In the run up to the 69th Independence Day Celebrations, it is time to reflect on the real heroes who walk amongst us unseen and who pass away, even more quietly.
On 27 November 2014, a glorious chapter was scripted in the annals of Indian Army. Naik Jagsir Singh and Naik Kulwinder Singh of 5th Battalion The SIKH Light Infantry who were deployed at Nandpur in Arnia Sector of J&K, heard the sound of gunfire form Village Kathar and promptly reacted by rushing to the area of the encounter. They engaged the four terrorists who had infiltrated from Pakistan and planned to strike at value targets in our hinterland. All four terrorists were eliminated in the ensuing operation. However, both NCOs were injured in the exchange of fire and later succumbed to their injuries, leaving behind another glorious page in the history of the Army.
On 25 January 2015, the Nation conferred Sena Medals (Gallantry) on both martyrs. The exploits of the Non Commissioned Officers as well as the awards conferred on them immediately became a source of pride for the villagers of Boha (District Mansa) and Gokhali Colony (District Jalandhar).
Both families were afforded an opportunity to visit the encounter site where the martyrs made the supreme sacrifice. Memorial stones commemorating their gallant actions have been constructed at Mamun Cantt, unveiled by Smt Balbir Kaur and Smt Rajwinder Kaur, the Veer Naris, on 11 April 2015. While all financial dues have been paid to the families, the rehabilitation effort has seen Smt Rajwinder Kaur w/o Nk Kulwinder Singh gaining employment at the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Jalandhar while Smt Balbir Kaur is being provided with a job by the Dept of Education, Mansa. The role of Punjab Government is gratefully acknowledged by Western Command.
Thus, one more heroic tale has been scripted in Punjab, the land of heroes, where tales of valour are not confined to just films and books, but are a part of daily folklore.