• Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

A Hero of Kargil War: Gunner Uddhab Das

Gunner Uddhab Das hailed from Anchali village in Chapaguri tehsil of Barpeta district in Assam and was born on 01 Feb 1978. Son of Shri Bandhuram Das and Smt Thageswari Das, Gunner Uddhab Das had a sister Jayanti Das as his sibling. He wanted to serve in the Armed Forces since his childhood and eventually joined the Indian Army after completing his education, on 22 February 1997 at the age of 19 years. He was recruited into the 197 Field Regiment of the Regiment of Artillery, an important combat support arm of the Indian Army known for its booming field guns. The Regiment of Artillery has various Regiments including Medium Regiments, Light Regiments, Missile Regiments, Rocket Regiments, and SATA (Surveillance and Target Acquisition) Regiments with every Regiment having its own distinct equipment.

Op Vijay (Kargil War) : 24 June 1999

During June 1999, Gunner Uddhab Das’s unit 197 Field Regiment was deployed in the Drass region of Jammu and Kashmir, as part of “Operation Vijay”. 197 Field Regiment was functioning under the operational control of 192 Mountain Brigade, which was tasked to capture the Tiger Hill as part of ongoing operations in “Operation Vijay” in the last week of June/first week of July 1999. Along with the support of Artillery fire, 192 Mountain Brigade had the elements of 8 Sikh and 18 Grenadiers battalions. A multi-directional attack was planned from three directions with 18 Grenadiers leading the attack and 8 Sikh providing the firm base. Tiger Hill at height of 5062 m was by far the most dominating feature in the Drass sector and overlooked Mushkoh valley and the national highway NH-1D. It was divided into a number of smaller objectives. The western spur was divided into a number of parts from east to west viz. India Gate, Helmet and Rocky Knob; and the southeast side was called Tongue. The terrain was extremely rugged with gradient rising up to 80 degrees at some places.

In order to inflict casualties the enemy positions on Tiger Hill, there was a plan to use heavy artillery extensively. It was so planned because by systematically degrading the enemy’s fighting potential before a physical assault, the artillery could reduce the casualties suffered by assaulting infantrymen. Thus as part of the preparation for the assault on Tiger Hill, Uddhab Das and his comrades were tasked to position the Artillery guns at appropriate places to achieve operational advantage and surprise as well. On 24 June 1999, as Gunner Uddhab Das along with other soldiers was positioning the Artillery gun, he was hit by enemy fire and got seriously injured. He later succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. He was a valiant and committed soldier who laid down his life at the age of 21 years in the service of the nation.

Gunner Uddhab Das is survived by his mother Smt. Thageswari Das and sister Jayanti Das.

Source: Army Authorities
Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee

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