| Officers pay tribute at the grave of Capt. Niekezhakuo (Niebu) Kenguruse at Mehrema village on Saturday. Telegraph picture |
Kohima, July 26: Nagas today paid tribute to a hero of the Kargil war on the 15th anniversary of Vijay Diwas.
Led by GOC 3 Corps, Lt Gen. S.L. Narasimhan, army officers, village elders and local residents today reminisced about Capt. Niekezhakuo (Niebu) Kenguruse at Mehrema village, 15km from here.
The general laid a wreath at the grave of the Naga officer. Maj. Gen. M.M. Naravane accompanied the commander.
Capt. Kenguruse of 2nd Rajputana Rifles was killed in the Drass sector of Kashmir on July 28, 1999, during Operation Vijay.
The father of the war hero, Neiselie Kenguruse, said he had received a letter from Niebu after his death in which he had requested his family members to build a memorial in his name if he could not come home alive. He had also asked his family members not to grieve for him but remain strong. The son had written that he was not sure whether we would come home alive even though he had won many battles in Kargil.
With tears in his eyes, Neiselie said Niebu had become a true son of the country, adding that the brave never died.
Gen. Narasimhan said the late captain was a fearless soldier.
“He is really a true and brave son of the country,” he said. Capt. Kenguruse had shown the Nagas how to be brave and fearless, he said, adding: “Fear is something the Naga people do not know.”
“Your son has made not only Nagaland proud but the entire country,” he told the family members. He said the late captain had become a source of inspiration for Naga youths.
The programme was also attended by hundreds of schoolchildren.
The captain had volunteered to undertake a daring commando mission of attacking a well-entrenched enemy machine gun position on a cliff face, which was preventing all the approaches to the main objective of the battalion.
As the commando team scaled the cliff, it came under intense mortar and automatic fire, which caused heavy casualties.
The officer sustained splinter injuries in his abdomen.
Bleeding profusely, yet undeterred, he urged his men to carry on with the assault, the gathering was told.
On reaching the final cliff face, the commando team was halted by a sheer rock wall that separated them from the enemy machine gun post.
The officer took off his shoes to get a good grip and scaled the rock wall carrying with him a rocket launcher, which he fired at the enemy.
The officer thereafter charged at the enemy and killed two men with his rifle and another two with his knife in a hand-to-hand combat before succumbing to his injury.
The late captain single-handedly neutralised the enemy position, which had held up the battalion’s progress, the gathering was told.