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Lieutenant colonel JR Chitnis:- A Hero who Dedicated his Life to follow the Motto “better to die than live like a coward”
Lieutenant colonel JR Chitnis was awarded with the greatest peacetime military decoration Award “Ashoka Chakra ” for his exemplary duty and devotion. He was KIA, Commanding Officer, 1/3 Gurkha Rifles, in 1956. Let’s hear his courageous story to know more about him and his bravery:-
An Exceptional Story of Lieutenant colonel JR Chitnis’s Bravery:-
Lieutenant colonel JR Chitnis was posted in Nagaland as commanding officer in 1956. On 14th June 1956, Lieutenant colonel JR Chitnis and Subedar Major Nain Singh were heading towards Zunhebeto from Mokokchung with the treasury chest containing the pay of the battalion. He had eight jeeps that proceeding towards Zunhebeto with a platoon as escort.
Suddenly the middle jeep of the convoy was fired upon by near about 100 hostiles carrying weapons like LMGs, sten guns and rifles. At the same time three of his jeeps got separated.
He stopped the remaining jeeps , quickly assembled party and arranged for covering the fire.
Grabbing his sten gun and accompanied by his platoon, he charged hostile position. The platoon halted 150 yards away from the hostile’s bunkers and even though Lieutenant colonel JR Chitnis was already wounded in the leg, he led bayonet attack on the hostile, individually killing one hostile and wounding another.
At the another stage when an LMG situated at a flank opened up on his party, he again led a bayonet charge against the LMG post and was critically injured in the stomach and fell from some 15 yards away from the bunker. Even after getting wound he continued to motivete his platoon to move forward and destroy the position of the hostiles. The hostiles’ position was finally cleared and they suffered intense causalities including 20 dead. Lieutenant colonel JR Chitnis set an example of conspicuous bravery and leadership by continuing to lead and motivate his men till his last breath.
Lieutenant colonel JR Chitnis for his exceptional courage, extraordinary leadership, personal bravery, and dedication towards his duty awarded with India’s one of the highest gallantry awards “Ashoka Chakra” .