Archive for August, 2009

The fame of Colonel Rinchen from Nubra Valley in Ladakhby Ajay Jain on June 2, 2009

in Himalayas, Ladakh

rinchenIndia would have managed to get even territory from Pakistan during the 1971 war with its neighbour had Colonel Chewang Rinchen not taken a break to celebrate Losar, the Tibetan New Year according to an Army officer I met at the Siachen Glacier.

A hero for all of Ladakh, Col Rinchen has been a recipient of the Mahaveer Chakra, one of the highest honours for bravery in India. Not once, but twice including being the youngest ever recipient of the same at the age of 17. According to Army records:

“During the 1971 war, he led his ‘Dhal’ (shield) Force against the Pakistanis in Baltistan. His unorthodox technique based on guerilla warfare resulted in the recapture of Turtok and the creation of what is the Line of Control (LoC).” 

For a 70 kilometer stretch, one still sees Pakistani bunkers all intact abandoned as they retreated according to the officer I met. Suddenly Col Rinchen decided to stop for Losar and lost all the momentum. What he had achieved was still no mean task – this was when he earned his second Mahaveer Chakra.

The records further state: “He earned the first one during the 1947-48 Indo Pak war soon after the two countries gained independence. Along with a band of 28 volunteers, he successfully blocked the advance of Pakistani raiders to Leh for one month and 23 days.

Born on November 11, 1931 is Sumur in Nubra Valley of Ladakh, he joined the Nubra Guards when he was only 17. His brave deeds continued during the 1962 war with China in the Dera Baba Oldie sector; he was awarded the Sena Medal for this. During the 1965 war with Pakistan, he provided vital information regarding the deployment of enemy forces to Col Kapur, Commander of the Nubra sector, and led some very aggressive patrols on the most difficult routes to reach enemy locations and take them by surprise.”

In his memory, the Corps Lecture Hall near the Leh Airport was renamed Rinchen Auditorium in 2008 according to a news report.

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“You have never lived until
You have almost died,
And for those who choose to fight,
Life has a special flavor,
The protected will never know!!!” 
                               – Capt. R. Subramanian

Born on 12 August 1976 to Mr. and Mrs. S. Ramachandran, Capt. Subramanian, KC (Posth) lived his life to this motto that he had so dearly cherished, to a duty that he was so dearly passionate about.

He had applied for the entrance examination in 1992 and was selected for the 90th course at NDA (National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla) and joined NDA in July 1993. He passed out from NDA in 1996 and completed the training at IMA (Indian Military Academy),Dehra Dun in 1997. He was commissioned in the Army on 7th June 1997 as 2nd Lieutenant. Further he underwent free fall jump (parachute jumping at Agra in May 1999). On completion of the Training at Agra, he was called to Kargil Sector in May 99 and remained at Drass Sector, Mushkoh valley till End of August 1999.

Later on he was posted to Nahaan (Himachal Pradesh) from where he was sent to Srinagar in Feb. 2000 for “Operation Rakshak”. He was promoted as Captain in March 2000. Though he achieved his set goal of an army officer, he made the supreme sacrifice of his life in the highest traditions of the Army while fighting the militants at Haphruda forest in Kupwara Dist in Jammu and Kashmir (Operation Rakshak) on 19th June 2000, when he made his supreme sacrifice of his life displayed conspicuous courage and outstanding combat leadership while facing the militants at Kupwara dist in Jammu and Kashmir.

He was awarded KIRTI CHAKKRA (posthumously) by the President on 26th January 2001 and the same was received by his mother at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 12th October 2001, and is survived by his father Shri.S.Ramachandran, mother Smt.Subbalakshmi and one younger sister R.Varalakshmi.

Uddu & Subbu ( as they were fondly known ), both passed out together from the IMA as part of the 100th batch, 6th June 1997. They were then, both commissioned into the 1st Batallion of the Parachute regiment. Uddu & Subbu were inseparable buddies & soul mates.

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Major Udai Singh SM, SC (posthumous)

IC-57219 Capt. Udai Singh, SM



  Major Udai Singh SC, SM was born at 2.15 pm on Monday October 7, 1974 in Allahabad. He had a happy, contented childhood spent in small cantonment towns across the country. St. Patricks at Deolali was his first school, after which he studied at St Georges, Agra & APS Delhi. His formative & most memorable years were spent at the Army Public School, Dagshai from where he passed out in 1992. 

Not one for academics he excelled in games & sports & other extra curricular activities. He loved his alma mater & was forever grateful for the opportunity he’d had, taking time off to visit it as often as he could in the years to follow. 

Udai, graduated from Deshbandhu College, Delhi with an honors degree in Political Science and was soon absorbed as a management trainee with the Taj Mansingh, Delhi. What he aspired to was a career in the Special Forces of the Indian Army 

“I do not wish to spend my life waiting on hotel guests” he’d say. “I want to be that 5 star guest”. 

His ambition was partly fulfilled on passing out from the IMA in June 1997. He was commissioned into the first battalion of the Parachute Regiment. 

“My life in the army”, he confessed to a friend, ” is doomed if I do not clear the probation”. 

Clear it he did and was with the paltan for five wonderful years before volunteering for the Special Group – the mavericks. He soon became one of them. 

His brief career was spent almost entirely in the mountains of Kashmir with a few months here and there given to the short courses run by the army. He did the free fall & the para jumps along with a course in deep sea diving. 

He loved what he did never regretting for an instant his choice of career. His life in the army was a source of great pride and enthusiasm. It was all that he had ever wished it to be.



SENA MEDAL (Gallantry)
IC-57219 Capt. Udai Singh

1 JULY 2002

Captain Udai Singh was tasked to launch his troops immediately by night on 1 July 2002 in Danti Forest, Jammu and Kashmir.

At 1030hrs, the leading squad observed terrorist movement and immediately killed one terrorist. The remaining terrorist brought down a heavy volume of fire on the troops.

Acting dynamically with utmost tenacity taking advantage of thick forest and restricted visibility Capt. Udai Singh then moved along with his squad and closed on the terrorist under heavy volume of hostile fire. 

Captain Udai Singh ruthlessly pursued single handedly with extreme courage and excellent marksmanship and tactical acumen under fire killing two more terrorists in close quarter combat. 

For displayed conspicuous bravery, exemplary leadership and raw courage, Captain Udai Singh was awarded Sena Medal (Gallantry)

IC-57219 Capt. Udai Singh, SM

Major Udai Singh has developed a comprehensive schedule to demolish the intelligence and logistics network being provided to the terrorist by the Over Ground Workers in the general area in Rajouri District of  Jammu and Kashmir. The officer commenced operations by launching a search and destroy operation in the general area at 0300hrs on 29th November 2003. The team physically reconnoitered the thickly forested area. At 1745hrs, in fading light, when the officer was leading his team to lay an ambush, the party suddenly came face to face with a group of terrorist who were approaching from higher ground at a close range of 10 meters. During the deadly fire fight that ensued, the officer sustained gun shot wound in the neck, while his buddy sustained multiple gun shot wounds. Displaying extraordinary courage, with utter disregard to personal safety, the officer continued to close in with the terrorists, killing one terrorist and wounding another. Major Udai Singh then helped extricating his fatally injured buddy before succumbing to his injuries.

Major Udai Singh displayed indomitable courage and exemplary leadership in fighting the terrorist and making the supreme sacrifice.

Major Udai Singh is survived by his parents Col. KKK Singh (Retd.), mother Sudha and sister Lalima. They can be reached at:


House #792, Sector 29. Noida. (UP) Tel: 0120 -2451859.

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How Brig Arvind Nilkanth Jatar got the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC)

February 9, 2008


brig-a-n-jatar-mvc.jpgBrig Arvind Nilkanth Jatar, son of Bhausaheb, and grandson of Shriram Jatar, was a heroic figure and one that the Jatar family is very proud of. He won the Maha Vir Chakra, India’s second highest military honour, for his bravery and the details are given on the Bharat Rakshak site.  This is how it all happened:

On 8th April 1948, 19 Infantry Brigade started its advance to Rajauri MR Square Sheet No 43K7. The Central India Horse less two squadrons was to support the 4 DOGRAs for the attack on Barwali Ridge Square 3704 Map Sheet No 43K8. Captain Jatar volunteered to go with the Company in the attack as it was felt that without an Armoured Corps officer, successful support would not be possible. Captain Jatar carried the 46 set on his back because the operator has had sprained ankle while crossing the river. When the right forward company of the DOGRAs was half way upto the objective they were held up by heavy enemy medium gunfire from the right ridge. Without any regard to his personal safety, this officer moved across the bullet and mortar swept river to the left forward Company of the DOGRAs. While crossing the river, his wireless set was hit by a burst of medium machine gun fire. This officer once again did a most courageous thing by standing up in full view of the enemy and indicating targets by means of a handkerchief tied to the wireless mast. It was solely due to his signalling that very heavy close support of the tank fire was given to the DOGRAs for five continuous hours, which made it possible for them to take the objective.

Throughout the battle, this officer conducted himself with superb courage and with no regard to his personal safety. It was mainly due to this officer’s initiative and coolness and shattering fire that tanks were able to give a most needed close support to the DOGRAs. On 10th April 1948, Captain Jatar was in the leading tank. At Nerian MR Square 3903 Map Sheet No. 43KB, the tanks had to leave the road and advance along the riverbed of Tawi. Captain Jatar crossed the river three times ahead of his tanks and on all these occasions he was under automatic fire. He was first to reach Chingas MR Square 3609 Map Sheet No. 43K8.

Once again, this officer displayed initiative, courage and devotion to duty. By walking in front of the tank, he saved the tanks from getting bogged in the river. On 12th April 1948 during the advance to Rajauri this officer again crossed and re-crossed the river Tawi 11 times, all the times ahead of the tank. After Rajauri was captured at 1845 hours this officer was ordered to go back about 2 ½ miles and pull out and recover two tanks, which had bogged in the river. With extreme boldness and noteworthy leadership this officer got the tanks out and brought them to harbour at 0130 hours. It was mainly due to this officer’s dauntless determined efforts that all ranks reached the objective. The enemy was surprised that he left behind hundreds of Indian Nationals, mostly women who had been collected in the village of Gordan Bala MR Square 3629 Map Sheet No 43K7 to be taken away and may be to be butchered. The enemy also left behind ammunition and arms. The hurry in which they left proves that they never expected the tanks to move across the treacherous bed of the river, which was full of boulders. The following extracts from the Special Situation Report No 18/D/GS (I) HQ JAK Force dated 15 April 1948, which relates the work of Captain Jatar, Quote “I consider advance was only made possible by excellent navigation by leading tank”

There is another site which mentions Brig Jatar’s heroism and that is this one. That site also talks about Brig Jatar’s cousin Madhukar Shantaram Jatar, who recieved the Veer Chakra. I will be writing about him soon.

(Contributed by Nita J. Kulkarni)

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