Vice President visits historic Laungewala Battle Site near border; offers prayers at Tanot Mata Temple
Praises exemplary courage and determination displayed by Indian soldiers during the 1971 war
The lore of Laungewala battle lives on and continues to inspire generations of military men – Vice President
'Visit to Laungewala Battle Site an unforgettable day in my life' - Shri Naidu
Lauds Border Security Force for guarding India’s frontiers despite adverse climatic conditions
The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today visited the famous Laungewala Battle Site near the border in Jaisalmer and praised the exemplary courage and determination displayed by Indian soldiers in the crucial battle which is considered a defining moment in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
The Vice President who arrived in Jaisalmer today on a five-day tour to Rajasthan began his trip by visiting the famous Tanot Mata Temple where he offered prayers along with his spouse, Smt. Usha Naidu. On this occasion, he also paid tributes to the martyrs by laying a wreath at Victory Stambh, Tanot.
Thereafter, Shri Naidu reached the Laungewala Battle Site where he was briefed on the historic Battle of Laungewala by Major General Ajeet Singh Gahlot, Sena Medal.
Later in a Facebook post, the Vice President described his visit to Laungewala Battle Site as ‘an unforgettable day’ in his life. “Standing on the sand dunes in the dusky Thar desert near the Pakistan border and listening to the riveting stories of fierce battles and the indomitable spirit of our valiant soldiers will remain forever etched in my memory,” he wrote.
Calling his visit to border areas as part of his ongoing ‘knowledge pilgrimage’, Shri Naidu mentioned that he has been going to different parts of the country to gain a deeper understanding of the richness of this great land and enjoining people to join the ‘Mahayajna’ of transforming India into a Vishwaguru once again.
Praising the valour of Major Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri and his ‘A’ Company of ‘23 PUNJAB’, the Vice President wrote that the battle of Laungewala will stand out in the annals of military history as a glorious chapter revealing India’s steely will—wherein a handful of gritty Indian soldiers successfully held back the advance of a much larger enemy force.
Observing that the genesis of the 1971 Indo-Pak war lied in the large-scale atrocities committed by the Pakistan Army on the people of East Pakistan and the subsequent influx of refugees into India, Shri Naidu said that the 13-day war ended in a decisive victory for India liberating the people of Bangladesh from an oppressive regime.
Describing the events before and during the battle, the Vice President mentioned that on the night of December 04, 1971, Indian soldiers at Laungewala found themselves up against impossible odds—hugely outnumbered and facing two tank regiments with light weapons and two Recoilless (RCL) guns. “But these gallant soldiers, in a memorable display of the finest Indian military traditions, decided to dig their heels firmly in and defend their motherland,” he wrote, lauding the never say die spirit of Indian army men.
Despite enemy tanks reaching up to about 50 meters from the post, Major Chandpuri and his men displayed exemplary courage and successfully held back their advance till morning when Indian Air Force jets destroyed the enemy tanks one after another. Calling the battle of Laungewala as a tale of grit and heroism, the Vice President wrote, “The lore of Laungewala battle lives on and continues to inspire generations of military men.”
Referring to the soldiers’ and locals’ abiding faith in Tanot Mata as their saviour, Shri Naidu wrote that the inspiring victory at Laungewala which was snatched from the jaws of defeat and martyrdom, reinforces our brave soldiers’ faith in the divine.
In his remarks in the Temple’s visitor book, the Vice President praised the devotion and dedication of the Border Security Force personnel who have been guarding India’s frontiers despite the adverse climatic conditions of the Thar desert. Later in the day, he will be visiting sand dunes and also witness a cultural programme by local folk artists.
Shri Kalraj Mishra, the Governor of Rajasthan, Dr Bulaki Das Kalla, Minister, Government of Rajasthan, Shri Rajendra Gehlot, Rajya Sabha Member & other senior officials welcomed the Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu and his spouse, Smt. Usha Naidu on their arrival in Jaisalmer today. Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Kailash Choudhary and senior officials of BSF welcomed the Vice President when he reached Tanot and thereafter, he was received by senior officials of Indian Army at Laungewala Battle Site. Governor of Rajasthan, Shri Kalraj Mishra accompanied the Vice President throughout his visit today.