LIFESTYLE

A book detailing the bravery of Maj Sudhir Walia of Palampur

Yesterday in New Delhi, former Army Chief General VP Malik launched “Rambo,” a book authored by Col. Ashutosh Kale on the life of Ashok Chakra recipient Major Sudhir Kumar Walia. The late soldier’s family members were present at the event.

The book follows Major Sudhir Walia of 9 Para (Special Forces) as he goes from fighting terrorists in the Kashmir Valley to attacking Zulu Top during the Kargil conflict.

Palampur native Major Walia received the nation’s highest peacetime heroism medal posthumously. Palampur was home to Captain Saurabh Kalia, Captain Vikram Batra, and Major Som Nath Sharma, who were all posthumously awarded the Paramvir Chakra.

In 1988, Major Walia—a graduate of Sujanpur Tira’s Sainik School—was commissioned into the 4 JAT Regiment. In addition, Major Walia received two decorations for valor from the Sena Medal for fighting insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir.

Additionally, he supported then-Chief of Army Staff General VP Malik as ADC. Major Walia asked to be sent to combat invaders in Kargil with his regiment when he was working with Gen. Malik. According to the book, Malik granted his request and sent his bravest and most daring soldier to the Kargil fighting zone. His squad was tasked with combating terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir after the conclusion of the Kargil War.

Major Walia and a group of five commandos were on a “search and destroy” operation in the Hafruda forest in the Kupwara region of J&K on August 29, 1999. Suddenly, the group came across a well-hidden location with around twenty terrorists. Major Walia rallied his men fast and launched an assault on the hiding place. Major Sudhir led from the front and killed six insurgents on his own. He did, however, suffer bullet wounds to his stomach during the procedure. Major Walia kept giving instructions even though he couldn’t move until all of the insurgents were destroyed. It was until thirty-five minutes after the procedure that he consented to be evacuated. Despite being evacuated to the Army base hospital, he passed away from his wounds while in transit.

Major Walia had the unique honor of speaking at the Pentagon while on duty in 1997 after being transferred to the United States for a specific training. While he was referred to as “Colonel” by his fellow students in the course, who had come from 80 different nations, he was known as “Rambo” in Army circles.

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