Desire to crush enemy in its territory drove young Parashar

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Old 14-Sep-2015
Post Desire to crush enemy in its territory drove young Parashar

It was a perfect situation for a young Army officer PL Parashar to crush the enemy in its own territory. His sinews would stiffen and blood summoned up at the blasts of the guns. The Indian Army captured the Alhar railway station in Sialkot during the 1965 war. He not only secured the Alhar station situated at Sialkot in Lahore, a key stretch of the Punjab province of Pakistan, for the country but also braved injuries to ensure that the enemy was inflicted a decisive defeat.
Col Parashar admits that Pakistan had the best of weaponry at that time, which gave its generals an edge over Indian forces during the war. However, the determination and high morale of the Indian forces withstood all challenges, forcing the Pakistan army to flee the battlefield.
“Our Hunter jets were no match to Pakistan’s Sabre jets. Similarly, their Patton tanks were far more superior to our Centurion tanks. But our men were more determined and full of ''josh'' and this proved decisive in the 1965 war,” asserts Col Parashar.
Then a young Second Lieutenant from 4 JAK Rifles, Col Parashar's peach posting at Sagar in Madhya Pradesh did not last long as his battalion was directed to move to the western front. He well remembers the ovation he and his colleagues received all along the route as people from all walks of life turned up at railway stations offering them fruits, milk and other edible items.
Col Parashar recalls how during action in the Sialkot sector they had to go without food and water for 24 to 30 hours in Chawinda in Pakistan and how they hid themselves in a graveyard to save themselves from the enemy shelling. They were even forced to eat partridges to survive. He vividly remembers the matrydom of his radio operator Riflemen Lalchand, who died close to him after he was hit by enemy shelling.
The martyrdom of Capt Prabul Dubey still haunts Col Parashar. “Capt Dubey, despite being away from active operations, came all the way from Delhi to Alhar only to attain martyrdom,” recounts Col Parashar. Capt Dubey was hit in the stomach and his intestines fell out in the open, resulting in his martyrdom.
Col Parashar, who too suffered splinter injuries in the enemy artillery shelling, today proudly displays in the drawing room at his Indiranagar house the Wound Medal conferred upon him by the Indian Army for his services.
He appreciates the country’s leadership for celebrating 50 years of the 1965 war but adds with remorse our political leaders have never given the armed forces their due. “Even in the 1965 war with Pakistan, as also in other wars, our political leaders had no clue about how to defend the country,” he asserts. He argues while top countries in the world ensure that their armed forces remain in a good shape, this has never been the case with India.
He questions the Central government’s sincerity towards the implementation of one rank one pension for ex-servicemen. Col Parashar wears a black band around his forearm and pledges to continue to support the agitation of ex-servicemen till justice is done to them.

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