SOURCE : TNN
Forty-six years after the epic Battle of Longewala was fought by 120 soldiers of 23 Punjab Regiment, the Army on Wednesday named the roads in military area of the battle zone in Rajasthan after the heroes of the battle, including Brigadier Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri, Subedar Rattan Singh and Maj Gen Atma Singh.
The roads inside the Jaisalmer military station have been renamed by the Battle Axe Division (12th Infantry Division) that has operational responsibility of the Rajasthan desert sector. Three roads have been renamed as Chandpuri Road, Rattan Singh Marg and Atma Singh Marg.
The renaming ceremony was attended by 14 war veterans, including the then Company Commander in the epic battle Brigadier (then a major) Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri, of 23 Punjab Regiment. Indian Air Force (IAF) and Border Security Force (BSF) warriors also participated in the event.
Brigadier Chandpuri, who was awarded country’s second highest gallantry award Mahavir Chakra for his bravery in the Battle of Longewala, told TOI he was deeply touched by the Army’s gesture to immortalise the war veterans.
Chandpuri, 77, had gone to Jaisalmer from Chandigarh to attend the event.On the night of 5/6 December 1971, Pakistan launched a massive attack with 51 Infantry Brigade, supported by a Regiment of T-59 and Squadron of Sherman Tanks to capture Longewala and Ramgarh. ‘A’ company of 23 Punjab Regiment led by Major K S Chandpuri held fast and despite being heavily outnumbered beat back multiple attacks throughout the night. At dawn on 6 December 1971, the Indian Air Force destroyed enemy tanks in precision attacks.