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Thread: Army Major who saved lives of scribes still to be honoured

  1. #1
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    Army Major who saved lives of scribes still to be honoured


    Army Major who saved lives of scribes still to be honoured

    As they pass through the cantonment in militancy-hit Kashmir valley, journalists bow their heads to remember an army officer who saved the lives of three newsmen and one of his staff members before being gunned down by Lashker-e-Taiba militants eight years ago.

    But making the supreme sacrifice to safeguard civilians and exercising the best presence of mind may not have been
    recognised as an act of bravery by the Army headquarters, which is silent on whether any honour should be conferred on Major Pramod Purushottam posthumously.

    Maj Purushottam ensured the safety of three Kashmiri photojournalists -- S Tariq (now with NDTV), Habibullah Naqash (The Asian Age) and Fayaz Ahmed of (now with ANI) -- who were his guests at the fateful moment.
    Purushottam, who literally lived up to his name, laid down his life while saving the life of the three Kashmiri journalists who had come to meet him on the fateful day -- November 3, 1999, minutes before LeT militants carried out
    their first suicide attack on the fortified cantonment of the prestigious 15 Corps.

    The spokesman at the Army headquarters in Delhi did not give any response to a question whether Major Purushottam
    would be honoured for his act of bravery.

    "This is shocking especially when there have been instances where security forces have staged fake encounters or
    killed innocents for medals. This man who risked his life to save Kashmiri scribes has been ignored by Army authorities," says a veteran journalist here who refused to be identified.

    "The Army has forgotten its hero who lived for the army and died for them only," veteran Kashmiri journalist Zaffar
    Mehraj, who runs English newspaper Kashmir Monitor from the valley, said.
    Mehraj said he was "an excellent gentleman, totally different of the lot we find in Kashmir in uniform in the last
    18 years".

    "He introduced the Army to the Kashmiri media and built a direct rapport between scribes and the Generals. But it seems, the Army, which could have immortalised his name in the valley, is least interested. No one has touched the hearts of the Kashmiri journalist fraternity before or after him," he said.

    The face of bureau chief of Daily Excelsior, one of the largest circulating dailies in the state, Ahmed Ali Fayaz
    still lits up with fond memories of Purushottam. "He was an extra-ordinary human being. I have rarely come across such a man."

    Both Mehraj and Fayaz along with scores of other scribes, say their heads bow in respect whenever they have a chance to enter into the Cantonment area for work.

    Purushottam longed to be where the action was, not as a PRO but as part of the 7 Bihar Regiment, to which he belonged since 1990. He was commissioned into the Army in June 1982 and joined 4 Bihar where he remained till 1988.

    In New Delhi, a Right to Information-appeal was filed by an RTI activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya on September 24 this year wanting to know whether Major Purushottam was honoured with any gallantry award and if not, the reasons thereof.

    Bhattacharya has not received any reply to his queries.


    Army Major yet to be honoured



  2. #2
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    Re: Army Major who saved lives of scribes still to be honoured


    There are thousands of such unknown soliders. How can the Army HQs keep track of all such events. This too has come out only because of involvement of media persons. But what stopped the media persons who owe their lives to Major Purushotham from highlighting the episode earlier? They also might have forgotten him after they got their lives.

    "A Nation that does not remember those who laid down their lives for it, cannot remain a nation worth dying for."

    "God and soldier we adore,
    at the time of trouble and not before
    The time is passed and things righted.
    God is forgotten and soldier slighted"
    Last edited by colnrkurup; 11-11-07 at 01:38 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Army Major who saved lives of scribes still to be honoured


    Army yet to honour officer who saved life of civilians

    New Delhi, Dec 16: He laid down his life bearing the brunt of a suicide attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba militants. In that incident, he saved the lives of a number of civilians but it seems the army is yet to recognise the bravery of the officer by including his name in the gallantry rolls.

    This is the story of army spokesman Major Pramod Purushottam, who was killed saving the lives of three Kashmiri journalists who had come to meet him on November three, 1999, when militants carried out their first suicide attack at the fortified cantonment of the 15 corps.

    The officer saved three Kashmiri photojournalists -- S Tariq (now with NDTV), Habibullah Naqash (The Asian Age) and Fayaz Ahmed (now with ANI).

    While army was reluctant in sharing any information on Purushottam, finally it replied to an RTI plea of Delhi-based RTI activist Devashish Bhattacharya, seeking details whether the Major was awarded a gallantry medal for his supreme sacrifice and if not, the reasons thereof.

    In its reply of December five, 2007, Major Pradeep Bisht admitted that Purushottam was killed in an encounter with militants. "The death of the officer has been classified as a battle casualty," said the reply, which was not in accordance with the guidelines under Right to Information Act which states that the reply should be given within a month of the notice.

    The RTI plea was submitted on September 24 this year. Ignoring in the reply as to why he was not awarded a Gallantry Award, the army said the officer had not been given any such recognition.

    Zee News - Army yet to honour officer who saved life of civilians

  4. #4
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    Re: Army Major who saved lives of scribes still to be honoured



    As I mentioned earlier, the Army cannot afford awards to all those who were lucky enough to die for implementing its decisions. I think I have to open out more. For the Army there is nothing special in one of its member dying. If someone highlight the issue bringing out the peciliar task for which the Major has died, it would have made the Army officials examine the case in detail and would have considered him for the award if Major Purushotham's sacrifice was anything extraordinary. In this case the three journalist for saving whose lives the Major has laid down his life also has forgotten him after their life is saved. They did not make any effort to highlight the issue or bringing it to the notice of government through their media. I am sorry to say that those three journalists were THANKLESS. It was not worth sacrificing the life by the Major. Now let me amend my earlier quotation:
    " A Nation or its Nationals who does not remember those who laid down their lives for it is not a Nation or National worth dying for "

  5. #5

    Re: Army Major who saved lives of scribes still to be honoured


    Con NR Kurup,
    being new member I read earlier threads.I am impressed by your CANDID replies.

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