Service No: 5232218
Date of Birth : Nov 27, 1941
Place of Birth : Garhung, Nepal
Last Rank: Rifleman
Unit : 5/3 GR
Arm/Regt : 3 Gorkha Rifles
Operation : Op Cactus Lily
Award : VrC
Date of Martyrdom : Dec 11, 1971
Rifleman Prem Bahadur Thapa was born on 27th November 1941, at Garhung in Nepal. Son of Shri Nanda Bahadu, Rfn Prem Bahadur Thapa joined the Army at the age of 22 years on 27th Nov 1963. He was recruited into 5/3 GR of the famed 3 Gorkha Rifles Regiment, a Regiment known for its intrepid soldiers and numerous battle exploits. Rfn Prem Bahadur Thapa underwent training at the Training Center in Varanasi , called 39 Gorkha Training Centre (39 GTC) and joined his parent unit. By 1971, Rfn Prem Bahadur Thapa had put in about 8 years service and had served in various operational areas with different terrain and operational conditions.
Indo-Pak War- 11 Dec 1971
In December 1971, India had to go to war with Pakistan as the genocide perpetrated by the Pakistani army in their erstwhile eastern part of the country had posted an unprecedented influx of millions of refugees. India had to fight the war on it’s eastern as well as western and northern fronts which culminated in the liberation of a new country Bangladesh. During Dec 1971, Rfn Prem Bahadur Thapa’s unit 5/3 GR was deployed in the western sector.
As part of the ongoing operations the unit planned an attack on the enemy positions on 11 Dec 1971. The enemy feature was dominated by MMGs and LMGs and and was heavily fortified. As the attack commenced and the troops were crossing the start line, a medium machine gun post suddenly opened up from a flank and held up the attack. Rfn Prem Bahadur Thapa quickly assessed the situation and realized that the MMG needed to be neutralized at any cost to facilitate the advance of own troops. In a rare display of courage and total disregard to his own safety, Rfn Prem Bahadur Thapa decided to silence the MMG.
He immediately swung into action and started crawling towards the MMG post. While crawling towards the machine gun post, he was hit by a burst of fire and started bleeding profusely. Unmindful of his wounds and safety, he continued to crawl and threw a grenade in the trench. The grenade destroyed the post and the MMG which was impeding the advance of our troops was finally silenced. However, Rfn Prem Bahadur Thapa got grievously wounded and later succumbed to his injuries. He was a valiant and dedicated soldier who laid down his life in the service of the nation.
Rfn Prem Bahadur Thapa was given the gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” posthumously for his cold courage, fighting spirit, devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice.
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