Shakti roopena sangasthita – My Hero, My Neeta : LT. NEETA DESWAL

Yes, the beginning was very very filmy. As you have seen in the movie Main Hu Na. The train enters and… Actually the entire story is very very filmy . But mind it, its as real as it can be – with a real hero.

I still remember our first meet. Her train was scheduled to reach Bangalore at 4am. She was coming alone with a broken hand. So Vikas and myself decided to receive her. Vikas had to jump over the gates as it was closed at that early morning. While waiting for the train we discussed the uncertainties of life.

And the train came. We had seen her in photos only with long hair. And then she embarked from the train. .. short hair, broken hand. As I shook her hand, it was rough, hard. I still remember her saying the first thing to me “Di, bring a kajal for me. They don’t allow it in academy. I look like a boy. Your hands are so soft and see mine”. I wish I could tell her that till today I die for that boyish look and rough hands. I so wish…

Before we realised, we were bonded for ever… in a relationship that is much stronger, deeper and closer to many blood relations. I found a sweet little sister in Neeta and enjoyed being her didi. She had broken her hand in a judo match in the academy and I was lucky that she came to the command hospital, Bangalore for the treatment. Guess what? All the brave ladies from armed forces reached her hospital cabin to cheer her you with flowers and cake. That included family of Colonel Jojan Thomas, Major Shafeeq Ghori, Major Akshay Girish and Captain Naveen Nagappa Sir himself with his family. Her induction to the DESH FAMILY was instant!

I used to cook fish for her and this crazy girl had requested me to bring wish from Bangalore to chennai during her POP! I couldn’t as I was staying with Varadarajan uncle’s who are shuddh shakahari. One afternoon my daughter Aparajita accompanied me to meet her. And it was love at first sight. Aparajita says Neeta aunty is her hero, her favourite. I never had any problem in convincing her for a short hair cut as Neeta aunty’s hair was short. Neeta loves her Appu as much as she loves her Arjun. They walked together, swing together, played together and chatted over phone. I am lucky as Aparajita found her role model whom she looks up to in the tender age of 5 years.

Despite severe pains and sessions of physiotherapy my tigress always told me “Didi, mujhe jaldi thik hona hai. I don’t want to loose any more terms “. The path she chose was not smooth. But she is a fighter, as brave as her husband Shaheed Major Amit Deswal, 21 Para. Few of her relatives created problems and threats and troubled her as much as possible. But she stood strong braving all those storms. She had to stay away from her loving son of 5 years for an year. She did that too. Here I must tell that their son Arjun is also a fighter, as brave as his parents. Its not easy to loose father at the tender age of 3 and stay away from his mother at the age of 4 years. But he did it. Being the source of strength for his mother. As the saying goes “behind army there is an army”. Not only she braved emotional obstacles, but she won the physical one too. Can you imagine my hero ran 30km at night, played judo.

Yes she is my hero, my champ. Aparajita’s “favourite soldier “. I had to witness her Passing out Parade and see my dear sister Neeta of become Lt. Neeta Deswal. Those stars shining on her shoulders are her wings and no one can stop her from flying high, high and high. Love you Neeta, Lt. Neeta Deswal, also wife of Major Amit Deswal.

 

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GALEY LAGO YAAR BY CAPTAIN NAVEEN NAGAPPA

Have you ever thought how it would be to meet a friend, philosopher, guide, brother, colleague whom you had lost more than 17 years back.

13 Bn the Jammu & Kashmir Rifles was tasked to capture point 4875 during Kargil war. It was decided that the attack would be launched on 04 July 1999. Before launching the attack Capt Vikram Batra during the customary hug had said to me “galle lagho yaar, na jaane koinse mulaakat akhare hogi” (give a tight hug, you never know which will be the last hug).
Little did I realize the consequence of those words then, as I was entering the danger zone, while Capt Vikram Batra was being given the well deserved break after his successful attack on point 5140.

On 04 July 1999, we launched the attack on point 4875 and I was leading the attack. There have been numerous occasions when I cheated death while the enemy bullets very narrowly missed hitting me. Till the mid-day of 06 July 1999, my company had gained considerable ground by eliminating many enemies. That is when Capt Vikram Batra joined me on point 4875.

By midnight of 06 July 1999, we had captured all the bunkers occupied by the enemy less the last one for which the only way to capture was frontal attack. On 07 July 1999, early in the morning enemy lobbed a grenade into my bunker, which badly damaged both my leg. The enemy was trying to launch counter attack.

That is the time Capt Vikram Batra came rushing to the bunker in which I was injured. He asked me to go down and get my legs treated. Since I had promised my company that I will hoist the tricolor on point 4875, I was reluctant to come down. But seeing the state of my leg and too much of blood loss with my life being in danger, Capt Vikram Batra ordered me to go down. I being his junior had to obey his order.

I was crawling down, unable to walk, both legs being severely injured. Capt Vikram Batra punched his fist to mine and took over the charge of attack on point 4875. Knowing the brave nature of Capt Vikram Batra and the only possible attack to capture point 4875 was frontal and suicidal, it was as if written all over the skies that something historical is about to happen.

On being told Capt Vikram Batra won point 4875 for his team, his paltan the defense forces and for the entire nation by making the supreme sacrifice, I always wished that I could stop the time when our fists met each others, till eternity so that he would be amongst us today and forever.

Friends, bidding adieu to a brother officer who is embarking on an attack, return from where is next to none, is the most difficult circumstances in which an officer would like to be in. I have been in that position, wished to hold the time back or at least give the last hug as he had said “galle lagho yaar, na jaane koinse mulaakat akhare hogi”

This mental block prevented me from going back to the unit, going back to the battalion, visiting Kargil war memorial, meeting the people with whom I had the privilege of fighting the enemy on point 4875 and most importantly I never mustered the courage to meet the parents and twin brother of Capt Vikram Batra for the past 17 years.

As fate would have it, we all gathered at one place for the Golden Jubilee Celebrations. The first time I came across Vishal Batra, twin brother of Capt Vikram Batra, in a flash I was reminded of my last meeting with Capt Vikram Batra when I crawled down point 4875 and he went ahead for the attack. Vishal not only is a look alike of Capt Vikram, but also has the same smile, same charm, same josh and same charisma. Rather I would say two physical entities but same soul.

For me it was nothing short of meeting Capt Vikram Batra again after 17 years. It seems that the thing I always wanted to do with Capt Vikram, the tight hug, the firm handshake, the meeting of fists and some emotional talk and to convey my gratitude was fulfilled.
But for you Vikram I wouldn’t have been here, I wouldn’t have meet my wife, I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of holding my dear daughter Savera in my arms, wouldn’t have lived on the earth for the past 17 years.

Thank you Vikram sir, just to let you know you are being missed and remembered.
“galle lagho yaar, na jaane koinse mulaakat akhare hogi”

Captain Vikram Batra.jpg

A FEW BRAVE MEN BY CAPTAIN NAVEEN NAGAPPA, 13 JAK RIF, SENA MEDAL

 

On this day 17 years back, as the entire nation slept, barring a few brave men enduring the extreme cold in the icy peaks of Kargil at point 4875, their lives changed forever. Some made the supreme sacrifice, some sacrificed part of their body and some would carry the memories of life and death. Anyways life changed forever for these few brave men.

The attack on point 4875 was commenced after last light on 04 July 1999 and for the next 60 hours the men fought one of the most intense battles during the Kargil war. The very fact that during the entire Kargil war four Param Vir Chakras were awarded out of which two Param Vir Chakras were awarded for the bravery shown by the men of 13 Battalion Jammu & Kashmir Rifles on point 4875 proves the intensity of the battle.

The men fought well entrenched enemy for more than 48 hours in the extreme weather conditions without food and water risking their lives, shedding their blood and even sacrificing their lives all but refusing to be evacuated as they had sworn to hoist the tricolor on point 4875. Indeed the tricolor was hoisted on point 4875 by a few brave men on 07 July 1999.

Never say, he lost his life, never say he lost his limb; for freedom was the gift they unselfishly gave, pain and death was the ultimate price they paid.

With a hand upon my heart, I feel the pain, I feel the pride, I feel the respect: my reverence is revealed.

In honor of all the soldiers who played their part for the success of point 4875 earning the unit the award of BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE.

PROUD THAT I WAS PART OF YOU ALL COMRADES

Capt (Retd) Naveen AN, SM

SEPOY GANGADHAR DALUI – URI MARTYR

When the nation is busy asking for proof from my men in uniform as they came back safely after the surgical strike, when the reel heroes of this nation were busy supporting Pakistani actors who never cared to condemn Uri attack, we got connected to one more family. One more family became a part of our life and we will be connected for ever.

My Durga puja started last Thursday with my visit to the family of Sepoy Gangadhar Dalui, Uri martyr. Ma durga who protected all the gods visits her mother during this time of the year. And he left his mother, his home, to protect his another mother, his dear motherland and us. Ma durga will return every year. But he will never return as he now rests on the lotus feet of Ma Durga.

As I was going to his village, a thought came that he also came back home for the last time boxed in a coffin, draped in tri colour through the same road. He was sleeping peacefully. No pain, no loss was bothering him anymore. He was sleeping peacefully that 18th September night also when the traitors,terrorists attacked them. They were killed. From Friday Durga puja started. As I was nearing his village,every young boy I saw in new cloth i remembered him. I wished he was Gangadhar. I so wish he was alive among us , celebrating Durga puja with his family. Those who are not bothered about the Uri martyrs must have not lost any dear ones in their life. On my way to his home a bunch of young rough men stopped the car to collect money for Durga puja. As soon as i took his name, they spared me with huge respect. Who says that my state don’t know how to show respect to her martyrs ? This is the glory of a shaheed

I started my journey with a Google map in my hand. I just knew the name of the village. As I reached the village, the villagers guided me to their hero’s home. As I knocked the door, the mother of Sepoy Gangadhar Dalui asked me to come inside.

We have never talked before. She has not seen or known me before. As I went inside and touched her feet, she broke down into tears.A mother’s pain has no words to express. It can only be felt. It seems that her life left along with her son.

Despite hailing from a very poor family and an interior village, she inspired and worked hard to send his son to Indian Army. And today, what pains her most is that she was at home in her safe and comfort zone. Her 22 years old son was also sleeping peacefully. Enemies killed his son in sleep. She wished if the enemies had the guts to attack from the front. She has full faith on the bravery of her son.

After the passing out parade of Sepoy Gangadhar Dalui, he became a vegetarian. According to him, he took an oath to protect life. So he stopped taking non-veg food.

22 years is a very tender age. He had a lot of dreams and duties that remain unfulfilled. He wanted to repair his house, give his mother all the comforts in the world. Life is so uncertain.

Through the journey of visiting the families of martyrs, we have realized that it is far more tough to be a family of a martyr than to be a martyr. It needs far more bravery and strength to deal with the untimely loss that comes without any preparation. May the family of our young brave heart Sepoy Gangadhar Dalui get all the strength to deal with the irreparable loss. Jai Hind.

#UriAttack #SepoyGangadharDalui

CAPTAIN R SUBRAMANIAN, KIRTI CHAKRA (POSTHUMOUSLY)

Last evening, there was a story telling session….. I came to know about some of our warriors over phone from Vikas…….I thought to share those stories of supreme braveries with you all. While searching for details about one of them I found a community in Orkut and achieved little in the mission to get some details about him – Capt R Subramanian, 1PARA, SF. 
Capt Subbu was born on 12th Aug 1976 to Mr. and Mrs. S. Ramachandran – a family from Kerala, settled in Mumbai. The young boy scored 94% and 96% in the Xth and XIIth standard examination and got selected in the National Defense Academy (NDA), Pune for the 90th course at NDA (July 1993). He passed out from NDA in 1996 and completed the training at IMA, Dehra Dun in 1997. The daring young man was then attached with the 1 Para, SF since 1997.

During the Kargil war, the young Lt was busy at Drass Sector, Mushkoh valley till end of August 1999 and led several tough operations there. He was promoted as Captain in March 2000.

When he went back to his troop after a leave in June 2000, he found his men preparing for an assault against the militants in the Haphruda forest of Kupwara. Capt Subbu volunteered the operation. During the operation they managed to kill 5 militants among the eight and took a break at the night.

In the next morning they went to the site of operation and while removing the bodies of the militants, suddenly one the them fired from the closest range on Capt Subbu. Instantaneously, he also fired on the militant and both of them killed each other. The point blank range firing made impossible to identify the face of the brave heart and Indian Army covered the face with a thick layer of sandalwood before the hero reached his home wrapped in tricolor.

On 19th of June, 2000 the nation lost one of her most talented, efficient and intelligent officers in the forest of Kupwara and he was awarded with Kirti Chakra on the republic day of 2001. The warrior could probably be descried the best in his own words,

“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!!!”
Jai Hind……

5 COMPANIONS OF CAPTAIN SAURABH KALIA

They never die for fame or name; neither do they die for money, awards or pension. They give their life and their family for the sake of our safety comfort and happiness. But it’s our responsibility to know about our fallen heroes as we owe our life and happiness to them. Today’s post is about such 5 unsung war heroes who along with Captain Saurabh Kalia of the Indian Army laid down his life during the Kargil War while being held as a prisoner of war by the Pakistani security forces.

On May 15, 1999 Saurabh Kalia along with five soldiers – Sepoys Arjun Ram, Banwari Lal Bagaria, Bhikha Ram Moondh, Moola Ram Bidiyasar and Naresh Singh Sinsinwar of the 4 Jat Regiment had gone for a routine patrol of the Bajrang Post in the Kaksar sector in the rugged, treeless Ladakh mountains. After a continuous cross fire with Pakistan armed forces from across the LoC, he and his troops ran out of ammunition. They were finally encircled by a platoon of Pakistan rangers and captured alive before any Indian reinforcement could reach for their help. No trace of this entire patrol was left meanwhile Radio Skardu of Pakistan announced that Captain Saurabh Kalia had been captured by the Pakistani troops. It was after this that India discovered hundreds of guerrillas had established fortified positions on the peaks of the hills deep inside the Indian side of the Line of control, with sophisticated equipment and supply lines back to Pakistan-controlled Kashmir

Captain Kalia and his men were in captivity for over twenty-two (May 15, 1999 – June 7, 1999) days and subjected to torture as evident from their bodies handed over by Pakistan Army on June 9, 1999. The postmortem revealed that the Pakistan army had tortured their prisoners by burning their bodies with cigarettes, piercing ear-drums with hot rods, puncturing eyes before removing them, breaking most of the teeth and bones, fractures of the skull, cutting the lips, chipping of nose, chopping off limbs and private organs of these soldiers besides inflicting all sorts of physical and mental tortures and finally shooting them dead, as evidenced by the bullet wound to the temple. The postmortem report also confirmed that injuries were inflicted ante-mortem (before death)

** Sepoy Moola Ram Bidiyasar belonged to village Kathoti in Jayal tehsil of Nagaur district in Rajasthan. He was in Unit-04 Jat Regiment of Indian Army. His father’s name is Raghunat Ram and mother’s name is Rameshwari. His mother inspired him to join Indian Army. His entire village is very proud of his sacrifice.

** Sepoy Arjun Ram Baswana of 4 Jat Regiment was born on 5th October 1976 in the village Budhi in Nagaur tehsil of Nagaur district in Rajasthan. His father’s name is Chaudhari Chokha Ram Baswana and his mother’s name is Bhanwari Devi. He was very good in sports like Kabaddi and hockey. He has even played in state level and got many awards. Because of his well built body, he had taken part in wrestling also.

** Sepoy Banwari Lal Bagaria belonged to village Sigdola Chhota in Laxmangarh tehsil of Sikar district in Rajasthan. He was survived by his wife Smt. Santosh Devi.

** Sepoy Bhikha Ram Moondh was born in 16th January 1977 in the village Patasar in Pachpadra tehsil of Barmer district in Rajasthan. His father’s name is Chenaram Choudhry and mother’s name is Raai Devi. He joined the Jat Regiment of Indian Army in 26th April 1995. He got married to Bhanwri Devi in the year 1994.

**Sepoy Naresh Singh Sinsinwar belonged to village Chhoti Ballabh in Iglas tehsil of Aligarh district in Uttar Pradesh. He was survived by his wife Smt. Kalpana Devi.

15th Msy

CAPTAIN P V VIKRAM

Kargil hero Captain PV VIKRAM was born to Lt Col PKPV Panicker and Kalyani Panicker at MANARI HOUSE, PANNIYANKARA, Kallai P.O.KOZHIKODE on 24th OCT 1973. He joined 1st Std in KV No.1, Kozhikode in 1979.He was shifted to KV Talbahat in UP due to his father’s transfer to that station from field area. He continued his studies in KV No.1 Sri Nagar[J&K] in 7th&8th and 9 &10 in KV Aurangabad Maharastra. He again joined KV No.1 Kozhikode in the 11th Std. He was shifted to KV Faridkot Punjab from where completed 12th Std. He joined NSS College, Ottapalam, Kerala and graduated in B Sc Computer Science in the year 1994.He was an active member of NCC and passed `C’ Certificate of NCC. He appeared for CDSE and qualified to Join in Indian Military Academy, DEHRADUN .

He passed out as a Commissioned Officer on 8th Jun 1996, in the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Regiment of ARTILLERY in 141 Field Regiment. He served in Seachian Glacier and then in KARGIL[J&K].He took part in the Indo Pak Military operations in OP-VIJAY in KARGIL.He rendered supreme sacrifice on 2nd Jun 1999 in KARGIL while he was leading in an assault operation with Infantry against Pakistani piquet.

Captain PV Vikram
CAPTAIN P V VIKRAM