Remembering Rezangla Heroes

The Rezangla Shaurya Kalash Yatra, which symbolises the martyrdom of 114 valiant Ahir soldiers of 'C' Company of the 13th Battalion of Kumaon Regiment, started from Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate on September 7. The Kalash contains the soil of Rezangla (Chushul) battlefield where 114 Jawans laid their life for the nation, the same day at the same place. In its first leg, the Yatra will pass through all villages in Haryana where the relatives of the martyrs reside. The Yatra is being conducted by the Rezangla Shaurya Samiti, Rewari (Haryana).

Lt Gen Deepak Kapoor, the then Vice Chief of Army Staff, flagged off the Yatra. Lt Gen Kapoor felicitated the widows of four Vir Chakra awardees and four survivors (all Sena Medal awardees), who were present on the occasion. Interacting with them, he said that the nation gratefully acknowledges the supreme sacrifice of all the martyrs who laid down their lives in this battle.

The 'C' Company of the 13th Battalion of Kumaon Regiment fought bravely against the Chinese army under the leadership of Maj Shaitan Singh Bhatti, at Rezangla Post on November 18, 1962. As many as 114 soldiers of the battalon, out of a total of 124, sacrificed their lives in this single operation. Out of these 114 martyrs, 60 were from Haryana and 25 each from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Other martyrs were from Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. This valiant act of the unit earned one Param Vir Chakra (posthumous), eight Vir Chakras (six posthumous) and four Sena Medals. To honour their valour, the 'C' Company was renamed as Rezangla Company and the battalion was awarded Rezangla battle honour.

Lt Gen Deepak Kapoor felicitating Mrs Ram Pyari, wife of Nk Hukum Chand, l a martyr of Rezangla Battle of 1962

The vehicle carrying the kalash

The four widows of Vir Chakra awardees who were present on the occasion were Mrs Mishra Devi (w/o Nk Khub Ram), Mrs Ram Pyari (w/o Nk Hukum Chand), Mrs Sharbati (w/o Nk Gulab Singh) and Mrs Vidyawati (w/o Sep Dharmpal). The daughter and grandchildren of Nk Khub Ram were also present on the occasion.

The four survivors of this battle-Hav (then Sepoy) Nihal Singh, Hony Capt (then Havildar) Phool Singh, Hony Capt (then Sepoy) Asa Ram and Hony Capt Ram Chander (then Sepoy and radio operator of the Company Commander Maj Shaitan Singh)-recounted the details of bravery of the jawans during this epic battle. All of them had received Sena Medals for their gallantry.