(Late) Captain Jintu Gogoi, Vir Chakra (Posthumous)
Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it;It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it
In the household of an Indian Air Force trooper, a service family hailing from small Khumtai town in Golaghat District of Assam, devotion to motherland ran in the DNA. Honorary Flying Officer T.R.Gogoi would take great pride in donning his uniform. Probably, this ignited a passion and etched a desire so deep in the young impressionable mind of Jintu Gogoi, their only son to join the defense forces.
Late Captain Jintu Gogoi was born on 21st November 1970 and brought up in a defense atmosphere. He joined the prestigious Officers Training Academy, Chennai on May 9, 1994 and was commissioned into the distinguished 17th Battalion of the Garhwal Rifles on March11, 1995. Patriotism and nationalism was his second name. The valiant young officer lived his life on the edge. As per his contemporaries, he would always seek opportunities and volunteer himself into action against enemies. He would romance the idea of achieving some distinct accomplishment which will bring honor to his battalion and family name.
His inner calling was soon responded. The summers of 1999 saw fierce combat in the freezing altitudes of Kargil, Dras and Batalik sectors in Jammu and Kashmir. Militants and regular Pakistani troops had occupied winter vacated posts on the Indian Side of the Line of Control and were continuously threatening the National Highway supporting the life line to Leh and Siachen. The fearless Late Captain Jintu Gogoi was deployed along with his unit near the Line of Control in Batalik. The officer was on the cusp of starting a new phase in his life, he was on leave and got engaged to his fiancée, when he got his call of duty.
He was recalled to lead his men to what is the dream of every soldier who trains, and the worst nightmare of their families. The brave heart warrior quickly reached his Battalion, impatient to take on the adversaries of the homeland. On the night of 29th June 1999, Captain Jintu Gogoi and the few fine men in his command were entrusted with the mission to clear the enemy post from Kala Pathar in Jubar heights, a position overlooking Jubar Top and dominating the Srinagar – Leh national highway. The daredevils under their energetic team leader started cheerfully on a mission which would send a chill down the spine of even the most experienced war veterans. They had to cover an arduous climb on a hostile rock-face in the cover of darkness maintaining stealth and striking the enemy sitting unsuspecting and relaxed in misconception of being impregnable.
The team of the gallant souls enthusiastically accompanied the young Captain Jintu Gogoi to destroy the enemy. In early hours of 30th June 1999, the team led by Late Captain Jintu Gogoi set its foot on the top of the ridge, absolutely startling the enemy who was caught unaware till the time these brave men got spotted due to the breaking dawn and lack of adequate cover. They were surrounded on all sides by the enemy. They were asked by the enemy to disarm and surrender, but the training that they had and for the honour of the country, Captain Jintu Gogoi and his team upheld the highest traditions of his battalion and the Indian Army. He led from the front as they charged at the enemy troops with his regimental war cry, “Badri Vishal Lal Ki Jai” filling the hearts of the enemy with fear and shock. With utter disregard to personal safety, he killed two enemy soldiers in the exchange of fire and ensured that his team members took cover for safety.
He continued fighting and advancing towards the post that he had been entrusted to clear and sustained gunshot wounds in his attempt to do so. He later succumbed to his injuries against the enemy and his body was found barely 150 yards from the picket on Jubar Top. Late Capt Jintu Gogoi displayed most conspicuous act of bravery, devotion to duty and leadership of most exceptional order in the face of the enemy in the most inhospitable terrain and made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland. For this unparalleled act of Gallantry, Late Captain Jintu Gogoi, on 15th August 1999, was posthumously awarded the “VIR CHAKRA”, the 3rd Highest Gallantry Award of the country.
The very name of Late Captain Jintu Gogoi, VrC continues to inspire everyday thousands of soldiers and citizens alike. He was also bestowed the prestigious “BIR CHIRALAI “award in 2007 there by etching his exploits into the heart of every Assamese person all over the globe. Captain Jintu Gogoi is an inspiration not only to the people of Assam, but also to the entire nation, specially the younger generation. Indian Army has been conducting Late Captain Jintu Gogoi, Veer Chakra Memorial Football Tournament every year since 2004 and has constructed ‘Jintu Vihar’ in Narangi Cantt in 101 Sub Area in year 2009 as a tribute to the Kargil Martyr. Apart from that Assam Government has bestowed their highest bravery award ‘ Bir Chilarai Award’ to Captain Jintu Gogoi, VrC (P) in 2007 and ‘Lachit Borphukan Award’ given to notable personalities of Assam in 2014. His hometown, the previously unfamiliar Khumtai has become a household name and seen nationalist pilgrims from far off places visit the humble house of the Gogois to pay their respects to the brave son and the pride of Assam.
The article is written by PRO, IGAR (S)