Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane on Friday handed over the remaining ? 5 lakh to 70-year-old Lance Havildar (Retd) Dil Bahadur Chhettri, who was decorated with India’s second highest gallantry award Maha Vir Chakra for his bravery during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.
Rifleman Chhettri, who was with the Indian Army’s Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force), was known for his bravery and daring acts. Born on August 21, 1950 in Nepal’s Matta Dang district, he joined the Indian Army on August 21, 1968.
In the 1971 war against Pakistan, his Battalion was part of the advance towards Sylhet in Bangladesh. His Battalion was given the specific task of clearing a well-fortified Medium Machine Gun (MMG) enemy post at Atgram in Bengal.
Rifleman Chhetri, with complete disregard to his personal safety, fought fearlessly, charged the bunker, killed eight enemy troops with his khukri (a type of machete) and captured the MMG post. For his gallantry and devotion to duty, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.
He had to quit the service over personal reasons even before reaching the requisite pensionable service. He was discharged from service on April 8, 1976.
Since then, he has been leading a very modest life in a remote village in Nepal’s Banke district. His life, after quitting the service, was filled with misery as he has had no major source of income and has been surviving on his gallantry award allowance.
Due to his introvert nature, his condition was never highlighted. However, his case recently came to notice when one senior officer of his unit informed the Defence Wing, officials said.
He was contacted and a total amount of ? 10 lakh was approved as a welfare measure to alleviate the hardships being faced by him in his old age.
During an ex-servicemen rally in Nepal’s Butwal on November 21, 2019, he was felicitated with a cheque of ? 5 lakh as the first tranche. Gen Naravane, during his visit to Nepal, handed over the balance amount of ? 5 lakh to him on Friday.