Salutations to our Paramveers

The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is India’s highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It may be awarded posthumously. Till date India has fought 4 wars where 21 soldiers got this medal of which 14 are posthumous.

On this Republic Day, let us remember some of the Paramveers who fought for our Nation.

Captain Vikram Batra

vikram batra

Captain Vikram Batra, 13 JAK Rifles, and his Delta Company was given the task of recapturing Point 5140.  He and his men ascended the sheer rock-cliff and as the group neared the top, the enemy opened machine gun fire on them, pinning them on to the face of the bare rocky cliff. Captain Batra along with five of his men climbed on regardless and after reaching the top, hurled two grenades at the machine gun post. He engaged three enemy soldiers in close combat and killed them. Though he was seriously injured during this combat, he insisted on regrouping his men to continue with the given task at hand.

The capture of Point 5140 set in motion a string of successes like Point 5100, Point 4700, Junction Peak and Three Pimples. Captain Batra led his men to even more glorious victories with the recapture of Point 4750 and Point 4875. He was just twenty-four year old when he laid down his life.  He was clearing the enemy positions on peak 4875. He was killed, when he tried to rescue an injured officer during an enemy counterattack against Point 4875 in the early morning hours of July 7, 1999. His last words were, “Jai Mata Di.” For his sustained display of bravery and leadership of the highest order in the face of the enemy, Captain Vikram Batra was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, posthumously. His father, Mr. G.L. Batra, received the award from the President of India, on behalf of his brave son.

 Lance Naik Albert Ekka

lance naik ekka

Lance Naik Albert Ekka was part of the left forward company of 14 Guards during their attack on the enemy defence at Ganga Sagar on the Eastern Front. This was a well-fortified place, held in strength.

The assaulting troops were subjected to intense shelling and heavy small arms fire, but they charged on to the aim and were locked in bitter hand to hand combat.

He noticed an enemy’s light machine gun inflicting heavy casualties on his company. So, he charged the enemy bunker with undaunted courage.  He then noticed an enemy machine gun shooting from a building.  Despite his serious injury and the heavy volume of enemy fire, he crawled forward till he reached the building and lobbed a grenade through the loop-hole of the bunker killing one enemy and injuring the other.  The medium machine gun however, continued to fire.  With determination, he scaled the sidewall and entering the bunker, bayoneted the enemy who was still firing.  He silenced the machine gun saving further casualties to his company and ensured the success of the attack.  In this process, however, he received serious injuries and succumbed to them.  During this action, this gallant non-commissioned officer repeatedly displayed outstanding determination, endurance  and fighting spirit in the face of the enemy.

His continued acts of gallantry and supreme sacrifice were beyond the call of duty and in the best traditions of the service.  He was awarded Param Vir Chakra, posthumously, for displaying the conspicuous bravery and determination.

 Major Dhan Singh Thapa

major d thapa

He was in command for a forward post in Ladakh.  On October 20, 1962, the Chinese attacked the post.  After being subjected to intense artillery and mortar bombardment, the greatly outnumbered post, under the gallant command of this officer repulsed the attack inflicting heavy casualties  on the aggressors.  They attached  again in greater numbers after heavy shelling by artillery and mortar fire.  Under the leadership of Major Dhansingh Thapa his men repulsed the attack but suffered heavy losses due to rain.  When the Chinese attacked for the third time, they had tanks to support their infantry.  The post had already suffered much causality and was finally over run by overwhelming numbers of the Chinese attackers.  Major Dhansingh Thapa got out of his trench and killed several of the enemy hand to hand fighting, until he was outnumbered by Chinese soldiers and eventually killed.

For his gallantry act, Major Dhan Singh Thapa was honoured with the highest wartime gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra.

 Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla

captain mulla

Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla, born on 15 May 1926, in Uttar Pradesh was commissioned in the Indian Navy on 01 May 1948. During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, Captain M.N. Mulla was commanding a task force of two ships which formed part of the Western Fleet. The task force was assigned the task of hunting & destroying enemy submarines in the North Arabian Sea. On 09 December 1971, INS Khukri of the task force was hit by torpedoes fired by an enemy submarine, about 64 km off Diu. The time was 2050 hours and the ship could not be saved. Captain Mulla decided to abandon the ship. Unmindful of his personal safety, Captain Mulla supervised the arrangements for the rescue of his ship’s company in a very cool, calm and methodical manner.

With great presence of mind he continued to direct rescue operations even at a later stage when the ship was about to sink. He even gave his own life-saving gear to a sailor. Having directed many of his men as possible to leave the sinking ship, he went back to the bridge to see what further rescue operations could be performed. He had indeed chosen a water grave for himself. He was last seen going down with his ship. Captain Mulla’s action & behaviour and the example he set, has been in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy. For displaying conspicuous gallantry and dedication to duty, Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, posthumously.

 Subedar Joginder Singh

subedar jogi singh

Having death at his face and grit in his heart, he advanced towards the enemy causing heavy loss to them.  Subedar Joginder Singh was the commander of a platoon of the Sikh regiment, holding a defensive position at a ridge near Tongpeng La, in NEFA.  At 5.30 am on October 23, the Chinese opened a very heavy tank on the Bumla axis, with the intention of breaking through to Tawang.  The leading battalion of the enemy attacked the ridge in three waves, each comprising 200 men.  The Subedar and his men made the enemy halt, after the heavy losses that they had suffered.  Within a few minutes, there was another wave of attack and this was also dealt with in a similar fashion.  But by then, the platoon had lost half of the strength.

Even though the Subedar was wounded in the thigh, he declined to be evacuated.  Under his inspiring leadership, the platoon stubbornly held the ground and refused to withdraw.  In the mean time, the position was attacked by a third wave.

The Subedar himself manned a light machine gun and shot down a number of enemy troops.  They however, continued to advance despite heavy losses.  When the situation was becoming impossible Subedar Joginder Singh and the few men left in the position, fixed their bayonets and rushed towards the advancing Chinese and bayoneted a number of them before being overpowered.

For his inspiring leadership, courage and devotion to duty, Subedar Joginder Singh was awarded the highest wartime gallantry medal, the Param Vir Chakra, posthumously.

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