Service No: IC-15951

Service: Army

Last Rank : Lieutenant

Unit : 68 FD Coy Engineers / 56 ER

Arm/Regt : The Corps of Engineers

Operation: Op Riddle

Date of Martyrdom : Oct 11, 1965

Lt Dilip Gupte

Lt Dilip Gupte was born in a family of doctors wherein both parents were practicing doctors. Lt Gupte nursed the idea of joining the armed forces since his childhood and had no inclination in the medical profession. He joined the army at the age of 22 years and was commissioned into Bengal Sappers of the corps of engineers in Feb 1964. Lt Gupte was engaged in  May 1965 but soon thereafter he received orders to join his unit in J&K area to take part in operations against Pakistan.

 

Indo Pak War: Oct 1965

 

Though the Indo Pak war of 1965, officially ended on 23 Sep 1965, border skirmishes were continuing thereafter to occupy positions of advantage. Pakistan was pushing regular Army troops in the guise of Razakars & Mujahideen into India over Kishenganga River through Jura Bridge, near Tithwal. The Indian army decided to flatten the bridge to prevent the infiltration and 4 Kumaon battalion was given the task to demolish the Jura Bridge. Lt Dilip Gupte with his platoon was attached to 4 Kumaon to give engineer support. The orders came after the cease-fire was declared on 23 Sep 1965, hence the operation was to be carried out with great stealth and caution. The commanding officer of 4 Kumaon Lt Col Arthur Salick planned the operation by taking the battalion over Bimla Pass at the height of 12000ft in enemy territory, marching on foot over 25 Km of high altitude terrain.

 

The battalion with support elements marched for almost 7 days in snowbound and icy wind terrain, though it came across enemy at 3 places which were successfully defeated and pushed back. Lt Gupte was attached to D company of 4 Kumaon commanded by Maj Y Bisht leading the march. The team reached the Jura Border on 10th Oct 65 and cleared the area on the side of Bridge by pushing back the enemy. However, the bridge could not be approached immediately owing to the very steep & verticle slope. The enemy counter-attacked on 11 Oct 1965 and a fierce battle ensued thereafter. The 4 Kumaon troops ran out of ammunition due to skirmishes on the way but were determined to repulse the enemy attack. Lt Gupte and his soldiers used bayonets and rifle butts and gallantly fought off the enemy. Another company of 4 Kumaon led by Capt DK Dhavan joined the operation and finally forced the enemy forces to retreat. However, during this fierce battle Lt Gupte, Capt Karunakaran, Maj Bisht, and 39 other soldiers laid down their lives. Lt. Gupte was seriously injured with bullets in the neck and later succumbed to his injuries.

 

Lt Dilip Gupte was a valiant and committed soldier who made the supreme sacrifice at the age of 23 yrs, following the highest traditions of the Indian Army. Lt Dilip Gupte is survived by his younger brother Dr. Rajan Gupte.

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5 Comments
  • Lt. Col. Atul Gupte

    2019at10:12 am Reply

    BRIEF LT. GUPTE
    2/Lt Dilip Gupte, IC-15951
    68 FD Coy Engineers / 56 ER

    Lt. Dilip Gupte was son of both doctor parents and in-spite of great parental pressure to join medical stream, decided to join Army. Such was his passion to serve the nation. He was commissioned in Corps of Engineers, Bengal Sappers in Feb ’64. He was engaged to wed and engagement ceremony was held in May 65 and received orders to join his unit immediately thereafter.
    Pakistanis were pushing regular Army troops in the guise of Razakars & Mujahideens in India over Kishenganga River (aka Neelam River by Pakistanis) over Jura Bridge, near Tithwal, which was then in POK and creating nuisance and literally created a bulge in the border called Bugina bulge. The aim of Indian Army was to flatten the Bugina bulge. 4 Kumaon battalion of Indian Army was tasked to demolish the Jura bridge and Lt Dilip Gupte with his platoon was attached to 4 Kumaon to give engineer support. The orders came after the cease fire was declared on 23 Sep ‘65. Hence the operation was to be carried out with great stealth and caution.
    Jura Bridge (before demolition)

    CO 4 Kumaon, Lt.Col. Arthur Salick planned the operation by taking the battalion over Bimla Pass at ht of 13000ft in enemy territory, marching on foot over 25 Kms of high altitude terrain. The battalion with support elements marched for almost 7 days in snowbound and icy wind terrain, came across enemy at 3 places which were successfully defeated and pushed back.
    Lt Gupte was attached to D Coy of 4 Kumaon commanded by Maj (then) YS Bisht, which was leading the march. They reached Jura Br on 10th Oct 65. They cleared the area on our side of Bridge by pushing back enemy. The bridge could not be approached immediately due to very steep almost verticle slope. Recce was carried out in night.
    However, on 11th Oct the enemy counter attacked and fierce battle took place. Due to long march and skirmishes on the way the ammunition was at shortage. However, as per eye witness accounts, our troops including Lt Gupte used even the rifle butt as lathi and gallantaly fought off enemy. Another company of 4 Kumaon led by Capt DK Dhavan(retd as Brig) joined in and Pakistanis were defeated and ran away. Kumaonis lost 42 soldiers including Lt. Gupte, Engrs & Capt Karunakaran, Arty FOO. Maj Bisht was badly injured with bullets in the neck and was evacuated subsequently. The enemy dead were counted as 92 next day. We have video recordings of the eye witness Brig Dhavan telling us the about the full “Operation Jura”.
    Lt Dilip Gupte 23 yrs of age gave his life for the country. Though he was not awarded any bravery medal for reasons unknown, we salute a great warrior hero who sacrificed his life for the country.
    A memorial day to pay homage to this young officer was held on 11th Oct 2015 in Mumbai attended by H’nbl Raksha Mantri, Shri Manohar Parrikar.

  • Vinod Deshmukh

    2019at6:55 pm Reply

    The account of heroic deeds and his sacrifice for the nation of Lt Dilip Gupte my cousin got me charged to join the Army. He died in Oct 1965 and I joined in Oct 1966. He has been a very great motivating factor throughout my service. GOD BLESS.

    • N G Patil

      2021at1:45 pm

      He was honoured once again on the eve of Veer Savarkar Atmarpan day on 26th Feb 2021 at Shivaji Park with the Veer Savarkar Veer Ratna Gallantry Award -2021 which was received by his brother Dr Rajan Gupte

    • Vivek

      2021at12:50 am

      My late father, Col VK Srivastava,was his coy cmdr ,before the war .
      My father was OC 68 fd coy.

  • Lt Gen KK Khanna

    2022at7:22 pm Reply

    We salute the brave officer. Surprising that he did not receive a gallantry award.

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