Decorated war veteran Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri passed away in a private hospital in Mohali on 17thNov 2018, Saturday. He was 78.
Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri MVC (Maha Vir Chakra), VSM (Vishist Seva Medal) was a retired officer in the Indian Army. He was known for his heroic leadership in the famous Battle of Longewala, for which he was awarded Maha Vir Chakra by the Government of India.
Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was born into a Gurjar Sikh family on 22 November 1940 at Montgomery in the Punjab region of undivided India.
His family then moved to their native village, Chandpur Rurki in Balachaur. He was an active member of theNCC and cleared the NCC examination when he graduated from the Government College, Hoshiarpur in 1962.
Chandpuri was recruited into the Indian Army in 1962, and commissioned from Officers Training Academy in 1963 into the 23rd Battalion of The Punjab Regiment, which is one of the oldest and highly decorated units of the Indian army. He took part in the 1965 war in the western sector.
After the war, he served in the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) at Gaza (Egypt) for a year. Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri also served twice as an instructor at the prestigious Infantry School, Mhow (MP) where the elite of the Indian army are imparted instructions and combat training.
Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri held the rank of major in the Indian Army’s 23rd Battalion, Punjab Regiment when the Pakistani army attacked the Longewala post in the state of Rajasthan, India, early in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
He and his company of 120 soldiers, defended the post, in spite of considerable odds, against the 2000-3000 strong assault force of the 51st Infantry Brigade, backed by the 22nd Armored Regiment. Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri and his company held the Pakistanis at bay for a full night until the Indian Air Force arrived in the morning.
Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri inspired his men, moving from bunker to bunker, encouraging them to beat back the enemy until reinforcements arrived. Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri and his men inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and forced them to retreat, leaving behind twelve tanks.
For his conspicuous gallantry and leadership, Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) by the Indian Army. Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri retired from the army as a brigadier.
Border, a 1997 Bollywood film directed by J.P.Dutta was an adaptation of the real-life battle, with Major Chandpuri being portrayed by Bollywood actor Sunny Deol.