It was a moment of goosebumps when the three award-winning Indo-Pak war veterans from Andhra Pradesh were honoured on the occasion of the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’, the golden jubilee year of the war.
Lieutenant Colonel Chittoor Venugopal, while commanding a battalion of Gorkha Rifles during the operations on the eastern front on the 4th of December 1971, came face to face with a well-fortified enemy defences at Uthali and Darsana. The position had a series of concrete pillboxes inter-connected with elaborate communication trenches. Showing scant regard for his personal safety, he planned the attack with great professional skill and led his team in capturing the two vital positions. The battalion relentlessly pursued the withdrawing enemy, giving them no time to regroup till Jhenida was captured three days later.
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and others visited the residence of Major General Venugopal (95), a recipient of Maha Vir Chakra, and presented him a memento marking the 50th year of the momentous victory over Pakistan, on Thursday.
In a personal chat with the nonagenarian, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed awe at his age-defying agility and wanted to know if he had any memories of the war, to which Mr. Venugopal nodded positively. After wishing his family members and also his personal caretaker for three decades, the Chief Minister left for the mega event, where the family members of the other two war veterans, Naik Jajula Sanyasi, commander of a recoilless gun detachment of the battalion in Shakargarh Sector and Sepoy Kolli John Krishthaper, serving a battalion of the Madras Regiment, were honoured.
When the advancing Indian troops suffered a setback due to medium machine gun fire from two enemy bunkers, it was Sanyasi who manoeuvred his gun and destroyed both bunkers, for which valorous act he was awarded the Vir Chakra. Similarly, Krishthaper dashed through the only opening in a wall all alone, behind which the holed up enemy troops were firing heavy automatic fire that held up the Indian platoon. The Sepoy silenced the enemy with hand grenades and got killed in the process. He too received Vir Chakra posthumously.