Words add up to nothing but inadequate understatements when they are used to describe the heroic display of patriotism by Lieutenant Keishing Clifford Nongrum during the Kargil war of 99. Hailing from Shillong in Meghalaya, the Lieutenant joined the Armed Forces out of sheer passion right after his graduation in Political Science. Hardly had his training finished, when Nongrum was fighting the Kargil War on the side of the 12th battalion of the JAK Light Infantry. During the war, his battalion was stationed at the Batalik Sector.
It was the night of June 30th 1999, the Lieutenant, and his battalion, were given the almost impossible task of recapturing Point 4812, a peak whose strategic position gave the Pakistanis an upper hand in the battle. The Lieutenant and his platoon were handed the responsibility to execute an assault on the cliff feature of this very peak.
The task was extremely difficult, as the Pakistani’s were comfortably hiding in their makeshift boulder bunkers which had them shielded from all kinds of enemy retaliations. As a result, our Platoon lay stranded after they had ascended the cliff from a very unorthodox South East side and this invited 2 hours of heavy mortar and gun fire.
The chips were down, the gunfire consistent, to even think that those two hours as easy would be a crime. It was in this tight spot, that our protagonist did something that changed the course of this almost lost battle. Keeping personal safety as secondary, the Lieutenant charged through his fire zone and lobbed grenades into the enemy bunkers and killed a dozen of enemies.
Despite those several bullets that nearly killed him, he was successful enough to sabotage a machine gun from a Pakistani in the remaining bunker.
This extraordinary display of bravery has etched his name into our minds.