October 20 marks the 58th anniversary of the 1962 India-China war
Bengaluru: October 20 marks the 58th anniversary of the 1962 India-China war.
The ongoing standoff along the Line of Control increases the day's significance manifold
Bengaluru: Major Dhan Singh Thapa of the 8 Gorkha Rifles was holding on to Sirijap-1 forward post along with his D company platoon.
The Sirijap valley, north of the Pangong Lake in Ladakh, was vital for the defence of Chushul airfield. To the west of Sirijap lies the site of the stand-off that India and China are currently locked in.
And then the Chinese attacked.
On October 20, 1962, Major Thapa's forward post was attacked by the Chinese in overwhelming strength after being subjected to intensive artillery and mortar bombardment.
Under his gallant command, the greatly outnumbered post repulsed the attack, inflicting heavy casualties on the aggressors.
The enemy attacked again in greater numbers after heavy shelling by artillery and mortar fire.
Under the leadership of Major Thapa, his men repulsed this attack also with heavy losses to the enemy.
The Chinese attacked for the third time, now with tanks to support their infantry.
The post had already suffered large casualties in the two earlier attempts. Though considerably thinned, it held out to the last.
When it was finally overrun by overwhelming numbers of Chinese, Major Thapa got out of his trench and killed several of the enemy in hand to hand fighting before he was eventually overpowered by Chinese soldiers.
Major Thapa's cool courage, conspicuous fighting qualities and leadership were in the highest traditions of our Army.
Major Thapa was honoured with the Param Vir Chakra for his bravery.
Major Thapa was later released in May 1963 and resumed his duty and got promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He passed away on September 5, 2005.
India remembers and salutes the bravery of Major Thapa and his men.
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Last Updated Oct 20, 2020, 12:48 PM IST