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48 years on, solider of '62 war comes home for final journey

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    Forty-eight years after he was killed while defending the country’s frontiers against Chinese aggression in Arunachal Pradesh, the mortal remains of Sepoy Karam Chand — recovered earlier this month — were on Thursday cremated with full military honours at his native Agojar village near Palampur in Himachal Pradesh. Chand, a soldier of Dogra Regiment, had laid down his life fighting the Chinese at Walong in Arunachal, said Lt Colonel J S Brar, officiating defence spokesman at the Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur.

    On July 5, workers of the Border Roads Task Force, while clearing a landslide near Wallong, an important battle-zone of the war, found two identity discs belonging to the martyr and informed the Sikh Regiment. Thereafter, a unit of Sikh Regiment dug up the entire area for four days and recovered a fountain pen, a silver ring and the dilapidated cover of the sepoy’s pay book.

    The remains, which were handed over to the personnel of Dogra Regiment with full military honour at the ‘Hut of Remembrance’ in Walong, reached Agojar on Wednesday.

    Chand’s parents — K S Katoch and Gaytri Devi — died waiting for his return. They believed he had been captured by the Chinese and kept as a prisoner of war. His nephew, Jaswant Chand Katoch, the only surviving relative, performed Chand’s last rights.

    Among those who laid wreaths were Lt General Jasbir Singh, Colonel of Dogra Regiment and Dogra Scouts, Lt General (retired) Surjit Singh, besides other serving and retired Army officers.

    A large number of war veterans of Dogra and other regiments turned up to pay homage to the brave soldier

    “We never saw him, but the villagers feel proud for the sacrifice he made for the nation in a crucial war,” said Kripa Ram, a local, at the cremation ground

    “Himachal Pradesh is one of the states that have contributed in defending the boundaries of the country. Out of four Param Vir Chakras conferred on the martyrs of Kargil, two were from the state. Even the first PVC awardee, Major Som Nath Sharma, was from Kangra,” said Himachal’s Irrigation and Public Health Minister Ravinder Singh Ravi

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