The World War II soldier who won an Ashok Chakra
The story of Subedar Major Kharka Bahadur Limbu is one of bravery and sacrifice which has been etched in the annals of India's military history.
The story of Subedar Major Kharka Bahadur Limbu is one of bravery and sacrifice, which is etched in the annals of India's military history.
Subedar Major Limbu saw action in the second world war when he took part in the Burma campaign as part of the Assam Rifles. During the war, his extraordinary courage and bravery earned him the British government's 'Military Cross'.
Post-independence, his field-craft skills and substantial experience in warfare earned Kharka Bahadur Limbu the rank of Subedar Major.
In 1961, Subedar Major Limbu's unit was deployed in insurgency-hit Nagaland. The Naga insurgents would often target the unit.
Based on an intelligence input, the 8 Assam Rifles planned an operation on April 26, 1961. The operation led by Subedar Major Limbu was tasked with neutralizing Naga militants hiding in a jungle hideout.
The hideout was located in an inaccessible portion of the forest and was built around a pit with bamboo barricades. Subedar Major Limbu quickly cordoned off the area and deployed his soldiers strategically.
Subedar Major Limbu led the charge. He eliminated two militants. He was hit with a bullet while taking possession of the slain militants' weapons. He was seriously injured. But without caring for his injuries, he crawled forward. He lobbed two grenades in the militants' bunker, killing three more militants.
Subedar Major Limbu continued to guide his men till all militants were eliminated.
Subedar Major Limbu was evacuated to a hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries.
Subedar Major Limbu led from the front and laid down his life in the line of duty. He was decorated with the Ashok Chakra for his exceptional courage, devotion to duty, fighting spirit and supreme sacrifice.
Flags of Honour salutes this brave soldier.