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Jaipur: The Indian Railways will pay tribute to its 17 unsung heroes who attained martyrdom in 1965 Indo-Pak war while transporting arms, ammunition, and ration to the armed forces along the border in Barmer district. These fearless heroes, including three loco pilots and 14 railway constables, went to the war zone on September 10, 1965, in a six-wagon steam engine loaded with ammunition and ration for the battalion 13 Grenadier (GJ). They were intercepted by the Pakistani air force at Gadraroad (3km away from the Gadraroad railway station) which indiscriminately bombed the train. The boiler of the engine exploded and all of them died on the spot. The explosion was so huge that the bodies of six employees were never traced, including that of chief loco pilot, Madho Singh Gehlot. The undocumented account also says that the train first collided with an engine of another train coming from the opposite direction... more...
on the same track. The collision left the train stranded on the tracks and was later intercepted by the Pakistani air force.Sukhdev Singh Gehlot, nephew of martyr Madho Singh Gehlot, recalled that his uncle was married for only 18 days when he received a message to take a train to the war zone. "He was new in the job and the message was relayed to him after many other loco pilots refused to drive the train to the war zone. My uncle sought permission from his parents and wife who allowed him to serve the nation," said Sukhdev. The railways had received information that the Indian armed forces were falling short of ration and arms. To transport the required goods, the train route was chosen due to the higher risk involved in taking the road. The air route in Barmer was not fully developed. Gehlot along with two other loco pilots and 14 railway constables took the toughest journey of their lives from the Barmer railway station. Retired Col K H S Shekhawat says, "Pakistan army had temporary control over some areas near Gadraroad. That was the reason why they could bomb the train in the Indian territory. However, within days, the offensive by our armed forces pushed them back into their territory." Taking note of the supreme sacrifice made by its employees, the North Western Railway (NWR) had built a memorial at the spot where the train was bombed. Even now, trains passing by the spot would either slow down or stop to pay tributes to the martyrs. "The North Western Railway's contribution during the wars—World War 1 and II along with wars in 1965 and 1971—is unparalleled in the country. The contribution made by these fighters will remain in the memory of general public for years to come," said Tarun Jain, chief public relations officer. NWR.
1 Public Posts - Sun Aug 13, 2017
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