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Bust of the Kargil war martyr Capt. Clifford K Nongrum at the Rhino Museum in Jammu and Kashmir city


By Ila Garg


Kargil War Heroes – Part 9

Kargil was the war that can never be forgotten. It took away so many of our brave soldiers with it, but it can never take away the love and respect that we have for them. Born in a Christian family on 7 March 1975 in Shillong, Meghalaya, Captain Keishing Clifford Nongrum was an officer of the 12th Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry. His father, Keishing Peter, worked at State Bank of India while his mother, Saily Nongrum, is a housewife.

Capt. Nongrum is the first and the only person in Meghalaya to have been awarded India’s second highest gallantry award, ‘Maha Vir Chakra’ for his bravery in crucial times of the Kargil war.

His moment of valour came on 1 July 1999 when he and his platoon was assigned the task of capturing Point 4812. He moved ahead from the South-eastern side to attack the enemy. It was nearly an impossible vertical height that he had to climb but with his strong grit and determination, he was able to reach the top with his battalion. There they had to put up with a tough battle.

Capt. Nongrum emerged as a strong leader who charged at the enemy with full force. He subsequently destroyed a bunker all by himself.


Disregarding his own safety, he threw grenades at the bunker and killed six enemy soldiers. He fought hand-to-hand with Pakistani soldiers and tried to snatch the universal machine gun from the bunker. Though severely wounded, Captain Nongrum refused to be evacuated and fought valiantly. Moving through the fire zone, he attacked another bunker before he was killed.

His extraordinary valor and supreme sacrifice can never be wiped off the pages of history.

His father, Keishing Peter has no qualms about waiting five years to get a service station that was promised from the government’s side after his son’s death. Ten years after Kargil victory, an army officer stepped into the Captain’s home to convey the deepest regrets from the President.


Bust of the Kargil war martyr Capt. Clifford K Nongrum at the Rhino Museum in Jammu and Kashmir city

Keishing Peter says, “Officers told us how he clambered uphill through the night of July 1, charged through enemy fire and lobbed a grenade killing six Pakistani soldiers in the nearest bunker and punched away some more – he was a boxer too – before snatching a machine gun in another.”

“He was always busy motivating students to join the army,” says his mother Saily.

Capt. Nongrum had a great interest in Soccer too apart from boxing. “Soccer honed Clifford’s leadership qualities, but we didn’t realize he was using the sport to be fit to join the Short Service Commission after graduating in political science,” recalls Keishing Peter.

After 16 years of the tragic war, we ought to keep the sacrifice of all our brave-hearts alive.


More in this segment:

Kargil War Heroes – Part 1
Kargil War Heroes – Part 2
Kargil War Heroes – Part 3
Kargil War Heroes – Part 4
Kargil War Heroes – Part 5
Kargil War Heroes – Part 6
Kargil War Heroes – Part 7
Kargil War Heroes – Part 8
Kargil War Heroes – Part 10
Kargil War Heroes – Part 11
Kargil War Heroes – Part 12
Kargil War Heroes – Part 13
Kargil War Heroes – Part 14
Kargil War Heroes – Part 15


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