Jane Kahan Gaye woh din

 Three Border Incidents of Yore : Worth a repeat : BRT Rajan

— from the diary of an old soldier ….. people like Lt Gen Bhagat were still alive ……and the modern breed of Gens was beginning to be born!
The recent brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops on Indian soil, then the Indian government‘s protests and the Pakistani government’s denials, etc etc has left me pondering and reminiscing about the good old days.
I have had three postings in J&K, and I distinctly remember three incidents that took place around NW Kashmir during my first posting at Uri in 1976-77:
Incident 1: A Maratha Light Infantry battalion was newly inducted in a sensitive sector. On the very first night when the rear party of the previous battalion finally moved out and the main body of Marathas newly moved in, Pakis fired 2″ mortar shells on a Maratha forward post. (This has been the usual way to welcome newly inducted Indian Army units by the Pakis for ages.) As soon as day broke, a Major on the Maratha post climbed a tree with an RL (Rocket Launcher, for my civilian friends) slung on one shoulder and two rockets slung on the other, and simply blasted two bunkers of the Mujahid post across the LOC.
Thereafter, not one bullet was fired by the Pakis on the Maratha paltan for as long as they stayed there.
Incident 2: Pakis observed that Gorkha soldiers in their OP (Observation Post) just left the LMG (Light Machine Gun) un-attended for 2 to 3 minutes while they went out of the OP for a pee. One summer day at about 11 o’ clock in the morning, in a daring raid, two Paki soldiers sneaked in and ran back with the LMG.
Four hours later, which is normally siesta time and security is lax, a team of Gorkha soldiers raided the Pak post and came back with the Paki CO’s 15 years old daughter. (Pakistan Army’s officers-lot is super privileged. They even stay on border posts with their families.) The Gorkhas did not harm the child, they just made her sit on a chair on top of the OP bunker. Soon enough, a bunch of Paki jawans came up to the LOC with a white flag and the Gorkhas’ LMG, and a neat and clean exchange took place.
Incident 3: This incident happened when Naga Regiment was newly raised in the Indian Army and Pakis had no clue what material the Nagas were made of! (Those with a weak stomach may please skip reading this incident further.)
The Nagas were also given the customary welcome on their induction, but they did not retaliate. Then, for the next two consecutive nights, a couple of Paki soldiers would cross over to the Indian side, lob hand-grenades at the Naga post and run back. On the third night, a few Naga soldiers laid an ambush and caught 2 Pakis. They brought the Paki soldiers back enough to be hidden from the Paki OP sights. They tied the Pakis to a tree, lit a fire and performed a traditional Naga dance! Then they chopped a leg of one of the Paki soldiers and literally barbecued it over the fire. Both the Paki soldiers were let off the next morning, but not before they were made to hear this dialogue between a Naga Havildar and a Sepoy:
Sepoy: “Ustaad, inko rakhte hain, bilkul chicken jaisa taste hai.”
Havildar: “Nahi re, inko jaane do, yeh dono bahut kamjor hain. Ab yahan 3 saal rehna hai; tu tension mat le, aur bahut mote tagde milenge.”
This news spread like wildfire, and the Pakis (Baluch Regiment) across the LOC were thereafter not to be seen even through binoculars, till the Naga battalion was replaced by another unit after 3 years.
Now-a-days, the only reason Pakistanis keeps blatantly bullying us Indians is because we allow them to do so.
How I miss the good old days. Jaane kahan gaye woh din!