Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal Wiki, Age, Death, Family, Biography & More – WikiBio


Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal, Param Vir Chakra.

Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal was an officer in the Indian Army who participated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 on India’s western border. He was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra for displaying exemplary gallantry against overwhelming odds. He was martyred on 16 December 1971 after being mortally wounded in a tank battle during the Battle of Basantar.

Wiki/Biography

Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal was born on Saturday 14 October 1950.21 years of age at the time of death) in Pune, Maharashtra. After the partition of India, his family immigrated to India from Sargoda, which is now in Pakistan.

Arun Khetrapal as a young boy with his brother, mother and father.

Arun Khetrapal as a young boy with his brother, mother and father.

As a young child, he was admitted to the famous Lawrence School in Sanawar, Himachal Pradesh, where he came across as an excellent student who was not only good in studies but was also an able sportsman, as a result of which he Was appointed a school prefect.

Arun Khetrapal (left) with his younger brother Mukesh at Lawrence School, Sanawar.

Arun Khetrapal (Left) with his younger brother Mukesh Khetrapal at Lawrence School, Sanawar.

He was inclined to join the army as he belonged to a family with a rich military history background, where his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, all served in the army. After completing his schooling, in June 1967, Arun Khetrapal joined the prestigious National Defense Academy.

Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal during his training in NDA.

Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal during his training in NDA.

He performed so well in his training that he was commissioned as a squadron cadet captain of his Foxtrot squadron.

Arun Khetrapal with his classmates in NDA.

Arun Khetrapal with his classmates in NDA.

After completing his training at the National Defense Academy, Arun finally joined the Indian Military Academy on 13 June 1971 before joining the Army.

Arun Khetrapal during the passing out parade from NDA.

Arun Khetrapal during the passing out parade from NDA.

Family

parents and siblings

mother-father

His father’s name was Brigadier ML Khetrapal who also served in the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army and his mother’s name was Maheshwari Khetrapal who is also a trained dietician from Lady Irwin College, Delhi.

Parents of Brigadier ML Khetrapal and Smt. Maheshwari Khetrapal, Second Lt. Arun Khetrapal, PVC.

Parents of Brigadier ML Khetrapal and Smt. Maheshwari Khetrapal, Second Lt. Arun Khetrapal, PVC.

Brother

His brother’s name is Mukesh Khetrapal who is working as a Management Consultant in Delhi.

Mukesh Khetrapal (at center), brother of Arun Khetrapal.

Mukesh Khetrapal (at center), brother of Arun Khetrapal.

Know

His permanent address is C-31, Anand Niketan, New Delhi, Delhi-110021, India.

signature/autograph

Signature of Arun Khetrapal

livelihood

Arun Khetrapal was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 17 Poona Horse of the Armored Corps. He was undergoing his young officer’s course, a compulsory course that all newly commissioned officers have to undergo, when war broke out with Pakistan, after which he was called back to rejoin his battalion.

Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal (1st from left) with his fellow officers.

Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal (1st from left) with his fellow officers.

Arun Khetrapal was moved to the western sector of Jammu. He was part of the 49 Brigade of the Indian Army, which participated in the famous Battle of Basantar. The brigade was tasked to capture and establish a bridgehead at Shakargarh, an area adjoining Jammu. On 15 December 1971, the area was occupied by Indian troops, but the tanks could not advance as the place was heavily mined by the retreating Pakistani forces. Engineers were then called in to dispose of the mines to move the tanks. But, halfway through, India’s forward watchdog noticed dangerous Pakistani armored movement. 17 Poona Horse decided to advance despite the mines and met with the rest of the advancing brigade.

Armored offensive launch

On 16 December 1971, Pakistani tanks of 13 Lancers launched their first wave of counter-attack. They were outnumbered and equipped with the then state-of-the-art American-made Patton tanks, so B Squadron of 17 Poona Horse, on which the attack was launched, requested for immediate reinforcements.

Arun Khetrapal came to the rescue

Arun Khetrapal was part of A Squadron, which was stationed nearby, and responded quickly to distress calls from B Squadron. Arun Khetrapal launched a brutal counter-attack on the attacking Pakistani tanks and effectively defeated the first wave of armored attacks on Indian positions. During the battle, Lieutenant Ahlawat, a tank commander of Arun’s squadron, was wounded and another tank commander was killed. Despite inflicting serious casualties, the Pakistanis continued to regroup and counter-attack. Lonely in charge, on the battlefield, Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal with the remaining 2 tanks of his squadron attacked enemy tanks and effectively reduced another Pakistani attack by destroying 10 Pakistan tanks.

Major (Retd) AH Amin, a Pakistani Army officer of the Pakistan Armored Corps, said that,

The only occasion when there could have been a breakthrough was when two squadrons of 13 Lancers attacked together in the afternoon, but a heroic last ditch by 2/Lt. Arun Khetrapal of Poona Horse averted the threat.

Major General Raj Mehta in his book A Deathless Hero – 2/Lt. Arun Khetrapal has written,

What can one say about a shy, self-destructive, embodiment of the Chetvod motto who died? that he was unarmedly handsome and brave; That he was an inspirational leader and the Fakhr-e-Hind of his beloved country India? His opposing numbers in the Pakistani Armored Corps praised his death. So much more can be said and written about this brave young officer who voluntarily and selflessly laid down his life for the invaluable historical legacy of the Indian Army in name, salt and mark. So go home, dear reader, and tell them about him and say with pride and passion that 2/ Lt. Arun Khetrapal, Param Vir Chakra, (posthumously) brought his military prowess, immortal soul and rare to his death, his coveted Respect for the cavalry regiment, The Poona Horse and soldiers, even his life blood left his broken body after his fourth Pakistani Patton tank was shot down and destroyed. ,

Award

Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal was awarded India’s highest gallantry award, the Param Vir Chakra, for displaying raw courage during the tank battle at Basantar.

Maheshwari Khetrapal, mother of Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal, receiving the Param Vir Chakra from President VV Giri.

Maheshwari Khetrapal, mother of Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal, receiving the Param Vir Chakra from President VV Giri.

Respect

  • To honor Arun Khetrapal, the Parade Ground of the National Defense Academy is named after him and an auditorium at the Indian Military Academy is named after the martyred soldier.
    Khetrapal Parade Ground at National Defense Academy.

    Khetarpal Parade Ground at National Defense Academy.

  • His Centurion tank, the tank in which he fought the Battle of Basantar, was restored and is now housed at the Armored Corps Center in Ahmednagar.
  • His statue was installed at Lawrence School in Sanawar and a school stadium has also been named after him.
    Khetarpal Stadium of Lawrence School Sanawar.

    Khetarpal Stadium of Lawrence School Sanawar.

Death

As Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal led a counter-attack with just 2 other tanks, his tank was hit by enemy Patton tank fire, which inactivated the tank, resulting in his tank not moving and caught fire. Due to this, Arun and the driver of his tank were seriously injured. Despite the odds, Arun managed to destroy 3 enemy tanks, which were only a hundred meters away from him. He was ordered to leave the burning tank and reach for safety, to which he replied,

No sir, I will not leave my tank. My main gun is still working and I will hold these bastards.

As Arun moved his tank’s turret to fire at a Pakistani tank, Arun’s tank was hit a second time by Pakistani squadron commander Major (later Brigadier) Khwaja Mohammad Nassar’s tank, leaving Arun on the battlefield. Martyrdom happened. He eventually sacrificed himself, denying success to the Pakistani armored columns.

Telegram is reporting the death of Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal.

Telegram is reporting the death of Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal.

Facts / Trivia

  • Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal’s great-grandfather served in the Sikh army and fought against the British when they wanted to capture Punjab.
  • Impressed by Arun’s bravery, after the battle, the Pakistani commander met his Indian counterpart and inquired about Arun Khetrapal.
  • When Arun Khetrapal’s father Brigadier ML Khetrapal and his wife went to their native place in Sargoda, he became the guest of honor of Brigadier Mohammad Nassar, who said,

    Sir, there is something I wanted to tell you for many years but I didn’t know how to reach you. Finally, fate intervened and sent you to me as an honored guest. For the past few days we have become closer to each other and this has made my work even more difficult. It is about your son who is definitely a national hero in India. However, on that fateful day, your son and I were soldiers, unaware of each other, fighting for the honor and security of our respective countries. I am sorry to inform you that your son died at my hands. Arun’s courage was exemplary and he carried his tank with fearless courage and courage, completely unconcerned about his safety. Tank casualties were enormous until at the end only two of us were facing each other. We both fired together. Destiny was that I had to live and she had to die. It was only later that I came to know how young he was and who he was. I always thought I’d apologize to you, but in telling the story I realized there’s nothing to be forgiven. Instead I salute your son for what he did at such a young age and I salute you too, because I know how he became so young. In the end it is the character and values ​​that matter. ,

  • His tank Centurion Mark 7 tank was known as “Famagusta”, named after the city of Cyprus where Poona Horse was stationed in September 1944.
  • Their unit, 17 Poona Horse, was given the name ‘Fakhr-e-Hind’ by Pakistanis after seeing their performance in the Sialkot sector during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
  • An article written by Lt Col Dilbag Singh Dabas states,

    Seeing Arun carrying his ceremonial blue patrol clothes and golf club, his fellow officer asked Arun why he needed them to fight the war. And the 21-year-old’s reply was classic: Sir, I plan to play golf in Lahore. And I’m sure there will be dinner after winning the battle, so I’m going to need a Blue Patrol dress as well.

  • Before leaving for the 1971 war, Arun’s mother told him,

    Your grandfather was a brave soldier, so is your father. Go fight like a lion till the end.”

  • Arun also played the saxophone, a musical instrument, and was even part of his NDA’s music band.
    Arun Khetrapal playing the saxophone during his training at the National Defense Academy.

    Arun Khetrapal playing the saxophone during his training at the National Defense Academy.





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