Samba: A wreath laying ceremony was organized at Veer Bhoomi Sthal in Samba district here on Tuesday wherein new war memorial of 2/Lt. Arun Khetarpal (PVC) (P) was unveiled and 1971 Indo-Pak war veterans of district Samba were also honoured and felicitated to celebrate their valour and patriotism.
Deputy Commissioner, Anuradha Gupta along with Brigadier D.K.R Gautam honoured the war heroes and paid floral tributes to the martyr of 1971 war.
Khetrapal was paid homage and great respect along with the entire band from the Samba Brigade.
With the display of patriotism, everyone saluted the spirit of martyrdom at the new memorial of the martyrs. Arun sacrificed his life at the young age of 21 while giving a befitting reply to Pakistan in the ‘Battle of Basantar’.
Arun Khetarpal was born on October 14, 1950 and joined the NDA in 1967 after completing his studies. His first posting was in 17 Poona Horse on June 13, 1971, but at the same time the dark clouds of Indo-Pak war started hovering and he was deployed in the Samba sector where he attained martyrdom while fighting enemy troops.
Senior Superintendent of Police Rajesh Sharma, members of social club, Rajput Sabha, Dogra Samaj, School children besides army officers and Locals were also present at the event.
Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrates the 50 years of victory of the Indian Army in Indo-Pak war of 1971 which started on 03 Dec 1971 and continued for 13-days.
The Deputy Commissioner said that the Samba sector has witnessed active operations in the 1971 war and was one of the few places along western border which saw the launch of an Indian offensive against the enemy. “Battle of Basanter, fought in Shakargarh Sector, was a major turning point in the 1971 war, which saw the emergence of two Param Veer Chakra and six Maha Veer Chakra recipients,” said the DC Samba.
Along with the unveiling of memorial of 2/Lt. Arun Khetarpal, 98 war veterans of 1971 war of Samba district were also felicitated by first Brigade and District Administration Samba.
A cycling expedition was also flagged- in by the Deputy Commissioner Samba and others which was organized by the 17 – Poona Horse regiment of the Indian Army. The expedition traversed through various places of Punjab, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir and was flagged in at Veer Bhoomi Park, District Samba.
Meanwhile, Army organized Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations along Shamshabari Ridge.
The celebration witnessed a number of events starting with lighting of the Swarnim Vijay Mashaal by GOC, Vajra Division and the senior most veteran Mh Ashrif from BSF of the area.
The event also witnessed honouring the students of Jan Shiksha Sansthan which has been conducting vocational training in 308 districts across India. A never before event was The Virtual Connect between the veterans of 1971 Indo-Pak war, their wards serving in Pharkian Brigade and the GOC Vajra Division.
It was an emotional moment when the veterans narrated their experiences of 1971 war which reflected valour and courage motivating the audience while for their son(s) it was a proud life time event. The dignitaries and the serving ward of the veterans signed the celebration board as a memorabilia. The event culminated with the Swarnim Vijay Congratulatory message of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat played for the soldiers.
This event in Pharkian Gali was a unique one as it was the first to felicitate the serving wards of the 1971 war veterans recognising their yeomen service and that of their predecessors. The event was attended by 24 Ex Servicemen from Army, Police and CAPF, a true reflection of the bonhomie amongst the security forces.