Maj Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri – The Hero of Longewala


Maj Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri – The Hero of Longewala

 
Jaisalmer Longewala War Memorial Museum Major Kuldeep Singh
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Major Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri was an officer in the 23 Punjab Rifles. When the Pakistani army attacked Longewala near theand Tanot Mata in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan at the beginning of the Indo-Pak war of 1971, Major Kuldeep was commanding the Punjab Rifles in that sector. Major Chandpuri and his company of 120 soldiers defended the post despite considerable obstacles, the strong force of the Pakistani 51st Infantry Brigade consisting of more than 2000 soldiers, supported by the 22nd Armoured Regiment, and held fort all night. Maj. Chandpuri and his company kept the Pakistani forces at bay all night until the Indian Air Force arrived in the morning to provide air support.

Longewala Major Kuldeep Singh Jaisalmer War Memorial

Pak Army tanks were forced into the dense desert and could not travel further. With his limited Army and resources, Maj. Chandpuri inspired his soldiers to move from one bunker to another, encouraging them to retreat the enemy till reinforcements arrived.

Major Chandpuri and his troops inflicted heavy losses on the enemy and forced them to retreat, leaving twelve tanks behind. The next morning, Indian Air Force planes destroyed the tanks of the Pak Army and Longewala became the graveyard of these tanks. The aim of the Pak Army was to capture Indian territory from Longewala then to Ramgarh and Jaisalmer. The adventure failed miserably. After the war, the Pakistan Army also investigated this notable defeat in western sector.

Longewala Major Kuldeep Singh Jaisalmer War Memorial

The operation Cactus Lily Award Citation in honour of Major Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri says: Major was commanding a company of the Punjab Regiment, which was in a safe area in the Rajasthan sector. In the early hours of the morning on 5 December 1971, the enemy launched a massive attack on this area with infantry and tanks. Major Chandpuri displayed dynamic leadership in keeping his command intact and firm. Showing extraordinary courage and determination, he inspired his men to move from one bunker to another, encouraging them to repel the enemy until reinforcements arrived. In this heroic defense, he inflicted heavy damage on the enemy and forced them to retreat, leaving behind twelve tanks. In this action, Major Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri displayed distinguished valour, inspiring leadership and exceptional devotion to duty in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Army.

Longewala Major Kuldeep Singh Jaisalmer War Memorial

For his distinguished bravery and leadership, Major Chandpuri was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) by the Government of India. He later retired as a Brigadier from the Army. This battle of Major Chandpuri was brought to the screen in blockbuster Hindi film Border. Major Chandpuri passed away in 2018. If you ever go to Jaiselmer, go to Longewala in Ramgarh Tehsil. At this place the details of their heroic and gallant war story is displayed with facts and figures.  One can also visit the Tanot Mata temple and can travel up to last Indian Post bordering Pakistan with prior approval from Army or the BSF.

Longewala Major Kuldeep Singh Jaisalmer War Memorial

Jaisalmer Longewala War Memorial Museum Major Kuldeep Singh

Jaisalmer Longewala War Memorial Museum Major Kuldeep Singh

 

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