1962 Chinese War ankho dekhi -1; Hav Shere Thapa deserves Param Vir Chakra, says Col

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Pradeep Kumar

“I have been continuing in journalism profession for over three decades without anticipating any miraculous result,” that toes Bhagavad Gita’s Chapter II (Verse 47):  Karmanye vadhikaraste ma phaleshu kada chana (You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty).

After visiting Taksing under Nacho assembly constituency under Upper Subansiri district with senior leader Tanga Byaling, I broke the story of Shere Thapa on 18.10.12:  Oh ungrateful India, salute 50-yr old Sino-India war hero Shere Thapa! No less-martyr than Jaswant Singh Rawat.

I continued research to know more as Jaswant Singh Rawat had delayed the war for 72-hour but not killed a single PLA jawan. I succeeded in getting more information including from Jammu headquarters of 2 J&K Rifles with the help of Deputy Chief Minister Chowma Mein’s PA Sonar Chanbir.

But the letter received from Col Amar Patil, VSM, (Retd), who took part in 1962 Chinese war as 2/Lt of 2 J&K Rifles by post from Pune on August 3 was mind boggling.

As Col Patil (Rtd) account relates to history and the truth about 1962 war is still gathering dust in defence ministry safe custody, I decided to reproduce the letter for all to know.

Sub: No 13710603WHav Shere Thapa of 2 JAK RIF; the saviour of Subansiri Sector of NEFA (Arunachal Pradesh) in 1962 War  with China deserves the gallantry award of Param Vir Chakra for displaying exemplary dedication, valour of the highest order and supreme sacrifice for successfully thwarting aggression of the Chinese Army.

Shri Pradeep Kumar

Senior Journalist, Arunachal Observer,

Taba Building, Opp. Civil Secretariat, Itanagar,

Arunachal Pradesh

Dear Sir,

Recently I was fortunate to receive Arunachal Observer dated 30 June 2019 giving very well researched report about Hav Shere Thapa which revealed many details I did not know.

I am happy to inform you that I am 80-year-old surviving veteran of 1962 war with China. I had participated in the war as 2/Lt posted to 2 JAK RIF in July l962 and had unique experience of commanding rifle company at Taliha as there was shortage of officers. I intimately know the battle of Protective Patrol commanded by Hav Shere Thapa and his 10 brave men.

The unit was deployed in Subansiri sector of NEFA. That time there was no road communication and unit was totally air maintained from Daporijo ALG and the forward posts were maintained by air drops. From Daporijo, the border was eight days’ march by tracking heavily leach infested road.

The unit had deployed two rifle companies with Tactical HQ in forward area of Taksing Lemiking with the PP ahead to cover track coming in from border. The other two companies were located in Taliha area in depth.

The PP was at a very dominating place which overlooked the track for about l.5 km coming along rocky face of mountain and it had no by pass. One section of 10 men under command of Hav Shere Thapa was given the task of giving early warning, delaying the enemy by inflicting maximum casualties.

On 18.11.1962, the Chinese Army (PLA) commenced advance and contacted the PP at about 3 pm. The PP opened heavy fire and inflicted very heavy casualties. However, the determined enemy kept on assaulting over the dead bodies and eliminated members of PP. In the end only Hav Shere Thapa was alive. He took over the LMG and kept on engaging enemy till he fell to the onslaught of enemy.

It was later learnt from locals that the Chinese Army had suffered more than 150 casualties including 70 dead with senior officer. Next day Chinese radio admitted that had suffered 155 casualties. (To be continued)

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