WAR MEMORIALS

 

 

In commemoration of the heroic deeds of those who laid down their lives for the sake of their motherland, war memorials are constructed. In the district of Rajouri also, certain war memorials have been constructed in the memory of those who have sacrificed their precious tomorrow for our today. The description of some of the important war memorials is given as under:-

HALL OF FAME

On the top of the mound, the great memorial 'Hall of Fame' has been constructed in commemoration of the heroic deeds of those who have laid down their lives for the sake of their motherland in this sector of Rajouri and Poonch. Lt. Gen. S.P. Malhotra, PVSM, laid the foundation stone of "Hall of Fame" in 1982 the then GOC-in-C Northern Command. About two  years later, on October 29,1984, this monument was declared open by the then Lt. Gen. Chibber, PVSM, AVSM, GOC-in-C North Command.

As soon as we approach the premises of Hall of Fame, a beautiful replica (soldiers fixing Indian tri-colour on the enemy's post) attracts the visitors. On the second layer of lawn upward another memorial has been recently constructed in the memory of five army officers including Maj. Gen. Sudershan Singh and Brig. B.P. Singh who died on 14th July 1990 in a helicopter crash at Chor-Gali in Poonch sector.

Hall of Fame, the living monument of bravery and sacrifice, has been dedicated to brave army-men of all ranks and civilians who have rendered valuable services and sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Rajouri and Poonch. Brave soldiers and civilians have proved their mettle in wars with Pakistan in the year 1947, 1965 and 1971. As many as 2 PVCs, 48 MVCs, 75 Vr Cs and 30 SMs have been awarded to the valiant heroes in this divisional sector of Rajouri and Poonch. In addition to a large number of portraits of army men of all ranks, two portraits of civilians Shri Maulvi Ghulam-ud-Din and Smt.Mali Bee have also been given due place in the respective galleries. The Maulvi, who belonged to Dagwar, (a village across the Betar nullah in Poonch City) successfully managed to restore irrigation water supply of Dagwar canal during 1965 war. His services were recognized and Ashok Chakra Class-III was bestowed upon him. Smt. Mali Bee, who belonged to Arai village in the Mandi area of Poonch sector, helped Indian army in catching hold of infiltrators during 1971 war for which she was awarded Padam Shree.

The Hall of Fame consists of four rooms. At the entry point is the general hall, which has been decorated with flags and shields of units that took part in the last three wars, and also the portraits of the Generals who were entrusted the defence of this divisional sector from time to time

On the left wall of this general hall we have the portraits of General Kulwant Singh, General Atma Singh, Gen. Yadunath Singh and Air CEE Mehar  Singh. These Generals were responsible for undertaking the operations in1974, Poonch link-up and re-raising of 25 Infantry Division respectively. To this side of general hall  we enter into the room, which contains the photographs of those great warriors who dedicatedly fought for the sake of their country's defense in 1947-48. This room contains the portraits of as many as twenty great warriors of different ranks including Brig.Pritam Singh and Brig. Usman.

In the front of the general hall, we have the portraits of Mj.Gen. Amreek Singh who was responsible for the operation in this divisional sector during 1965 war. To this side  of the wall we enter into another room which contain the portraits of as many as ten great men of all ranks including Brig. Zohra Singh and a civilian Maulvi Gulam-Ul-Din who  bravely fought during  war with Pakistan in 1965. On the right side of the general hall, we have the portrait of Maj. Gen. Kundan Singh who was assigned the defence of the divisional sector during 1971 war. To this side of the wall, we have still another room which contain the portraits of as many as five army men of all ranks including Maj. Gen.K.L. Rattan, Maj.Gen. A.V. Nathu, Brig. R.N. Sharma. L/NK Mohd Iqbal and a civilian Smt.Mali Bee. A saga of heroism, bravery and courage can be re-called while looking at these portraits. This room also contains the photographs of the outposts that were captured by Indian Army during 1971 operation.

Besides the portraits of great warriors, flags and shields of different units, a precious documents "The Roll of Honour Book" has also been kept in the Hall of Fame which contain the names of all those who laid their lives for the sake of the country in keeping with the spirit of the verse of Horatious.Undoubtedly this great memorial would continue to inspire our young generations in centuries to come.

USMAN MEMORIAL

Another memorial has been constructed at Jhangar in the memory of Brig.Mohd Usman. Brig. Usman was mainly responsible for freeing the captured area around Jhangar. After having captured this strategic area, Brig. Usman convened a conference of army officers to decide about the future course of action/ Meanwhile, he fell to the heavy shelling of the enemy on 3rd July 1948. The body of Brig. Usman was taken to Jammu in his caravan from where it was flown to Delhi. He was buried with full state honours. The then Governor General and Prime Minister of India attended the last rites of Brig. Usman.

The Infantry unit located at Jhangar maintains this great memorial. The heroic deeds of armymen as well as civilians who died while fighting in this area are commemorated every year on 3rd July as "Jhangar Day". Along with this great memorial  another memorial has been constructed in memory of those of 268 Ind. Bde. who gave  their lives for honours and glory of their motherland.

WAR MEMORIAL AT GUJJAR MANDI CHOWK

Another war memorial has been raised at Gujjar Mandi Chowk in Rajouri, township. Indian army liberated Rajouri on 14th April 1948. Major General Kulwant Singh launched an attack against Pakistani forces that had converted the site of present air field into a slaughter ground on 13th April 1948.

Enemy killed about 13,000 persons and the survivors had to escape to forests for their lives before Maj.Gen. Kulwant Singh could come to their rescue. He was the only person to lead his troops from Chingus to Rajouri on 10th April 1948 leaving over 500 Pakistani soldiers dead in clashes at various places.

A Fauji Mela is organized on 13th April every year in the memory of those killed.Besides the above-mentioned important war memorials, a few others also exist at various places in this district. We salute the martyrs who gave their precious tomorrow for our today.