The soldier who killed enemies with his bare knife
In this post, let's go through the act of courage shown by L/nk Albert Ekka who killed enemies with his bare knife and saved the motherland from the invasion of enemies during Indo-Pak war 1971.
- Albert Ekka was born on 27 December 1942, in village Zari, Ranchi, Bihar.
- Ekka's family belonged to an Adivasi tribe. Therefore, Hunting was a common sport among the Adivasis, and Ekka was interested in it from his childhood.
- His experience of hunting in jungles was fruitful as this skill helped him to be better.
- Ekkan a developed interest for the army and was enrolled in the Bihar Regiment on 27 December 1962.
LIFE IN MILITARY
- After the 14th Battalion of the Brigade of the Guards was raised in January 1968, Ekka was transferred to that unit.
- He saw action in counter-insurgency operations while in the North East. During the preparations anticipation of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Ekka was promoted to lance naik.
BATTLE OF GANGASAGAR (Bangladesh)
- As the war broke out, 14 Guards was attached to the IV Corps. The capture of Gangasagar, located 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) to the south Akhaura in the Brahmanbaria District, was crucial for the advancement of IV Corps, and 14 Guards was tasked for that.
- As the operation began, the unit placed itself south of Gangasagar, about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from Akhaura railway station, and formed its defences.
- The high ground around the railway station was their central defence, followed by anti-tank and anti-personnel.
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka was in the left forward company of a battalion of the Brigade of Guards during their attack on the enemy defences at Gangasagar on the Eastern front.
- This was a well-fortified position held in strength by the enemy. The assaulting troops were subjected to intense shelling and heavy small-arms fire.
- They charged onto the enemy and were locked in bitter hand-to-hand combat.
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka noticed an enemy light machine-gun (LMG) inflicting heavy casualties on his company.
- With complete disregard for his safety, he charged the enemy bunker, bayoneted two enemy soldiers and silenced the LMG.
- Though seriously wounded in this encounter, he continued to fight alongside his comrades clearing bunker after bunker with undaunted courage.
- Towards the northern end of the objective one enemy medium machine-gun (MMG) opened up from the second storey of a well-fortified building inflicting heavy casualties and holding up the attack.
- Once again this gallant soldier, without a thought for his personal safety, despite his serious injury and the heavy volume of enemy fire, crawled forward till he reached the building and lobbed a grenade into the bunker killing one enemy soldier and injuring the other.
- The MMG however continued to fire. With outstanding courage and determination, Lance Naik Albert Ekka scaled a side wall and entering the bunker, bayoneted the enemy soldier who was still firing and thus silenced the machine-gun, saving further casualties to his company and ensuring the success of the attack.
- He received serious injuries and succumbed to them after the capture of the objective.
- In this action, Lance Naik Albert Ekka displayed the most conspicuous valour and determination and made the supreme sacrifice in the best traditions of the Army.
- Lance-Naik Albert Ekka was posthumously awarded India's highest wartime gallantry award, the Param Vir Chakra.
- On the occasion of 50th Republic day in the year 2000, the Government of India issued a postal stamp in his memory.
- The son of Jharkhand was honoured by naming the major intersection in front of Firayalal store as Albert Ekka Chowk, which also bears his statue.
Such deed of bravery and valour surely motivates us. Stay connected to DDE for more such post.