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Army pays tributes to Major Somnath Sharma

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Srinagar: Wreath Laying Ceremonies in the honour of one of the most gallant martyrs of the Indian Army, Major Somnath Sharma, PVC were organised at Major Somnath Sharma Memorial located at the New Airport and at the Budgam War Memorial, a defence spokesman said in a statement issued here.

Major Somnath Sharma, son of Major General Amarnath Sharma, was born on 31 January 1922 in Himachal Pradesh and was commissioned in the Kumaon Regiment on 22 February 1942.

“On 22 October 1947, when Pakistan launched the tribal invasion of Jammu & Kashmir with intention to grab the Kashmir valley by force, the D Company of 4 Kumaon, led by Major Somnath Sharma, was airlifted to Srinagar on October 31st as part of the Army’s response after the Instrument of Accession was signed.

“Major Somnath Sharma with his arm in plaster, on November 3rd, 1947 established a base at Budgam against raiders approaching Srinagar from the Northern direction. In the contact that followed, despite facing a numerically superior enemy force of about 500 – 600 raiders supported with small arms, mortars and heavy automatics, Major Sharma and his troops held on to their positions and did not let the enemy succeed in his designs. The gallant effort of the soldiers stemmed the tide of the enemy advance on Srinagar and the Airfield for some very crucial hours. In this decisive battle of Budgam, Major Somnath Sharma along with one JCO and 20 other ranks made the supreme sacrifice, defending their country against all odds,” said the spokesman.

He said that Major Somnath Sharma was conferred upon the country’s First & Highest War time Gallantry Honour, The Param Vir Chakra.

Col Sukhbir Singh, officiating Commandant of Jammu & Kashmir Rifles Regimental Training Centre, laid wreath at the Budgam War Memorial as a mark of their respect for the martyr. Besides Officers and men of the Army, representatives from the other Security Forces, Civil Administration and Airport Authorities also laid the wreaths and attended the event to pay their homage to this Brave Son of India.

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