New Delhi [India], November 10: The 50-year-old Border Security Force Head Constable Lal Fam Kima, who succumbed to injuries while retaliating to the fresh ceasefire violation by Pakistan Rangers late on Wednesday had saved the lives of 12 of his colleagues in 1998 during an anti-terror operation.
The BSF Head Constable was honoured with seven bravery awards in his 27-year career in the border guarding force.
Deployed in the BSF on April 21, 1996, Lal Fam Kima succumbed to his injuries received in an unprovoked firing resorted by Pakistan Rangers deployed near the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramgarh sector.
The firing started on the intervening night of November 8-9 by Pakistan Rangers and the BSF befittingly replied to the violation of the ceasefire along the international border in the Ramgarh and Arnia sectors in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district.
BSF’s Deputy Inspector General SS Mand, now deployed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sundernbani, told ANI that Kima’s bravery avoided casualties of 12 BSF personnel in an anti-terror operation conducted once in 1998 in the hilly town of Gool in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Presently deployed with 148 Battalion of BSF, February 10, 1973, born Kima, as per Mand, Keema played a major role in an operation in 1998 when there was a fierce encounter with terrorists in the upper reaches of Gool.
“The terrorists were held up in a Dhoke (a manmade place like bunkers). BSF had cornered them and were trying to smoke them out by lobbing grenades from the roof of the dhoke. Suddenly there was a huge blast. The terrorists had blown up the dhoke along with themselves in a desperate attempt to cause maximum casualties to BSF in this suicide attempt,” Mand remembered the incident while talking to ANI on the phone.
“The walls of Dhoke collapsed and BSF troops on the top somehow were lucky to be saved. As after every success, the troops rushed inside the smouldering remnants of the dhoke. More than a dozen troops with some officers were rummaging through the dhoke with three dead terrorists lying in whatever was left of the Dhoke.”
Suddenly, Mand said, there was a loud shriek, “TUM…PIN NIKALEGA” (you will take out the pin) followed by a burst fire of LMG (Light Machine Gun), sending everyone scampering for cover.
“This was our Constable Lal Fam Kima, who had spotted the almost dead terrorist removing the pin from a grenade even while he was taking his last breath. While the rest of the party was busy rummaging and recovering war-like stores, it was ever-alert Kima who spotted the surreptitious movement of dying terrorists trying to blast the grenade,” the DIG continued.
Had the terrorist been successful, Man said, we would have certainly suffered dozens of casualties and the successful and clean operation would have turned sour.
“Ever since, this anecdote from 25 years back remained embedded in the corridors of my mind and I have related it endlessly as an example for young troops. Such acts sometimes are either not recorded or forgotten in the din of almost weekly encounters and firing,” said Mand, adding Kima was then deployed with the 66 Battalion of the BSF.
As per the DIG, Kima was “fearless back then when he was a young constable of two-three years of service and fearless now as a Head Constable.”
“This simple, humble and unassuming warrior lived bravely and laid down his life bravely. My salute to dear brother in arms. Heartfelt condolences to your family and all troops of 66 Battalion,” said Mand.
A resident of Mizoram, Kima, who was to retire on February 28, 2033, was also honoured with seven bravery awards in his career by the force, this included four DIG rewards (two times in 1999, in 2006 and in 2012), two cash rewards (2001 and 2002) and one Commandant CC reward in 2005.
Kima is survived by his 77-year-old mother, wife, two daughters and a son. He was rushed to Community Health Centre Ramgarh for treatment, from where he was shifted to a Military hospital.
After receiving first aid, Kima later succumbed to his injuries received in the unprovoked firing by Pakistan Rangers that led to a heavy exchange of fire between the BSF troopers and the Rangers around 2 or 2:30 am. (ANI)