Grit and determination runs through the veins of Dogra Warriors || Bhushan Parimoo || LIVE IMAGE


Captain Daulat Ram(rtd),    has crossed a few years back the hundred odd years of his age ,  as agile with a  sharp memory as I  had seen him   three decades   back  at Arnas that falls in district Reasi of jammu province..

And this is how just nine  soldiers of lower cadre , rescued about 450 persons, against heavy odds, without map and wire lees set  contact Needless to add Dr Amarnath ji too boarded the  vehicle, a truck,  detailed to pick up  soldiers . This was one of the longest days of the ordeal, more will be shared.

Years passed by now when I went with a purpose  from Jammu to meet him at Reasi  to note  down his war experiences  in j&k theater of 1947-48 period .

He has to his credit first to  cross Ziozila , on 12th of Jan 1948, a feat none  repeated since. He belongs to Rajput family of Chenkah , a village on right side of  river  Ans of the confluence Chenab  the  main  water channels feeding Salal Reservoir.

He    was    at Muzaffarabad at the time   the town was attacked and burnt down.
Though not part of his forces  to which he belonged were deployed there to defend the area, which was  with the 4th JKlight infantry, under the command of Col.Narayain Singh Samyal.


It was called Royal regiment due to its achievement in  Egypt theater in world war second  where it had done commendable job, hence the title Its had HQ was at Domel , while detailed in Muzaffarabad sector Capt, Daulat Ram , belonged to 8th JKlight infantry, which was detailed to Poonch, where  already 1 ist JKlight infantry was stationed 8th Dogra had been moved through Rajouri here along with logistic support, but a column of 8 men, lead by Hav Bishen Singh, and 7 others namely Hav Daulat Ram, lance naik, Jameet singh, spoys  Daleep singh, Munshi Singh Devi Singh, Moti Singh and another perhaps jeet singh second. 

They were sent along with two Machine Guns, ammunition besides normal material to be transported on foot from Muzaffarabad to Poonch .

As it took time to arrange the porters and pack animals, as such were asked to rest in the High School Complex, no duty assigned  just to wait and relax But Hav. Bishen Singh, did what soldier is supposed to do, mounted one machine gun in the front, manned by Munshi Singh, a bunker on back side in a field, all around fields were with pulses crop, called Maah .

During just casual routine round to meet and pass time,  interaction  with fellow soldiers felt some thing abnormal and fishy the way routine work was carried which was not as per standard practice, Second in command was Maj Sher A;i , a trusted man of the commandant who along with the soldiers had fought  shoulder  to shoulder with credit, so no reason even in faintest to doubt him Muzzafarabad was then confined to the confluence of Jhelum and kishanganga, tentatively, surrounded by mountain ring Between other end of Khadee –Padeecan across was Pakistan area,. 

This side was manned by C and D cop, all from one faith, while Kohala Bridge was manned by A cop, of other faith. What was resented by soldiers of this area that for a fortnight, guard at C and D cop was not changed as standard practice to rotate after every 24 hours, which proved disastrous, beside Soldiers were disarmed and ammunition put in kotwali on the plea, in peace time it is to be carried as such One Hav Narsing Singh has been complaining to this abnormal behavior on the part of the authorities , he was arrested and put in custody, which proved blessing in disguise .
 It was morning of 20th October 1947, at 6.04 am, still dark, a single fire was heard, Munnhi Singh manning MG shouted fire was from Domel side. After 6-7 minutes a burst was fired on the School which hit veranda projection CGI sheets, Munshi retaliated, after that no fire on them. A telephone line was laid a day earlier , and Daulatram when contact after the burst, someone answered  at the other end at HQ that save your lives that was all.  


Narsing Singh who was under arrest did manage escape posing of their faith and  reached up to the rear of high school and shouted for his cousin Bishen Singh, after verification he was let in .It was he narrated what he had seen , that whole night C and D cop facilitated to cross in civvies and others to this side , soldiers of 4th Bn to joined , murdered in sleep Commandant who despite of repeated warning  called them as his sons, which they were Single shot at 6.04 hrs was a signal to go ahead to execute second phase of operation, as first task has been achieved as planned It is said a driver was all that survived A cop which was detailed at Kohala bridge, under fresh SecondLf chib was approached from across by two British officers and asked to surrender, assured all security, on the plea Kashmir has fallen, Young officer asked his subordinate Subidar Parkesh Chand , who refused to do so  until  orders from headquarter, Thereafter, British officers tried to reason with him , but he refused and said last man last bullet, we are taught and supposed to perform, that flank was saved from the raiders for some time .


Retreated safely to Poonch via hill Whole town was burning, loot, murder was at its zenith, and it also started raining lasted to next day, which hampered their retreat, dead bodies pulses crop field After about 32 hours of the first fire, this section of eight men plus Narsingh Singh of 4th Bn, started march along with thousand towards a steep hill, which was very uphill task, not all could make it About 200-250 vehicles were noticed carrying attackers , quite visible by their behavior, body language  that leading men were from regular or retired army men, Among  survivors and part of Kafala  was MRS Krishna Mehta, Wife of Mehta Dhuni Chand ,  Wazir a wazarat( D C )Muzzafarabad, who did not took field reports seriously and paid with his life  and that of thousands others Dr Amar nath and two Medical Assistant all KPS were also in  march These nine army men had two machine guns, each weighing 92 pounds, tripod 52 pounds and Gun 40 pounds, 2 ammunition boxes, 4rifles , pistol, binocular , but no communication set or maps to rely upon , so they were masters of their own faith on which hanged that of civilians. 

They tracked all the journey on foot, guide may have been who knew unfamiliar route,. empty stomach mostly On entire journey  three or four times they could get to eat, just to sustain, one was after about four days of journey , a Sikh habitation, deserted Gurdawara, could get something  to fill, Sikhs  showed willingness to move but later changed the idea, only one family, two sons with parents accompanied Later transpired some were killed rest converted .

From there, after a march of another a few days could lay hand on  flour in a abandoned water mill,, again after gap of a few days they were surrounded by a hostile mob of hundred , first attackers  thought it was  theirs but Sikh gave then enough hints and trouble started, Moti Singh sneaked out of cordon, went up hill to a vintage point, and challenged them, from inside the cordon Daulat ram gave a war cry, Jai mata Dee, and opened MG fire, tide were turned, from there on the flags carried by attackers  were distributed among the fellow travelers and , where ever they feel some movement will rant Allah –ou-Akbar, to give impression it is the large mob of attackers and so  this kafal took and marched on, At Nastachun Pass of Tanghdar, a lady was left to die, a seen Capt sb still remembers, Next was plains of kupwara in a Hindu basti, meals were provided in Kansi traditional thals .

It took those 17 days to reach Bandipora, via Tanghdar and only 450 could make it
On the outskirts of Bandipora , three noncommissioned officers in Pakistan  uniform received them with honor, on hearing the in loud voices of Allah-ou Akbar, thought it was  their own and took them to Dak Banglow, to rest, .

Public came to see this  caravan in distress , one among them was a person with mark on his forehead, indicating he was a Hindu, Hav Bishen Sigh, asked him to come forward, he was terrified under the impression , his days have come to end.

He was taken aside and asked him, under whose possession this area is, he said, that not in Pakistan possession, Indian army has gone beyond Barramulla, Aeroplanes are in the sky He was postmaster, posted there, on inquiry, found telephone line is intact, functioning. 

Again Bishan Singh went to post office made contact with Lt Ajit Singh Jandhraya, later retired as Major, he could not believe  that a section of 9 soldiers are alive as all was lost in that sector, It took time to convince him by  giving instances of their, under going a few  courses together and referred instances , when satisfied, asked to come next evening at Sumbal a vehicle will bring them from .

Now  question arises  from this first hand narration  right from Muzaffarabad  up to Bandipora, which took them days to travel, passing Krishnaganga    at Teetwal, up Sadhna Pass vis Thangdhar Neechiyaan, down otherside Chowkibl, Trehgam, Kupwara, via Bomai to last post  Bandipora. 

Through more than 100 kms trek through  inhospitable terrain and at charged atmosphere with sheer grit  and determination romped home  with safety the civilian who pinned hope in them being the Dogra Forces . 

India Forces landed Srinagar Airport  on 27 th October 1947,  brought in under the Instrument of Accession, to throw Pakistani Army out from the soil of the Jammu, Kashmir, Ladhak hai Tibet  that lasted about one year, two months and two weeks, till ceasefire was declared.  

Classification of the Army records  of that period needs to be declassified , subjected to rules and regulations,to analyze why  the target  was not achieved  , far superior  than Pakistani Army , which was one third in number and detailed on East and West Pakistan to defend,nagging doubts if any needs to be cleared  subjected to policy norms.that still haunts us  because of the fact left the state  has been fractured torn apart  and  bleeding. 







Bushan Parimoo

(The writer is a Jammu based environmentalist and a regular contributor to this Website.)
(Feedback at: blparimoo@gmail.com)


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