On 25th of August 2018, Nehal and his platoon were on a routine patrol, when an IED blast caused him grievous injuries. He was immediately evacuated to Srinagar, but sadly he couldn’t be saved.
According to the official a landmine blast took place near Balbir Post in Keran sector in the early morning today when army men were conducting routine patrol. In the blast, Rifleman Nehal Gurung sustained critical injuries and was evacuated to army hospital in Srinagar, where he succumbed to injuries.
Honourable President of India Ram Nath Kovind presents Shaurya Chakra to Lance Naik Deepak Ale, 1st Battalion, 3rd Gorkha Rifles. He displayed courage, selfless devotion and gallantry beyond the call of duty in killing four militants in Kupwara, Jammu & Kashmir.
Watch the Video here.
Writes: Mr Harpreet
This day 2 years ago: Capt MK Pandey's statue in Lucknow - defaced by his fellow Lucknowites, restored by Gorkhas from his Regiment.
The preferred 'tool' of the Gorkhas? Khukri! These guys are sheer magicians with the Khukri. Can just as easily chop off an enemy's head as they can use the same side arm to delicately remove the offending posters that deface their hero's monument.
Hats off to these simple people from the hills of Nepal / Darjeeling / Sikkim who can put anyone to shame with their single-minded dedication to whatever task they are entrusted with and a cheerful nature that can win over even the most evil of their enemy.
Then there are those that lead them into battle. Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey, PVC (P) was a Lucknowite, yet his immortal last words as he fell on the icy slopes of Khalubar were not in his mother tongue but in that of his men.
'Na Chhornu' (Don't spare them) was what he said in 'Gorkhali' as he fell after receiving one final, fatal burst. Even in death, he paved the way for his boys when the grenade in his hand found its mark and took out the Pakis that had fired the last salvo at him.
The enraged Gorkhas of 1/11 GR ensured that their fierce leader's last command was executed with ruthless efficiency. Not a single Paki was taken a prisoner that night at Khalubar. When dawn broke, the battlefield was littered with dead Pakis of the Northern Light Infantry.
A foothold on Khalubar Ridge had been established by the 'Kirantis' of Manoj Kumar Pandey. Restoring our lands till the LoC was but a small formality hereafter.
A huge price had been paid, but willingly. But young Manoj and his 'boys', some of them nearly 2 decades elder to him, knew no other way.
It is these bonds, forged in blood and sacrifice, that ensure that his Gorkhas assume ownership of a memorial in his name, even if in a civilian part of his hometown, and without any second thoughts, let their Khukries flash again to remove the defacement inflicted.
Dehra Dun or the Doon valley, as it is popularly known, has several interesting landmarks of the eventful Anglo-Gorkha Battle(known as the battle of Nalapani or Khalanga) of 1814-15.The Khalanga Memorial was built by the British on the banks of the Rispana river,which flows below the Khalanga Hill, to commemorate their brave soldiers as well as the Gorkha gallants whom they defeated.The fort was made of wood, red sand and stones. The new memorial there commemorates the inspiring and indomitable courage of Balbhadra and his men.
The Khalanga Memorial, a nationally protected monument looked after by the Archaeological Survey of India, is located on the road which takes tourists to the Sulphur Springs of Sahastradhara. It was in this Khalanga-Nalapani area of the valley that a fierce battle between the British and the Gorkhas was fought as both of them were eager to expand their territories.
|BATTLE OF NALAPANI|
On October 31, 1814 the third infantry division under Major General, Sir Robert Rollo Gillespie, with a large force, attacked the Khalanga –Nalapani fort defended by Balbhadra Singh Thapa and his soldiers barely 600 in number.The gallant General,who is said to have been among the bravest soldiers of the British army, fell to the bullets of the defenders.
Colonel Mawby succeeded to the command and the attack was resumed on November 25 and the fort was shelled on November 27.The British also cut off the water supply to the fort. All this forced Balbhadra Singh to decide that the fort could no longer be held. On November30, he, along with 70 of his men, evacuated Khalanga. They opened the gate, came out of the fort and ran towards a stream nearby. The British troop was surprised to see this. After they had quenched their thirst, the brave Balbhadra said to the Britishers: "Go and occupy the fort. We have deserted it". When the British troops entered the fort they found nothing but corpses, some dying men and children crying out “Pani,Pani” in their thirst. The Nepalese troops went away, but did not surrender before the British troops.
A Mela is held in the last week of November every year in the area to commemorate the sacrifice made by the Gorkhas during the battle. Balbhadra Singh Thapa was killed by Afghan troops when he was later in the army of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.
The foundation of the fort, which was razed to the ground by the British, can be seen under the thick carpet of grass on the hill and also some huge black boulders which were once part of the fort’s walls. The incredible silence tells the story of the exceptional courage of the Gorkha men ,women and children who refused to bow down before the massive British army.
Downhill, the original memorial of the war which was built by the British is now an enclosed space with some signages put up by the ASI. There are twin obelisks which stand there - one is in memory of Major General Gillispie and his officers and men , and the other, probably the only one of its kind in the world, was dedicated by the British to the memory of the very men they defeated- Balbhadra and his Gorkhas.
People the world over would also like to know more about the brave Gorkhas ,who with their Khukris and their battle cry of “Ayo Gorkhali”, faced the huge British force at Khalanga with exceptional valour. Developing a Gorkha Tourist Circuit in the Doon valley would indeed be a great idea to boost historical and cultural tourism.
“Better to die than to be a coward" is the motto of the world famous Gorkha army, whose might and valour has transcended boundaries, but what do we really know about the gorkhas, lets try to find out.
Historically the term ‘Gorkha and Gorkhali” is derived from the hill town and district of Gorkha from where the “Kingdom of Gorkhasthan” expanded. The Gurkhas introduction to the British Army begins in 1814 during the Anglo-Nepalese war.Though the British were militarily successful, attempts to annex Nepal failed and the hostilities ended with the signing of the Sugauli Treaty. The British were so impressed with the Gurkhas fighting abilities, their loyalty and ferocity that they later encouraged them to volunteer. Gurkha troops then fought for the East India Company in its wars in the subcontinent. The Gorkhas became an integral part of pre-independence British army. From then on, Gorkhas have been a part of Afghan Wars, Indian Rebellion of 1857, both world wars (More than 200,000 fought in both world wars, 43,000 of which lost their lives) and other United Nations peace keeping missions in Lebanon and Sierra Leone too.
Currently, the Indian army is indebted to the service of 40,000 brave Gorkha soldiers in 42 different battalions of 7 regiments. One of the most famous platoon of Gorkhas, 1/11 Gorkha Rifles is one of the most decorated with 11 vir Chakras, 2 Maha Vir Chakras, 3 Ashok Chakras and 1 Param Vir Chakra. The stories of its Param Vir Chakra winner Lt. Manoj Kumar Pandey are a case study in their glorious history of courageous war footings.
Another famous battalion of Gorkhas is the third battalion of the 4 Gorkha Rifles which was instrumental in Operation Meghdoot in Siachen. The 8 Gorkha Rifles are also have a glorious past as they produced one of the only two Field Marshals for India – Sam Manekshaw. India’s current chief of army staff, General Dalbir Singh Suhag, is also from the Gorkha Regiment which is a testament of the most incredible services of Gorkhas.
|The Gorkha Brigade|
i) Gorkhas has been instrumental in all Indian victories in every battle since 1948 till now.The character played by Ajay Devgan in the film LOC Kargil (Capt. Manoj Kumar Pandey, PVC awardee) was a gorkhali of 1/11 regiment.
ii) Officers in the Gorkha Regiments of the Indian Army have to learn the Gorkhali language to be able to interact with their men in their native tongue.
iii) Recently a battalion comprising entirely of Indian Gorkhas was set up, this is the 1st time a new gorkha battalion have come up in 50 years. The Sixth Battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles (6/1GR), christened "Kanchi Paltan" has been raised at Sabathu in the Shivalik foothills near Shimla, that houses the 14 Gorkha Training Centre.
iv) “If a man says he‘s not afraid of dying, he’s either lying or he’s a Gorkha.”This quote by Sam Manekshaw, Indian Army’s first Field Marshal, aptly describes what it means to be a Gorkha.
v) The queen has two personal Gorkha officers who directly attend official state and key events with the queen. They’ve been present in all state affairs since the Gorkha’s introduction during queen Victoria’s reign.
vi) Dalbeer Singh Suhag the current chief of army staff is also from the Gorkha regiment, he was comissoned in 4/5GR in 1974, and according to the traditions of the 5th GR wears his head gear with the strap below the lower lip. Other regiments wear chin straps below the jaw.
An interesting account need to be told here about the chin strip---
When the Gorkhas joined the British army they proved to be slight primitive in war, they always screamed and then charged at the enemies, which was harmful for launching surprise attacks. So the commander of a gorkha regiment asked his men to wear the chin strips under the lips, So that they would be reminded not to scream when they get into attack mode. The 5th Gorkha Rifles still maintains it.
The Gurkha’s traditional weapon and all-around utility tool, is the powerful Khukri, an inwardly bent cross between a machete and a knife, measuring 18 inches and able to split a man’s head down the middle midway to the chest in one blow. Ghastly indeed. According to tradition, once drawn, the kukri demands blood, if not the enemy’s, then the owner’s will suffice. The regimental insignia of the gorkha regiment also consists of paired crossed Khukri.
Gorkha Regiments are one of the most decorated regiments of Indian Army.They are considered finest soldiers worldwide..
Three Gorkhas has been awarded the highest military decoration "Param Veer Chakra" Which are most by any regiment of Indian army.In addition to this, various Gorkha Regiments have been awarded 33 Maha Vir Chakras, and 84 Vir Chakras besides 26 victoria cross. the British military’s highest distinction for valor,while 2,700 were awarded other medals in World War II alone. More recently, a Gurkha sergeant was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for single-handedly fighting off a Taliban attack to his base in Afghanistan.
More than 28,000 Nepalese from the hills strive to become a Gurkha every year to fill just 200 places. The selection process is said to be the toughest in the world and the competition is stiff. The ranks have always been dominated by four ethnic groups: the Gurungs and Magars from central Nepal; and the Rais and Limbus from the east, who live in impoverished hill villages.
As part of their training, recruits are expected to pass several educational, language and fitness tests, among them running a 3-mile uphill course carrying 70 lbs. on their backs and doing 70 sit-ups in 2 minutes. After meeting the initial age, height, weight and schooling requirements, recruits go on to the second stage for English language training, maths, fitness and an initiative test. The third stage includes: 3-month language training, military skills, Western culture and customs, general weapons training and, of course, several fitness tests.
Stories of the Gurkhas bravery and skill abound have been well documented, such is the reputation of these hardy nepali hillsmen that stories of enemy fleeing their position upon hearing rumours of their advances abound.
During the Gallipoli campaign in 1915, in the thick of World War I, the Gurkhas gained immortal fame by capturing a heavily-guarded Turkish-held position with relatively few casualties. On the Western front, a Gurkha battalion fought until the last minute and to the last man at the Battle of Loos.
Recently in India, a retired Gurkha officer travelling on a train in India found himself in the midst of a massive robbery by a band of 40 bandits. When they tried to rape a young girl, the retired Gurkha unsheathed his kukri, killed 3 bandits, injured another 8 and sent the rest fleeing.
In Afghanistan, A Gurkha on a mission to kill a “high-value target” needed proof of his mission’s success in the form of DNA, swiftly decapitated the target and brought his head in as proof instead.
Diprasad Pun a sergenant of the Royal Gorkha Rifles single handedly defeated 30Talibans who were storming the complex, he fired 400 rounds of Ammunition, used 17 hand grenadews and a Claymore mine before battering the last fighter with the tripod of his machine gun.
Cardozo's was a major of the the 5th gorkha rifles, his remarkable military career saw him losing a leg when he stepped on a landmine in the 1971 war. He cut off his mangled leg with his own khukri and told his Gurkha man: "Now go and bury it." Determined not to let the disability affect his career as a soldier, he later became the first disabled officer in the Indian Army to command an infantry brigade. The regiment which then had 750 personels then made 7326 Pakistanis surrender.
These brave soldiers are an asset to all the nations they serve, In India every year there is a tussle in the IMA as the top cadets try to get into this regiment of the braves. Courage on war front and innumerable gallantry awards notwithstanding, the aura of Gorkhas on the field demands immense respect and makes the enemy tremble with fear.
At the time, Cardozo was a major in a 5 Gorkha Rifles battalion, comprising about 750 soldiers, that was tasked with capturing Atgram near Sylhet.
It was short of artillery and food supplies, but ultimately managed the surrender of two Pakistan Army brigades, including three brigadiers, a colonel, 107 officers, 219 JCOs and 7,000 troops in one of the most incredible successes of the war.
Speaking at a book release event here, he said: “Today I would like to use this platform to pay tributes to the BBC. They were the only reliable broadcasting station at that time, giving news as it happened. The Indian Army had nothing to hide, so the British war correspondents were going along with our troops.
|How 750 Indian Gorkha Soldiers made 7326 Pakistani Soldiers surrender in 1971 WAR|
“They were reporting minute-to-minute the progress of the battle. But they made a mistake. They announced that a ‘brigade’ of Gurkhas had landed at Sylhet. We heard it, as well as the Pakistanis. So we decided to pretend that we were a brigade.”
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Taking advantage of the misinformation, Cardozo’s battalion built on small victories and created a situation where the Pakistani troops offered to surrender on December 15, 1971. Until it happened, Cardozo and others believed a Pakistani brigade was in the area, but they were surprised to discover the final number was more than twice the strength of a brigade.
One of the most decorated officers of the Indian Army, Cardozo recalled the vital operation to capture Sylhet during a packed invitation-only event to celebrate the life of Lt Gen FN Bilimoria, former head of the central command and father of Karan Bilimoria, a member of the House of Lords.
Cardozo, a contemporary of Lt Gen Bilimoria, penned the book ”Lieutenant General Bilimoria: His Life and Times”, which was recently presented to Indian Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh in New Delhi.
The book release event here was attended by leading lights of the British Army, including former chief of general staff, Field Marshal John Chapple, and several Bangladesh citizens, who became emotional on meeting the man who played a defining role in their country’s formation.
One Bangladeshi member of the audience thanked Cardozo for the "great job you have done for us". Cardozo is expected to receive an enthusiastic reception at the Bangladesh high commission here on Tuesday.
Answering questions, Cardozo said calmly but firmly: “I do not like to use this platform to denigrate Pakistan. I think everybody knows what they are up to, what they have been up to and what they continue to do. I don’t have to elaborate.
“But India believes in peace, people, progress, development, not in war. But if war is forced upon us, as it was in 1965, in 1971 and in Kargil, we were the victors in every war,” he added to much applause.
Retired British Army officers recalled their interaction with Lt Gen Bilimoria, who was the Indian Army’s liaison officer in the School of Infantry in Warminster in the 1970s. A popular soldier, he saw action in the 1971 war and held several key posts, including GOC of the central command. Karan Bilimoria recalled the values passed on to him by his father, who died at the age of 72 in 2005.
Cardozo's remarkable military career saw him losing a leg when he stepped on a landmine in the 1971 war. He cut off his mangled leg with his own khukri and told his Gurkha batman: "Now go and bury it."
Determined not to let the disability affect his career as a soldier, he later became the first disabled officer in the Indian Army to command an infantry brigade. He has penned books on war heroes and the sinking of INS Khukri in the 1971 war.
By: Hindustan Times