Sangram Medal 1971 – A story that I shared with the Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services

Government of India, Ministry of Defence claims that Honours and Awards are conferred within a specific period from the date of the act. For every act, there are two parties involved. I had acted on behalf of Government of India and my action was directed against the Government of Pakistan. At this belated stage, after the lapse of over 32 years, what would be the view of the Government of Pakistan about this act?

Special Frontier Force – Operation Eagle – Gallantry Award – Liberation War of Bangladesh 1971:


Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India initiated Liberation of Bangladesh with military action in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The battle plan of this military action is known as Operation Eagle.

Sangram Medal 1971-72. Operation Eagle – Liberation War of Bangladesh

Sangram Medal 1971 

This medal was awarded for service during the 1971/72 War with Pakistan. This medal was given to all categories of personnel who served in the military, paramilitary forces, police, and civilians in service in the operational areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura between 3 December 1971 and 20 December 1972. A lot of people were awarded with this medal. I had an opportunity to narrate my story and spoke about my War experience to The Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services during my interview for the grant of Direct Permanent Commission which was conducted during the Army Medical Corps Examination of 1972. 
Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands(December 1985 to December 1989) – Lieutenant General(Retd) TS Oberoi, PVSM, VrC., former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Headquarters Southern Command, Pune, former Inspector General, Special Frontier Force, former Commandant, Headquarters Establishment No. 22. He is the tall person in this photo wearing a dark brown turban. I knew him since 1971. Under his able leadership, the Liberation of Bangladesh had commenced in the year 1971 during the Indo-Pak War.Apart from his military wisdom, he took a good care of all men under his Command. While I was proceeding to Chittagong Hill Tracts, he had individually greeted all the members of my team and had delayed the departure of aircraft to ensure that a hot breakfast was served to all the men boarding the aircraft. He paid personal attention to all the aspects of the military mission to ensure the wellbeing of men apart from achieving success in accomplishing the military task. The sense of warmth he radiated is easily felt when we meet him in person. His grandson provided me the link to this photo. Photo Credit – Trishna-Ajay-Picasa Web Album.
The remarks made by Lt Col B K Narayan on May 13, 1972 in my Annual Confidential Report for 1971-72 are as follows:”A very conscientious and Tough MO who worked hard during the Bangladesh OPs. He did very well and showed Maturity which was beyond the call of duty. I have recommended this Officer for a gallantry award for which he deserves eminently. He is physically Tough and cheerful. Is a fresh entrant with less than 2 years of Service and yet he displayed capability and confidence.
I was trained in the use of a 9 mm SMG or Sten Gun. I had chosen to march into enemy territory without my personal weapon to defend myself. I did not throw away my weapon and I did not surrender my weapon to the enemy which are crimes under law. War is a team effort. My contribution to this team effort is not based upon firing bullets from my Sten Gun. I had totally discarded any concerns about my personal safety and worked for the success of the team. I have shown Courage by not carrying this Sten Gun and in following my team like a shadow and confronting the enemy as a TEAM.

I participated in the INDO-PAK WAR of 1971 while serving in the Indian Army after getting selected for Short Service Regular Commission in 1969. After the War I had applied for the grant of Direct Permanent Commission and there were over 3,000 doctors who had applied for the few vacancies that were available at that time.The AMC Examination for the grant of DPC was held in September, 1972 in New Delhi. The selection process includes an examination to evaluate the professional skills and an interview hosted by The Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services who was assisted by a large panel of specialists and other experts. In 1972, I was posted at Hq D Sector, C/O 99 APO and my Commander, Colonel Iqbal Singh had earlier served as the Chief of Staff at the Formation Headquarters during the 1971 War. My Commander was acutely aware of the fact that I was recommended for a Gallantry Award for my role in the War and that I had not received the Award. On my application for Direct Permanent Commission, Colonel Iqbal Singh, MC (the Military Cross), MiD (Mentioned-in-Dispatches), while giving his recommendation, wrote about my operational role and my performance in the War. The Director General while commencing my interview took a brief look at my application and the remarks given by my Unit Commander. The first question that I was asked was to describe my War experience. As I spoke, the entire Selection Committee listened to me with great interest and the Director General was so fascinated with my story and he directed his second question to me, asked me to give him more details of the operation. I was a Medical Officer who had witnessed the War like a front row spectator and that was a very unique situation and only a very few get that kind of chance to witness a military operation without being a fighting soldier. He got totally engrossed with my story and he even forgot that all the time that was allotted for the interview had been used up. Since, the Selection Committee had to interview several more candidates on that day, the Director General concluded my interview with openly congratulating me for my performance during the War and he graciously asked the other members of the Selection Committee if they would like to ask me any more questions. They unanimously announced that they had no other questions to ask and I was permitted to leave. A Major was designated to usher in the candidates for the interview and escort them out of the Conference Room was a witness to my performance during the interview. He briefly spoke to me as I was leaving the venue. He assured me that I am granted the Direct Permanent Commission and the confirmation letter would be a mere formality. A few weeks later, I did receive the confirmation letter and I was granted Direct Permanent Commission in Army Medical Corps with effect from 07 March 1973.  

Remarks of Lieutenant General T S Oberoi, PVSM, VrC, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief,Headquarters Southern Command Pune 411001.He had remarked about my participation in the Indo-Pak War of 1971.
The story about ‘Sangram Medal’ and Permanent Regular Commission in Indian Army Medical Corps.The Indo-Pak War of 1971 and the Birth of Bangladesh are very significant achievements of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. As I was then serving in an Establishment under the Cabinet Secretariat, I had direct and personal understanding of her Foreign Policy Initiatives. She had personally approved our military Operation in Chittagong Hill Tracts. In the conduct of this War, we had faced a very critical moment and it needed her personal intervention and a decision that she alone could make. I rendered my services and had overcome the challenge posed by that critical situation. The importance of this situation could be understood as it needed an intervention from the Prime Minister. I am now asking the Government of India to recognize my GALLANT response in enemy’s territory without any concern for my personal safety.
Poorvi Star 1971-A piece of material evidence in my possession.
Poorvi Star 1971-A piece of material evidence in my possession to prove my participation in Operation Eagle during Liberation War of Bangladesh 1971.

The Phantoms of Chittagong: The Fifth Army in Bangladesh: 

General Sujan Singh Uban, Inspector General of Special Frontier Force was awarded the Medal of AVSM for rendering Very Distinguished Service during the Indo-Pak War of 1971.
General Sujan Singh Uban, Inspector General of Special Frontier Force was awarded the Medal of AVSM for rendering Very Distinguished Service during the Indo-Pak War of 1971.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Operation Eagle:. In 1971, Special Frontier Force initiated Liberation of Bangladesh with military action in the Chittagong Hill Tracts with Battle Plan Code-named Operation Eagle. This Operation is not governed by Army Act 1950.

Major General( Retd) Sujan Singh Uban, AVSM, the former Inspector General of Special Frontier Force is the author of the  book  titled ‘The Phantoms of Chittagong : The Fifth Army in Bangladesh’. He had narrated the military exploits of his Force while operating in Chittagong Hill Tracts during Indo-Pak War of 1971. He did not describe the story that I had shared with the Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services. My story was witnessed by hundreds of independent eye witnesses, for example, the Border Security Force Personnel who were manning the Post at Borunasury in Mizo Hills celebrated my arrival with Battle Casualties at their Camp.   

The Flag of Army Medical Corps. General Sujan Singh Uban,AVSM did not discuss the Medical Plan for his Fifth Army in Bangladesh. The contribution made by his AMC Medical Officer is not stated in his Book.
The Flag of Army Medical Corps. General Sujan Singh Uban,AVSM did not discuss the Medical Plan for his Fifth Army in Bangladesh. The contribution made by his AMC Medical Officer is not stated in his Book.

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,

Service Number: MR-03277K, Rank. Major AMC/DPC & MS-8466 Captain AMC/SSC

Medical Officer, South Column, Operation Eagle 1971

Headquarters Establishment No. 22  C/O  56  APO    

Published by WholeDude

Whole Man - Whole Theory: I intentionally combined the words Whole and Dude to describe the Unity of Body, Mind, and Soul to establish the singularity called Man.

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