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Archive for the ‘Heroes’ Category

Courtesy Indian Express and Wikipedia

Swatee Kher : Mumbai, Sun Nov 30 2008, 02:34 hrs

NSG commando Rajveer Singh owes his life to Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who died in the Mumbai terror attack. Part of the NSG team sent to Mumbai on November 27 to conduct rescue operations and tackle the terrorist attack, Singh, 33, was injured in the firing on the fourth floor of the hotel. He is now recuperating from two bullet injuries on his feet and arm.

Fourteen NSG commandos entered Taj Mahal Hotel after receiving information that three terrorists were holed up in the luxury hotel. Working in small teams, they entered the through the roof. Having covered the sixth and fifth floors, they were heading towards the fourth floor when they received information that the three suspected terrorists, dressed in red, blue and green T-shirts, were in room number 471.

“We used the master key to open the door and asked if there were people inside. We asked them to surrender, but when the door was opened, there was a man dressed in red who stared at me and refused to co-operate,” recalled Singh. Describing the man as a 30-35-year-old wearing a red shirt with white lining, Singh said he looked around and fumbled for a firearm. Before there could be any communication, another person dressed in a blue shirt came from the bedroom and fired.

“Immediately, I fired as well and ducked. Sandeep was covering me as the firing continued. The terrorists were overpowered. Sandeep, however, was killed in the firing,” said Singh. Another commando, Sunil—who was standing at the opposite end of the corridor—was injured as gunfire from room number 471, whose door was open, hit him on the shoulder. He is stable now.

The rest of the team then moved to room number 425 on hearing activity there. “As we fixed a cracker on the door to explode it, I suffered burn injuries and lost consciousness,” Singh remembered.

Cosmicwarrior’s note:

I have a special fondness for NSG cadres. My company commander Brig Naicker ( signals) and my YO instructor Late Major Biman Saha were close friends and advisers. I have admired their ethos, their discipline and their guts. I have heard first hand from both about Operation Black Thunder II in Punjab where they succeeded and overwhelmed the terrorists, for which Major( at that time)  Naicker won the Presidents Police medal (The highest award for gallantry from the Home Ministry as the NSG comes under the Home Ministry)

Bravo NSG !!

Bravo Sandeep !  May his soul RIP !

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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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subbu2

“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
PARA/22 SPECIAL FORCES

udai1

Biography:

  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.

Citations:

SENA MEDAL 

SENA MEDAL (Gallantry)
IC-57219 Capt. Udai Singh
PARA/22 SPECIAL FORCES 

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)


SHAURYA CHAKRASHAURYA CHAKRA
IC-57219 Capt. Udai Singh, SM
PARA/22 SPECIAL FORCES (Posthumous)

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

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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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I found this excerpt about this young brave, while searching for an article. Isnt that sad that nothing much has been published about him anywhere ?

Read on for this brave soldiers sacrifice

On 19 July 1988, a convoy of a two vehicles of the 7th Battalion of the Assam Regiment was making its way from Madurengkenikulam to Mangani to collect dry rations. In charge of the detail was a young subaltern, 2nd Lt. Rajeev Sandhu, who was barely six months out of the IMA. 2nd Lt. Sandhu was traveling in the Mahindra Jeep, leading the way to the 1 Ton Nissan truck which was trailing 50 meters behind the jeep. Driving the jeep was Sepoy NKKS Rajkumar, 2nd Lt. Sandhu was in the next seat. Sitting in the rear was L/Nk Nandeshwar Das and Sepoy Lalbuanga. As the vehicles reached a track junction, a rocket fired from the undergrowth hit the jeep, lifting it into the air and overturning it to the side. Immediately a fusillade of fire from the AK-47s straddled the overturned Jeep. When the volley of fire ended, and silence descended on the ambush site, the LTTE militants knew that this was one convoy that never made it to the Army base. They came out of their ambush positions to pick up the weapons and equipment of the fallen soldiers.

 Second Lieutenant Rajeev Sandhu earned the Assam Regiment its first Maha Vir Chakra during the Operations in 1988.
But one Indian Soldier still had his wits around with him. Out of the view of the militants, 2nd Lt. Sandhu, was dragging himself with his 9mm SMC Carbine out of the wreck. Both his legs were smashed when the rocket hit the jeep, the subsequent volley of fire had wounded him and he was bleeding profusely. He checked the other occupants of the jeep. None of them were conscious. In fact the initial blast of the rocket was borne by 2nd Lt. Sandhu. The machine gun fire that followed killed both Lance Naik Das and Sep Lalbuanga in the rear. Driver Rajkumar was wounded and unconscious. Sandhu tumbled out of the Jeep and crawled to a fire position. As one of the LTTE militants by the name of Kumaran approached the Jeep. Despite his legs being totally smashed and his body ridden with bullets, 2nd Lt. Sandhu lifted his carbine with blood soaked hands and sprayed Kumaran with bullets, killing him instantly.
However, the bleeding had already taken its toll. 2nd Lt. Sandhu succumbed to his wounds and injuries.

A grateful nation recognised his bravery with the award of a Maha Vir Chakra in 1990. 2nd Lt. Sandhu was just 22 years old when he died in Sri Lanka. Incidents like these were what kept the LTTE from underestimating the fighting prowess of the Army. They knew that they could not compare the fighting calibre of the Indian Soldier to that of the Sri Lankan Army. The Indian Soldier was coming from a background of operational exposure in areas like the Jungles of North east and the Mountains of the North. Death and Hardship were not a stranger to him, thus He was more ready and more experienced in fighting back to the hit and run tactics of the LTTE.

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col-vasanth.jpg
Here is a simple and compassionalte soldier, who was a leader and a true warrior. A man who did not hide behind bluster and cocky rhetoric, but led by example and died fighting for what he beleived in. Rare that a CO of the Army puts himself in harms way these days.  That itself speaks volumes on this man’s character.

These are sad times indeed.

A silent salute to this brave son of the soil.

A Tribute to Col Vasanth

By Tulasi Srinivas- Narasimhan

The news item by Reuters on July 31 profoundly shocked me: “Six people, including a top Indian Army officer, was killed in the gun battle between troops and militants trying to sneak into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani side,” an Army spokesman said.
The Army spokesman narrated how Colonel Vasanth Venugopal, commanding officer of 9 Maratha Light Infantry, along with reinforcements, rushed to the site to personally supervise the operation. Under his determined and resolute leadership, troops surrounded terrorists in a difficult and thickly-wooded forested area. Heavy fighting ensued in which Col Vasanth personally flushed out militants.
Displaying cool courage and operational acumen, Col Vasanth poised himself and his party to block the escape routes of entrapped militants. He died in the hospital of his wounds.
Col Vasanth was, in life, one of a very rare breed — a true idealist and a man of peace — who was proud to be an officer of the Indian Army. The obvious paradox did not seem to trouble him.
I first met Vasanth in 1993, when I married into his family. He was then a young officer, away often on the frontline and in military training, much to the dismay and worry of his young bride Subhashini.
Vasanth was no armchair idealist, no sit back scholar. He had read widely about military history and strategy and would take great care to analyse the inscrutable choices that armies had made in history. When he was on a holiday in Bangalore, he would attempt to solve the crossword puzzle everyday, help his daughter polish her shoes for school, read newspapers, and surf the web, thirsting to learn more and more.
His love for the Army and the honour it signified, was brought home to me in many ways. In 2003, the whole family, myself included, visited him in Belgaum.
Then a Major, when he came out of his room early in the morning dressed in his army uniform, shoes polished, medals blazing, he suddenly looked like a different man; confident, assured and in charge.
We teased him and he said in all seriousness; “It is the uniform of the Indian Army. When I put it on, it is a responsibility. The boys see me and expect me to behave as an officer”.
And now he is gone — shot to death by religious insurgents, who kill for an ideology. The cost of his fall will be known only by his wife, his parents and his daughters.
I have no doubt that Col Vasanth himself would probably have asked for no more fitting fall than with his men, defending his nation, but what do we make of such an end? What can we say, tongue tied with grief?

Disclaimer: This article is reproduced in an effort to preserve such writings for future generations and self education. No copyright laws are being violated or intended by referring it in this blog.

Also read Prem Panickers article here in Rediff (http://specials.rediff.com/news/2008/jan/24resl1.htm). Prem Thank you! You have done a great service to us soldiers by writing this article.

My heartfelt condolences to Mrs Subhashini Vasant and her 2 lovely children. I salute your courage and your bravery during these hard times.

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