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Capt. Clifford K Nongrum: First and the only Maha Vir Chakra recipient from Meghalaya

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nongrum 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. 35b8g85

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.

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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.capt_clifford1-1432039709

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

  • Bust of Kargil War Martyr, Late Captain Clifford K Nongrum, Maha Vir Chakra was unveiled by the Colonel of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regiment, Lt Gen R N Nair, AVSM, SM at the Rhino Museum, Rilbong, Shillong, Meghalaya on the 19th of May 2015.

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World’s Oldest serving Aircraft Carrier ‘INS Viraat’ set to retire from Indian Navy

Viraat was completed and commissioned in Britain's Royal Navy as HMS Hermes

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Warship INS Viraat, Wikimedia

India, March 6, 2017: The world’s oldest aircraft carrier in service, the INS Viraat,is set to retire on Monday from the Indian Navy.

On Monday evening, the Naval flag atop the ship, also known as the “grand old lady”, will be lowered and wrapped at sunset, marking an end to its long journey of 55 years, including 30 years in the Indian Navy.

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Viraat was completed and commissioned in Britain’s Royal Navy as HMS Hermes.

In 1984, it was decommissioned from the Royal Navy and subsequently was commissioned by the Indian Navy on May 12, 1987.

The ship has seen a series of aircraft operate from its decks, including the the Sea Harrier, White Tigers, Seaking 42B, Seaking 42C and Chetaks.

Under the Indian Flag, various aircraft have flown more than 22,034 hours from the decks of the INS Viraat which implies that the carrier has been at sea for over six years covering the entire globe about 27 times.

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The ship played a major role in the Operation Jupiter in 1989 as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force operations in Sri Lanka and Operation Vijay in 1999 during the Kargil War.

The last operational deployment of the ship was at the International Fleet Review (IFR-2016) in Visakhapatnam. (IANS)

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Pakistan was preparing to use nukes during Kargil war: Ex-White House Official

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Image: Wikipedia

New Delhi: Pakistan was preparing its nuclear weapons for deployment and possible use against India during the 1999 Kargil war when its army was suffering heavy casualties at the hands of the latter, the CIA had warned then President Bill Clinton, a former top White House official has said.

The CIA briefed Bill Clinton in this regard in July 4, 1999 when the president was scheduled to meet the visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif had rushed to Washington and sought a meeting with Clinton in the wake of heavy losses suffered by Pakistani army by their Indian counterparts, looking for an honorable exit when a defeat seemed imminent.

“The morning of the Fourth (of July, 1999), the CIA wrote in its top-secret Daily Brief that Pakistan was preparing its nuclear weapons for deployment and possible use. The intelligence was very compelling. The mood in the Oval Office was grim,” Bruce Riedel, who worked at the time in the National Security Council of the White House and was among the few present at the Clinton-Sharif meeting said, NDTV reported.

ALSO READ: How India, Pakistan can avoid nuclear war

Riedel made the revelations in an obituary he wrote for Sandy Berger, former national security advisor to Clinton, who died of cancer on Wednesday.

“Berger urged Clinton to hear out Sharif, but to be firm… Pakistan started this crisis and it must end it without any compensation. The president needed to make clear to the prime minister that only a Pakistani withdrawal could avert further escalation,” he wrote.

“Sandy knew Clinton better than anyone, his natural inclination was to find a deal. This time, no deal was possible, it must be an unequivocal Pakistani climbdown,” Riedel said.

“It worked. Sharif agreed to pull back his troops. It later cost him his job: The army ousted him in a coup and he spent a decade in exile in Saudi Arabia. But the risk of a nuclear exchange in South Asia was averted,” Riedel wrote.

(With inputs from agencies)

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SC dismisses plea for probe into Kargil war purchases

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea for investigation into purchase at inflated price of caskets for soldiers martyred during the Kargil war and other items since the issues had been decided by trial courts.

An apex court bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice V. Gopala Gowda declined the plea as counsel S Balasubramanian appearing for the Centre told the court that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arraigned one Victor Baiza in the aluminium casket purchase case, but he was discharged by the court of metropolitan magistrate.

Similarly, Balasubramanian said, the CBI investigated the charges of wrongdoing in the purchase of Krasonpol ammunition, found nothing and filed a closure report that too was accepted by a trial court.

Balasubramanian said that allegations of wrongdoing in the purchase of snow suits were based on mere apprehensions as no contract was entered into and consequently no money was paid.

KG Dhananjay Chauhan moved the apex court for investigation into the alleged wrongdoings in the purchases done during the Kargil war in 1999 and sought putting in place a transparent procedure for the purchase of defence material.

The plea for investigation into the alleged scams had become infructuous in the wake of lower courts’ decisions, the apex court said.

(IANS)