Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
Many Arunachali old-timers recall the 1962 Sino-India conflict with fear and anger. The Chinese forces entered deep into Arunachal Pradesh along many axes, like the Taksing-Limeking, Mechuka/Manigong-Tato, Gelling-Tuting, Kibithoo-Walong axes and the main Tawang-Bomdila-Rupa axis. Many readers are not aware of fierce battles fought by our brave soldiers. One such story is the story of Subedar Jagandhoj Limbu.
Subedar Jagandhoj Limbu hailed from Tinsukia in Assam; he belonged to the 2 Assam Rifles and his unit was deployed north of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh during the Sino-India war of 1962.
On 3 November, 1962, Subedar Jagandhoj Limbu was detailed to lead a patrol to a position along the line of control to bring down observed artillery fire on the enemy positions and to gain the maximum information regarding the concentration of the enemy forces. Under his command, the patrol went over very difficult terrain at a height of over 14,000 ft. The patrol spent two nights behind enemy positions and collected valuable information. However, on the return journey, it was ambushed by numerically superior Chinese forces. Despite being ambushed, Subedar Limbu and his team engaged the enemy forces in intense fighting. In the heavy fighting, Subedar Limbu was wounded in the neck by enemy fire. In spite of his wound and in utter disregard of his personal safety, he rallied his small force and assaulted the enemy four times, but was driven back each time. Despite the heavy odds, Subedar Limbu successfully fought his way through the enemy lines and broug-ht back all his men safely.
His courage and leadership foiled enemy attempts to capture his patrol, which brought valuable information about enemy dispositions, which further helped in other operations during the battle.
Throughout the entire battle, Subedar Jagandhoj Limbu displayed the highest sense of duty, leadership and courage in the best traditions of the army. For his exceptional courage, tenacity and gallantry during the war, Subedar Jagandhoj Limbu was awarded the third highest gallantry award of the nation, Vir Chakra. Salute to Subedar Jagandhoj Limbu! (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)