CHANDIGARH: Decorated war veteran and famous hero of the 'Battle of Longewala', Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, died in a private hospital in Mohali near here on Saturday, family sources said.
He was 77 and is survived by his wife and three sons.
Chandpuri, who was a Major during the 1971 India-Pakistan war, had held his post through the night in the famous battle of Longewala in Rajasthan with just 120 men against a full-fledged attack by advancing Pakistani Patton tanks. He was decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) for the heroic stand-off and forcing the enemy to retreat.
Born on Nov 22, 1940, Chandpuri would have turned 78 in five days time. The feat of Brig Chandpuri and his men later featured in Bollywood blockbuster "Border" which was released in 1997. His role was played by actor Sunny Deol.
Chandpuri was nominated as Councillor in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation where he served his term (2006-2011) with active participation in proceedings inside and outside the house.
Fellow elected councillor Chandermukhi Sharma told IANS: "Brig Chandpuri was an active councillor unlike some other nominated councillors. He participated in house sessions and corporation meetings very actively. He raised several important issues, including those concerning sports and civic issues. He wanted more sporting facilities in Chandigarh to keep youth away from evils like drugs."
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condoled the passing away of Chandpuri.
Recalling the "remarkable services" of Brig. Chandpuri, Amarinder, a former Army captain himself, said: "He was an astute and illustrious army officer who handled several military operations immaculately, besides a prolific writer on defence preparedness and military warfare strategies."
"His exemplary and heroic leadership in the Battle of Longewala would be ever remembered by one and all and especially inspire the young soldiers and officers of the defence services to discharge their duties with utmost devotion, commitment and sincerity," Amarinder Singh added.
Describing Chandpuri's demise "as a huge loss to military fraternity", the Chief Minister said that in the death of a valiant soldier, the nation has lost a great son of the soil.