Dedicated to Havildar Kunwar Singh Chaudhari – CCDA. This write-up is dedicated to Havildar Kunwar Singh Chaudhari, VrC, for his services in the Bangladesh Liberation of 1971. Havildar Kunwar Singh Chaudhari was born on the 12th of March, 1942, in the family of father Keshar Singh Chaudhari and mother Ghaghar Devi in Chamoli Garhwal in present day Uttarakhand. He enlisted in the 5th Battalion of the Garhwal Rifles. By the year 1971, he rose up to the rank of a Havildar in the Battalion.
Dedicated to Havildar Kunwar Singh Chaudhari – CCDA
In 1971, the 5 Garhwal Rifles was a part of the 202 Mountain Brigade, with the Brigade being commanded by Brigadier Farhad Bhatti, VSM. It was a part of the 20 Mountain Division back then.
As situations turned tense in Bangladesh, the 20 Mountain Division was called in to support the Mukti Bahini operations near the Hilli border. By November, 1971, the entire Division was ordered to push through the Pakistani army defenses in Hilli and move all the way to liberate Rangpur and Bogra.
The 8 Guards Battalion was the first unit to attack the Pakistani defenses in Morapara, and was met with stiff resistance from the Pakistani 4 Frontier Force. The Battalion encountered heavy casualties to take Morapara right from the night of 22nd November, 1971, even with artillery support, and hence, at the dawn of 23rd November, 1971, a company from the 5 Garhwal Rifles was sent in to support the offensive of the 8 Guards.
Hence, to soften up the 4 Frontier Force in Morapara, the Basudevpur Border outpost was ordered to be taken by the 5 Garhwal Rifles. A troop of T-55 tanks was sent for supporting the offensive, but unfortunately, the tanks got bogged down in mud!
The company of 5 Garhwal Rifles soon attacked the Basudevpur border outpost and was met with murderous Pakistani Medium Machine gun fire. The outpost was at a height of 7 feet, with boulder walls scaling the post. From up there, the Pakistanis brutally pinned down the company, slowing down the offensive.
Hence, Havildar Chaudhari and selected men were chosen to climb up the 7 feet wall to get to the post. This was a suicidal task as the company was already pinned down and under the cover of fire, the lads had anyhow managed to move in, while bearing the risk to be shot down by Pakistanis who might notice them climbing up. Yet, Havildar Chaudhari climbed up the wall, without a hint of fear and managed to get a grip on the wall and pulled themselves up. But as he and his comrades got up and started clearing out the Pakistani MMGs, Havildar Chaudhari got shot!
But bleeding profusely, he pulled out a grenade and lobbed it onto a Pakistani MMG nest, blowing it up. The murderous fire was eventually pulled out and the brave Garhwalis charged and started clearing out the Basudevpur post.
The eviction of the Pakistanis from Basudevpur Border outpost eased the offensive of the 8 Guards in Morapara, for which the area was slowly secured by the 24th of November, 1971. The role of the 5 Garhwal Rifles was extremely important in supporting the role of the 8 Guards in the first battle of Hilli.
For his services and supreme gallantry, Havildar Kunwar Singh Chaudhari was awarded the Vir Chakra.
My salutes to Havildar Kunwar Singh Chaudhari.