Major Somnath Sharma Birth Anniv: Remembering The First Recipient Of Param Vir Chakra

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New Delhi: Today is the 99th birth anniversary of Major Somnath Sharma, the first recipient of India’s highest gallantry award the Param Vir Chakra.

Many users on social media have paid their tribute to Major Sharma, who receive the award posthumously in 1950.

Born of 31st January, 1923 in Dadh village of Himachal Prades, Major Sharma was the real hero of the war, fought between Indian army and Pakistani aggressors on 3rd November 1947, to safeguard J&K after its accession to India. His inclination and valour to do something for mother India can be gauged from the fact that he was unsatisfied that he has not been given an active assignment because of his fractured hand.

He fought many battles but one of the prominent ones was World War II under Colonel K S Thimmayya in Burma with the British Army. In the very first posting, he was deployed in Arakan and proved his mettle. In Arakan, while fighting against the Japanese, one of the soldiers got injured.

On November 3, 1947, Major Somnath Sharma and his company were ordered to reach Badgam village to take charge of the situation there. His left hand was injured after a hockey match and had to get a plaster cast over it. But the major still insisted on fighting for the nation alongside the jawans. Badgam was one of the most dangerous routes as the Pakistani raiders were marching towards Srinagar.

It was 2:30 PM in the afternoon when a 500-strong force of tribal lashkars (raiders ), supported by powerful mortars, attacked the 50 Indian jawans of Major Sharma’s company. Surrounded by the enemy from three sides, 4 Kumaon began sustaining heavy casualties from the ensuing mortar bombardment. Outnumbered by 7 to 1, Sharma immediately sent a request to Brigadier ‘Bogey’ Sen for reinforcements.

He sacrificed his life for the nation, while fighting the enemies in Badgam, Jammu & Kashmir.

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