Service No : 5748878H

Date of Birth : July 24, 1959

Place of birth : Lumbini Dist (Nepal)

Service : Army

Last Rank : Lance Naik

Unit : 7/8 GR

Arm/Regt : 8 Gorkha Rifles

Operation : Op Pawan

Awards : Vir Chakra

Martyrdom : June 19, 1989

Lance Naik Bal Bahadur Thapa VrC

Lance Naik Bal Bahadur Thapa hailed from Bhtuke village of Lumbini district of Nepal, and was born on 24 July 1959. Son of Shri Heman Singh Thapa, he joined the army on 15 Jun 1979 after completing his school education at the age of 20 years. He was recruited into the 7/8 GR battalion of the 8 Gorkha Rifles Regiment, an infantry regiment known for its fearless soldiers and numerous successful operations.  After joining his parent unit, he served in various operational areas and took part in a number of operations. In the year 1988-89, his unit was tasked to move to Sri Lanka as part of IPKF operation to contain the volatile situation there. 


Sri Lankan Operations (Op Pawan) : 19 Jun 1989


During 1989, Lance Naik Bal Bahadur Thapa's unit 7/8 GR was deployed in Sri Lanka as part of 'Op Pawan". After the induction of Indian forces in Aug 1987, the militants were supposed to surrender but the dreaded LTTE backed out and unleashed a war on Indian forces.  Initially, only 54 division of the Army was inducted but the escalation of the operations brought three more divisions 3, 4 and 57 into the conflict. By June 1989, Indian forces had undertaken numerous operations against LTTE but the war was far from over. During June 1989, Lance Naik Bal Bahadur Thapa's unit 7/8 GR , was involved in "Operation Pawan" and was undertaking operations against the LTTE on a regular basis. On 19 June 1989, Lance Naik Bal Bahadur was part of an armed patrol and functioning as a scout thereby putting himself right in front. While patrolling along Rasa Veethi, he spotted three young men crossing a fence in a suspicious manner.


The vigilant, Lance Naik Thapa started chasing these men to apprehend them. Sensing that they have been spotted, the suspected militants ran in different directions, jumping over the fence. Determined to get the militants, Lance Naik Thapa followed one of them in hot pursuit. Realizing that Lance Naik Thapa was pursuing him very closely the militant tried to evade capture by lobbing a grenade that exploded in front of him. Undaunted by the explosion of the grenade, Lance Naik Thapa continued to chase the militant, who was now joined by another militant. The militants opened up with AK-47 rifles and brought a heavy volume of automatic fire on Lance Naik Thapa. Undeterred by the fire, Lance Naik Thapa returned the fire with his rifle and killed one militant instantly. Subsequently, the search for the person of the dead militant resulted in the recovery of two cyanide capsules, two micro cassettes containing incriminating material, and substantial amount of Sri Lankan Currency. However, during the exchange of fire, Lance Naik Thapa got seriously injured and later succumbed to his injuries.


Lance Naik Bal Bahadur Thapa, was a brave and gritty soldier who laid down his life in the line of his duty. Lance Naik Bal Bahadur Thapa was given the gallantry award “Vir Chakra”, on 26 Jan 1990 for his exceptional courage, gallantry and supreme sacrifice.

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