Celebrated war veteran, Brigadier Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri passed away at a private hospital in Mohali this morning. He was 78. Brigadier Chandpuri was suffering from cancer, his family informed. He is survived by his wife and three sons. His cremation and funeral rites will be done with full military honors on Monday after his son returns from Germany.
Brig Chandpuri was decorated with the nation’s second highest gallantry award – Mahavir Chakra for his role at Longewala, a remote outpost in the deserts of Jaisalmer, where a relatively small group of Indian soldiers stalled a massive Pakistani attack through the night in the early days of the 1971 war. Pakistan aspired to capture Longewala and Ramgarh for which they led a heavy attack supported by a regiment of T-59 tanks and armymen in huge numbers.
But a single company led by then Major Chandpuri, despite being heavily outnumbered fought with incredible courage and managed to safeguard the post throughout the night before the IAF destroyed the enemy tanks. The victory is counted amongst the most celebrated achievements of the Indian Army. Later filmmaker J.P Dutta immortalized this operation with his award-winning movie Border, where Sunny Deol portrayed the role of Brig KS Chandpuri.
Brig Chandpuri was born on Nov 22, 1940, in Montgomery of Punjab. However, after the partition, his family moved back to their native place Chandpur in Roorkee.
Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri Life:
He passed out from the Officers Training Academy, Chennai after which he was commissioned into the 23rd Battalion of the Punjab Regiment. He took part in the 1965 war in the western sector and, also served in the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) at Gaza in Egypt for about a year.
A teetotaller and a vegetarian with an amiable personality, he was highly active in social life, pursuing the cause of soldiers and dealing with welfare and civic issues of the locals. Besides actively participating in regimental affairs, he was also on the board of The War Decorated India, an association of gallantry awardees.
Expressing condolence, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said, “Very sorry to learn of the sad demise of Brigadier KS Chandpuri, MVC. He was a very brave and distinguished soldier and the hero of the Battle of Longewala. The nation is poorer with his passing away. My heartfelt condolences to his family.”