Indian Military chief arms over Rs 5 lakh to 1971 Indo-Pak warfare hero in Nepal

Kathmandu, November 6

Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane on Friday handed over the remaining Rs 5 lakh to 70-year-old Lance Havildar (Retd) Dil Bahadur Chhettri, who was decorated with India’s second highest gallantry award Maha Vir Chakra for his bravery during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.

Rifleman Chhettri, who was with the Indian Army’s Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force), was known for his bravery and daring acts.

Born on August 21, 1950 in Nepal’s Matta Dang district, he joined the Indian Army on August 21, 1968.

In the 1971 war against Pakistan, his Battalion was part of the advance towards Sylhet in Bangladesh. His Battalion was given the specific task of clearing a well-fortified Medium Machine Gun (MMG) enemy post at Atgram.

Rifleman Chhetri, with complete disregard to his personal safety, fought fearlessly, charged the bunker, killed eight enemy troops with his khukri (a type of machete) and captured the MMG post. For his conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.

He had to quit the service due to some personal reasons even before reaching the requisite pensionable service. He was discharged from service on April 8, 1976.

Since then, he has been leading a very modest life in a remote village of Banke district in Nepal. His life, after quitting the service, got filled with misery as he has had no major source of income and has been surviving on his gallantry award allowance. Due to his introvert nature, his condition was never highlighted.

However, his case recently came to notice when one senior officer of his unit informed the Defence Wing, Indian officials said.

He was contacted and a total amount of Rs 10 lakh was approved as a welfare measure to alleviate the hardships being faced by him in his old age.

During an ex-servicemen rally at Butwal, Nepal on November 21, 2019, he was felicitated with a cheque of Rs 5 lakh as the first tranche.

Gen Naravane, during his visit to Nepal, handed over the balance amount of Rs 5 lakh to him on Friday. PTI

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