• Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

Homage to the Namka Chu Bravehearts

The Battle of Namka Chu fought on 20th Oct 1962 against the Chinese remains etched in History as an epic battle which was fought under most challenging conditions and overwhelming odds including no road or track connectivity, limited ammunition, practically no artillery support and against an enemy who outnumbered our forces and was equipped with superior weapons with good logistic support. Despite these herculean challenges the Indian Forces fought with such tenacity that even the enemy in their own writings have accepted that they were inflicted with severe damage and suffered maximum casualties in this battle.

In the month of September 1962 certain isolated incidents had been reported and because of which two battalions of 7 Inf Bde were moved post haste from Tawang while two battalions awaiting de- induction to peace areas after completing difficult tenures were practically deboarded from their trains in Assam and rushed to Namka Chu Sector. Ahead of Tawang the battalions inducted by only foot from altitude of 6000 feet rising to more than 15000 feet. The chilling winter Nights were spent in the open before occupation of defences along the Namka Chu. In absence of Artillery Support four Guns were airdropped and after which only two could be put in action.

The Chinese assault along the Namka Chu against Indian defences which were based on Sangars which are make shift defences using stones and boulders, commenced in early hours of 20 Oct. The Indian forces inspite of being heavily outnumbered and facing preponderance of artillery support fought a fierce battle and gave the enemy a bloody nose. Every soldier stuck to his position knowing very well that ammunition was not there for even one days’s fighting. True to the traditional valour of the Indian Army the gallant men fought to the Last man Last round. The Nation could not have asked for more.

The grit and determination of Indian Soldier became very clear to the Chinese and today as the Army secures the borders the Chinese know well that what the response of the Indian Army will be in case they think of any misadventure. The Indian response at Galwan was also a refresher for them.

The award of seven Mahavir Chakras, eleven Vir Chakras, thirteen Sena Medals and twenty Mention-in-Dispatches to the four battalions namely 2 RAJPUT, 1/9 GORKHA RIFLES, 9 PUNJAB & 4 GRENADIERS bears testimony to the gallantry and grit of the Namka Chu Bravehearts.

This years after 60 years of the battle a grateful nation paid homage to the Namka Chu Bravehearts by conduct of traditional military homage at the Surwa Samba War Memorial which was followed by a Namka Chu Run in the sacred battlefield. The local population wholeheartedly participated. Pem Dorjee now 82 years old who was a porter with the Army in 1962 and had ferried heavy loads on his shoulders was felicitated by Senior military dignitaries as a mark of gratitude by the Indian Army. The sacrifices of the Namka Chu Bravehearts will never go in vain and shall continue to motivate future generations.

Source : Indian Army

Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee

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