursday. AFP

    The British Royal Air Force aerobatic team, ‘Red Arrows’, performs manoeuvres at the Indian Air Force Academy in Dundigal, Hyderabad, on Thursday.The British Air Force team is on a visit to India as a part of a major 60-day tour of the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. AFP


    Be aggressive at LoC, troops told Commanders asked to ‘respond well’ to ceasefire violations by Pak

    Ajay Banerjee

    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, November 16

    In what is turning out to be a ‘tense period’ along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, the Army and BSF have been told to be keep retaliating to all firing originating from Pakistani posts across the LoC.“Be aggressive” is the message to formation commanders on ground who have been told to respond to all ceasefire violations from across the border. The decision of time of strike is left to the local units while the nature of weapons has been small arms and mortars.An assessment at the South Block says matters could escalate as the Pakistani army is set to get a new chief who could take the same aggressive posture as the outgoing General Raheel Sharif, who retires at the end of this month. So far, matters are limited to the LoC, which is the main route of infiltration of terrorists. Thankfully, till now the two-sides have not started using artillery — seen as the first sign of escalation from military angle. Four days ago, Pakistan admitted that seven of its troops had been killed in Indian Army’s fire and the neighbouring nation promised “retaliation”.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)Sporadic firing across the LoC and the IB are routine over the past five years, but since the September 29 surgical strikes carried out by the Army to hit at terror camps in PoK, things have heated up. Not only have the number of ceasefire violations gone up, the intensity and periodicity is up several notches. Today mid-level officers in the Director General of Military Operations of either side conducted their weekly hotline conference. Expectedly, the escalated firing activity was discussed, a source said. At present, the weapons being used are mortars (both 81 MM and 120 MM), light machine guns, medium machine guns and sniper weapons like Dragnov rifles.  Military-held posts of either country are bang on the LoC on both sides —some times less than 20 metres away. A forward post can typically have just 10 soldiers and if it comes under fire, the rest of the battalion can only direct fire at other posts of Pakistan, which increases firing intensity. An increased number of cross-LOC fire-assaults is also due to modern surveillance equipment like night vision and thermal imagers. This leaves coordinated firing as the most viable military reply across the LoC or even the IB.

    Pakistan military exercise near India border

    • Islamabad: Pakistan is conducting a military exercise in a strategically located area bordering India, with PM Nawaz Sharif and the army chief reviewing the readiness of the army and the air force to deal with any situation amid growing tension with India. The manoeuvres are taking place near the border close to Bahawalpur town in Punjab province. Officials said the Prime Minister is the chief guest at the exercise. Army chief General Raheel Sharif will also witness the exercise. pti
    • 369 casesof ceasefire violation by Pakistan till Oct 2016; 253 in 2015
    • 210 casesof these were along Jammu and Kashmir and rest in Rajasthan
    • 105 ultrasinfiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir in first nine months of 2016
    • Info provided in Rajya Sabha by MoS for Home Hansraj Ahir

    Rustom-II drone completes maiden test flight

    Rustom-II drone completes maiden test flight
    The UAV weighs 2 tonne. — Photo courtesy: Facebook page of DRDO

    New Delhi, November 16 Rustom-II, India’s indigenously developed long-endurance combat-capable drone, on Wednesday successfully completed its maiden-flight, giving a boost to India’s development programme for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).The DRDO successfully carried out the maiden-flight of TAPAS 201 (RUSTOM–II), a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV. It has an endurance of 24 hours and can conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions for the country’s armed forces.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)The UAV can also be used as an unmanned armed combat vehicle on the lines of the US’ Predator drone.The test flight took place from Aeronautical Test Range (ATR), Chitradurga, 250 km from Bangalore, which is a newly developed flight test range for the testing of UAVs and manned aircraft.

    The flight accomplished the main objectives of proving the flying platform, such as take-off, bank, level flight and landing among others, a statement by the Defence Ministry said.TAPAS 201 has been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), the Bangalore-based lab of DRDO with HAL-BEL as the production partners.The UAV weighing 2 tonne was put into air by a dedicated team of young scientists of DRDO. It was piloted (external and internal) by the pilots from the armed forces.It is also the first R&D prototype UAV which has undergone certification and qualification for the first flight from the Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA).TAPAS 201, a multi-mission UAV is being developed to carry out Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the three armed forces with an endurance of 24 hours.It is capable to carry different combinations of payloads like Medium Range Electro Optic (MREO), Long Range Electro Optic (LREO), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT) and Situational Awareness Payloads (SAP) to perform missions during day and night.Many critical systems such as airframe, landing gear, flight control and avionics sub-systems are being developed in India with the collaboration of private industries.Rustom-II will undergo further trials for validating the design parameters, before going for User Validation Trials. — PTI

     


    78-yr-olds are army’s last watch along China border

    GUARDIANS Heads of villages near McMahon Line keep watch while on treks to collect high-altitude insect believed to have medicinal properties

    MECHUKHA (ARUNACHAL PRADESH): Gadgets do the job these days. But the armed forces often rely on a 78-year-old’s eyes and ears for information on the China frontier.

    RAHUL KARMAKAR / HT PHOTOGaonbura president Kesang Goiba with his team of village heads at Mechukha. (Below) 101-year-old Ramo tribal elder who actively works to maintain law and order.

    As a long-time gaonbura (GB, village head) of Mangang village, Dorjee Purba Chukla’s primary job is to ensure law and order locally. He has to also update the Army, IndoTibetan Border Police, intelligence agencies and the local administration on any suspicious Chinese activity on the border.

    Reason: Mangang, in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Siang district, is the village closest to India’s border with China-occupied Tibet, just 29 km from the nearest point of the McMahon Line that separates India and China.

    It is northeast of Mechukha, a sub-divisional headquarter 492 km from the state capital Itanagar.

    Arunachal Pradesh’s border with Tibet is 1,080 km long.

    “Our men are vital for the armed forces as guides and informants. They also keep a watch on the border while collecting yarje gomu (a highaltitude insect believed to have medicinal properties), which people from across the border also treasure,” Chukla said.

    Chukla is one of the 75 GBs in Mechukha sub-division who are the faces of the government in 112 villages. They act as judges too, settling family and social disputes with punishments such as fines or community service, for the guilty.

    “We try to use our wisdom and settle minor cases. The police and magistrates take care of major law and order issues such as murder, rape and communal clashes, but only after we refer these incidents to them,” Kesang Goiba, the GBs’ president, told HT.

    The GBs are a vital cog in the administrative wheel in the difficult eastern Himalayan subdivision where many villages have to be covered by foot over four-five days, said additional deputy commissioner Tungge Loya.

    “We need their help in ensuring peaceful co-existence among five major tribes of the area,” Loya said. These tribes are the Buddhist Menpa or Memba, Bokar, Ramo, Pailibo and Tagin.

    The GBs’ assistance is also crucial because there are barely 15 policemen for the entire subdivision straddling 83,743 sqm of mountains at an average altitude of 6,500ft.

    An Army officer of a frontier unit, declining to be named, said the GBs are important for civic action programmes besides strategic help on treacherous terrain.

    “We need the support of the local people as much as they need ours for emergency medical aid and supplies,” he said.

    Goiba, 60, insists the GBs are impartial in their discharge of duties despite the fact that they are selected by a few, not elected. The all-male GBs try to be fair with cases involving women too.

    “Many of the cases of crimes against girls and women we have handled have gone against men,” Goiba, who was selected GB president eight years ago, said.

    A GB gets an honorarium of Rs 200-250 from the government. It is a pittance for the trouble they take, but the social status that comes with the job is more than worth it, the GBs say.


    Martyr’s family awaits benefits announced by state govt

    Martyr’s family awaits benefits announced by state govt
    Havildar Lakhveer Singh

    Our Correspondent

    Nurpur, November 8

    The family members of martyr Havildar Lakhveer Singh (51) of Buskwara village in Maira gram panchayat of Jawali subdivision have been running from pillar to post seeking fulfilment of promises announced by the government and political leaders of Kangra district after his martyrdom. He had lost his life in a Naxalite ambush in Chhattisgarh on March 11, 2014. The martyr, son of an ex-serviceman Capt Harnam Singh (retd), earlier served in 10 Para Commando unit of the Indian Army and re-joined the CRPF in 2009 after his retirement from the Army.Top leaders of various political parties from Kangra district happened to visit the family of the martyr during those days and announced a number of works as a tribute to the martyr but none of them had kick-started so far. His father Harnam Singh, mother Sarla Devi and wife Lalita Devi said the state government had promised to name government high school at Maira after martyr Lakhveer Singh’s name, build pucca approach road to the martyr’s house and a memorial gate in the local gram panchayat. They lamented that none of these announcements had been fulfilled despite their repeated requests and representations to the state government.They revealed that former Lok Sabha MP Dr Rajan Sushant, present Lok Sabha MP Shanta Kumar, former minister Chander Kumar, Chief Parliamentary Secretary-cum-local MLA Neeraj Bharti and the then Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, had visited their house to condole the killing of Lakhveer Singh in the Naxalite attack and given such assurances to the bereaved family. “They had even met Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh at Bharmour during his visit to the Jawali Assembly constituency in 2014 who also assured to fulfil these commitments. He had also announced ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the family. But none of the promises has been met so far,” they rued.The family members of the martyr said they had submitted a representation to the state government in 2014 through the SDM, Jawali, with supportive resolutions of the surrounding gram panchayats of Maira, Sidhpur-Ghar and Bharmar and an estimate of Rs 4 lakh had been prepared for the construction of a memorial gate by the local Public Works Department but in vain. They had appealed to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh to implement his commitments forthwith so that the martyr’s supreme sacrifice could get recognition.