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Kargil War Heroes – Part 13
Born on 3 July 1969, Naik Digendra Kumar belonged to the 2nd Battalion of the Rajputana Rifles regiment of the Indian Army. He is also a recipient of Maha Vir Chakra, Sena Medal and many other medals for his exemplary valor. He was one of the best commandoes of his time in the Indian Army. He had acquired the skill to hit a target on the basis of only sound.
After completing his training, he was posted at Jammu & Kashmir. He was sent to Sri Lanka for ‘Operation Pawan’ in Indian Peace Keeping Force in 1987 where his bravery was widely appreciated.
The sad part is that despite his grit and determination, he was denied war benefits. At first, the Army denied him the disability benefits which he is entitled to after being classified as 80 per cent disabled by an Indian Army medical board. It took the Army almost 2 years to finally give him the benefits that he deserved. However, as a Kargil veteran, he is entitled to extra-gratia benefits which are still denied to him. That’s not all. Even the state government isn’t concerned about this valiant commando who risked his life at the borders. The govt. was to allot an agricultural land to him for being a gallantry award winner but they have marked out the prize at a location almost 500 km from his Sikar home. Also, the Army refused to give him his disability pension saying that he “retired voluntarily”.
When the Kargil war was on, Naik Digendra Kumar was commander of the Light Machine Gun Group during his company’s assault on Tololing hill in Drass Sector. Their objective was to capture the fortified enemy post which was located at an altitude of over 15000 feet.
On 10 June 1999, there was deadly silence in the hills except the sound of the blasts. There was snow and snow all around. They knew that probably they won’t get back alive. It was a dangerous mission after all. But they remained undeterred and readily risked their lives for the nation.
After 14 hours of hard labour, they reached the top of Tololing. Pakistani army had 11 bunkers on the Tololing hill top. Digendra Kumar was to target first and the last bunkers. Rest of the battalion targeted the remaining 9 bunker.
On 13 June 1999, the bombardment at Tololing led to heavy casualties. Naik Digendra Kumar too was hit by a bullet in his left arm. He remained undaunted and kept firing with one hand and brought down effective and accurate Light Machine Gun fire on the enemy. He then gave an effective covering fire, while his own troops attacked the enemy position. Despite being seriously wounded, he kept his platoon motivated. At last, the task was accomplished due to his efforts.
The role of Naik Digendra Kumar in the Kargil conflict was very crucial. With great difficulty, Digendra Kumar put the Indian tri-colour flag on 13 June 1999 at four o’clock in the morning.
The Indian Army reached Tololing peak in the early hours of morning and found heaps of dead soldiers. The Indian tri-colour flag was hoisted and Digendra Kumar lied besides it in an unconscious state. He had the head of Major Anwar Khan of the Pakistan Army in his hand. Digendra Kumar was then carried to Military Hospital. He thus was awarded MVC at the age of 30 for his courage in Kargil war.
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 9
Kargil War Heroes – Part 10
Kargil War Heroes – Part 11
Kargil War Heroes – Part 12
Kargil War Heroes – Part 14
Kargil War Heroes – Part 15
NEW DELHI - India Navy sending four ships for exercises and port visits with the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, its navy said Wednesday, as China's maritime power grows in the area.
The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.
Commander Vivek Madhwal, the Indian navy spokesman, said four ships will take part.
The ships will also participate in a multilateral exercise, MALABAR-21, along with the Japanese, Australian and U.S. navies, the statement said.
It said the exercises will enhance coordination with friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and a commitment to freedom of navigation.
"Besides regular port calls, the task group will operate in conjunction with friendly navies to build military relations and develop interoperability in the conduct of maritime operations," the statement said.
The U.S., India, Japan and Australia are part of the Quad regional alliance created in response to China's growing economic and military strength. Washington has long viewed New Delhi as a key partner in efforts to blunt increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
India is also in a continuing standoff with China over their disputed border in the eastern Ladakh region. The countries have stationed tens of thousands of soldiers backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets along their de facto border, called the Line of Actual Control.
Last year, 20 Indian troops died in a clash with Chinese soldiers involving clubs, stones and fists in a portion of the disputed border. China said it lost four soldiers.(VOA/HP)
The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).
The UK government also announced that arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated. The step aligns France with the rest of the amber list now that the proportion of beta variant cases has fallen, where those who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised and administered in the UK, the US or Europe do not need to quarantine when arriving in England.
This move also simplifies the system to three categories, as well as the green watch list to give travellers notice where green status is at risk.
To continue cautiously reopening international travel, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be added to the government's green list, having demonstrated they posed a low risk to UK public health.
Besides India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list, as the situation in these countries has improved.
The data for all countries will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action where a country's epidemiological picture changes, a statement by the UK government said.
Following an assessment of the latest data, Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will be added to the red list as they present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of Covid-19.
Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we've made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
"While we must continue to be cautious, today's changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public."
Since February, anyone who arrives in the UK from a red list country has been required by law to book a stay in a managed quarantine facility for 10 days.
In order to ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs of staying in these facilities, which have gone up, the cost will increase from August 12. Alternative payment arrangements remain available to those who genuinely cannot afford to pay and rates remain the same for children up to 12.(IANS/HP)
A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.
According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.
Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.
Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.
The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".
But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.
A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.
In response, one Twitter user said: "Ganesh Temple, village Bhong in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab has been ravaged. Another day, another attack on Hindus in Pakistan."
Another said: "Yesterday, the mob ran amok at Temple over minor boy issue who allegedly urinated, the boy said to be mentally handicapped. Hindu community made an apology for the boy — a case registered against the nine-year-old boy. Those vandalized temples, no FIR registered against them."
District police spokesman Ahmed Nawaz Cheema said Rangers had been deployed in the troubled area and the situation was under control.
A small town close to the River Indus and Sindh-Punjab border, Bhong houses a number of gold traders who originally hail from Ghotki and Dehrki (Sindh), according to the Dawn news report.
A ruling PTI member representing the minority said he had been in touch with the local Hindu community and influential Rais family of Bhong since the issue surfaced.