by Editorial

Indian Army Chief General M.M. Naravane on Thursday paid a courtesy call on K.P. Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal. He was accompanied by Ambassador Vinay M. Kwatra and other delegation members.

General Naravane conveyed the best wishes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to PM Oli and the people of Nepal. He also expressed his personal gratitude for the warm hospitality extended by the Government of Nepal. Both sides also exchanged views on the extensive bilateral partnership between India and Nepal.

The Army Chief reaffirmed that he would work to further strengthen the defence cooperation between the two countries. Earlier in the day, General Naravane had visited Nepali Army Command and Staff College at Shivapuri and addressed the students and staff there.

As the last stop before concluding his tour, General Naravane visited the Indian Embassy where he was briefed about the welfare activities being carried out for roughly over two lakh thirty thousand Indian Army veterans and their families in Nepal.

General Naravane has completed a successful and productive three-day visit to Nepal and departed to India later this afternoon .During the visit, Gen Naravane also presented a welfare grant to Havildar Dil Bahadur Chhettri (Retired), a winner of Maha Vir Chakra, the second highest gallantry award of India.

Havaldar Dil Bahadur Chettri, Mahavir Chakra, was born on 21 August 1950 in Gharti Gaon in Matta Dang district of Nepal and enrolled into 4/5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force) of Indian Army on 21 August 1968. He was known for his bravery and daring acts and was always hand-picked by his superiors for any king of bold actions.

In the 1971 war against Pakistani forces, his Battalion was part of the advance towards Sylhet in erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). His Battalion was given the specific task of clearing a well fortified Medium Machine Gun (MMG) enemy post at Atgram. Rifleman Dil Bahadur Chhetri, with complete disregard to his personal safety, fought fearlessly, charged the bunker, killed eight enemy troops with his khukri and captured the MMG post. For his conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, he was awarded the Mahavir Chakra.

Rifleman Dil Bahadur Chhetri had to quit the service on his own request due to personal reasons before even reaching the requisite pensionable service. He was discharged from service on 8 April 1976. Since then, he has been living a very modest life in a small remote village of Banke district in Nepal. His life, after quitting service, has been filled with misery as he has had no major income source and is surviving on his gallantry award allowance.

Due to his introvert nature, his condition also never got highlighted. However, his case recently came to notice when one senior officer of his unit informed Defence Wing about it. Contact was established with him and a total amount of Rs 10 lakh was approved as a welfare measure to alleviate hardships being faced by him in his old age.

During an ex-servicemen rally at Butwal, Nepal, on 21 November 2019, he was felicitated with a cheque of Rs 5 lakh as first tranche. The COAS, Gen Naravane, during his visit to Nepal, handed over the balance second tranche of Rs 5 lakh to the gallant soldier on 6 November 2020.

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