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Haryana CM Hooda inaugurates Rezang La Indo-China war memorial
After the foundation stone was laid on September 17, 2011 for the construction of the 1962 Indo-China Rezang La war memorial, Haryana's Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today inaugurated the fully-constructed memorial at Palam Vihar's Sector 23-A in Gurgaon. The memorial honours 114 martyrs who lost their lives while killing 2300 Chinese soldiers in the 1962 Indo-China war.

NAIK SUBEDAR Yaadram Yadav presently from 13 Kumaon regiment, is proud of the heroic battle, in which a number of army men laid their lives for the nation. He told this citizen journalist , “When India and China fought the war in 1962, the 13 Kamaon regiment was deployed in Chisul. It was the Chinese who attacked and 13 Regiment foiled two of their attempts. Instead, they killed around 2,300 Chinese soldiers, but there were 114 who lost their lives from the 13 Kamaon regiment as well.”

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The memorial, as such, is a tall cement column in the middle of the memorial site. Mentioned on it are details about the background of the operations in November 1962 when Indian and Chinese soldiers squared-off in a bitter battle at a height of 17,000 sqft in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. The war memorial site, spread around 7,000 sq. ft. also includes replicas of canons at the corners of the circular memorial, which has been constructed over the roundabout at the junction of Anzal Plaza and Columbia Asia hospital.

The soldiers of the 13 Kamaon regiment dealt with the Chinese without any fear. They had no fear for their lives, though their weapons did not come anywhere close to what the Chinese army had with them. Subedar Yadav said, “The Indian Army were primarily using 3 not 3, which had to be recoiled to take another shot. It was not automatic. On the other hand, the Chinese possessed SLR (Self Loading Rifle).”

There were around 123 army men from the Kumaon regiment, out of which 114 died. Lt. Col. Dhingra was the Commanding Officer of the 13 Kumaon regiment during the 1962 war. But during the operations, he was hospitalised due to ill-health. He is presently 96 years of age, but he still made it a point to come and attend the venue in his wheelchair to show solidarity and respect to the soldiers who had laid their life for the nation during the battle. He said, “A small memorial was also built at Chisul in the name of these martyrs, but I am happy with the big war memorial, which has been built here.”

There were a number of widows and family members of those who gave up their lives in the name of the nation - who attended the inaugral function. One such person was Aatma Ram, who had lost his father, Shaeed Ram Swaroop Singh in the Indo-China war from the Kumaon regiment. He was just 25-year-old during that time. His son, with wet eyes said, “I am very proud that I am his son. I feel very proud when I say that I am a son off a shaeed.” Family of the martyrs are given utmost respect by the Indian army. Aatma Ram later added, “We are invited every year on 18 November to celebrate at Rewari war memorial. We are given lot of respect.”

But, there is a serious need for such kind of many more war memorials to be built in the country as a matter respect to those people who laid their lives fighting for the country. It is such kind of memorials that encourage many to work for the Indian Army. Their heroics could be used in building a strong and a dedicated Army as well. Ex-Amry, Brigadier R Sharma said, “It is just one of the sacrifices that has been highlighted today. You will be surprised to know that certain foreign countries celebrate the victory of the Indian Army who supported the British Army. Various countries have memorials, where names of Indian soldiers are written and every year they celebrate it, but somewhere, we (Indians) got into the quagmire of politics.”

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