Service No : IC19294

Date of Birth : 1946

Service : Army

Last Rank : Captain

Unit : 5 Sikh

Arm/Regt : The Sikh Regiment

Operation : Op Cactus Lily

Martyrdom : December 6, 1971

Captain Kamal Bakshi

Capt Kamal Bakshi was born in the year 1946 and later his family got settled in McCluskiegunj, a hill town in Jharkhand. Son of an Army veteran Col OP Bakshi and Smt Shanta Bakshi, he had two sisters Neeta and Reeta as his siblings. He did his schooling from Sherwood College in Nainital and grew up to be well groomed boy. He was fascinated with aeroplanes right from his younger days and always wanted to be a fighter pilot. 

 

Eventually, following into the footsteps of his father, he joined the Army after completing his education. He was commissioned into 5 Sikh battalion of the Sikh Regiment, an infantry Regiment known for its intrepid soldiers and scores of battle honours. Incidentally his father too served in the Sikh Regiment and the young 2nd Lt Kamal Bakshi was very proud to be part of the same Regiment. Very soon he evolved into a committed soldier and fine officer. As the tensions with Pakistan escalated in 1971, his battalion 5 Sikh got deployed in Chhamb-Jaurian sector of J & K.  That year Capt Kamal Bakshi came down to McCluskiegunj on leave to attend his sister, Reeta's marriage but his leave was cancelled owing to border tensions and he was called back on duty. 

 

Indo-Pak War: 04-06 Dec 1971

 

The Indo-Pak war of 1971 officially commenced on 03 Dec 1971 when Pakistani Air Force attacked various air fields of the IAF. Within hours after the air attack Pakistan’s 23 Division opened Artillery fire with all its nine Regiments along a 30-40 Kms front in the Chhamb sector. Soon thereafter a well-coordinated attack with armour was launched on 191 Brigade, which was the only Brigade of 10 Division of Indian Army defending the area west of the Munawar Tawi river at that time. 5 Sikh battalion commanded by Lt Col Prem Khanna was part of the 191 Brigade and was given the task of blunting the Pakistani attack. Capt Kamal Bakshi  second in command of 'A" Company of the battalion commanded by Maj DS Pannu which was given the responsibility of defending one of the important approaches to the sector.

 

Capt Kamal Bakshi’s company was occupying a key position for the defence of Chhamb, when the enemy launched an attack on night of 04 December 1971. The attack continued throughout that night and thereafter for sixteen hours but Capt Kamal Bakshi and his troops held on gallantly and thwarted enemy’s advance.  However as the position was of strategic importance to the enemy, it launched another battalion attack on 5th morning,  preceded by heavy artillery fire. Capt Kamal Bakshi’s company commander, Maj Pannu ordered his soldiers to retaliate forcefully. However, during this operation, Maj Pannu got hit by a shell and was martyred.
 
Under these challenging circumstances, Capt Kamal Bakshi took over command of his company responsible for defending Post 303 on the west bank of the river Munnawar Tawi. On the night of Capt Kamal Bakshi's unit which had been fighting for over 60 hours, was attacked twice and both attacks were successfully repelled. On 06 Dec 1971, the enemy's 2 Armoured Brigade again attacked and overran Capt Kamal Bakshi's position after a tough fight. Although the post was recaptured by Indian Army by mid morning Capt Kamal Bakshi  was not traceable. He is believed to have been captured and taken prisoner, as his body was never found. 
 
However, a confusion continued to persist about his death, as some of the Prisoners Of War (POW) lodged in a Pakistani jail, later informed about the presence of Capt Kamal Bakshi in Pakistani Jail. His father Col Bakshi wrote many letters to the President, Prime Minster and to high military officials in this matter but did not get any success. Later his sister Reeta during her search for her brother found many leads/evidences that gave credence to the fact that Capt Kamal Bakshi was being kept as a POW in Pakistan. Pakistan, however never acknowledged the presence of Capt Kamal Bakshi in a Pakistani jail. Presently, Capt Kamal Bakshi’s name features on the official list of the ’54 Personnel Missing in Action’, tabled in the Lok Sabha in 1979 by the then Minister of State of External Affairs Shri Samarendra Kundu.
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3 Comments
  • Amar vaid

    2022at7:49 pm Reply

    It’s an honour seeing captain

    • Amar vaid

      2022at11:02 am

      I am sending you name

  • Amar vaid

    2022at7:47 am Reply

    Khabar chenea chene khan

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