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Shaheed Abdul Hamid

Shaheed Abdul Hamid
  • Company Havildar Abdul Hamid,  was an Indian Army soldier who posthumously received India’s highest military decoration, the Param Vir Chakra, for his actions during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
  • Hamid joined the army in December 1954, and was posted to the 4th Battalion of the Grenadiers regiment.
  • During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, At the Battle of Asal Uttar on 9–10 September 1965, Hamid destroyed six Pakistani tanks and was killed during an engagement with a seventh.
  • Hamid was born to Sakina Begum and Mohammad Usman (a tailor by Profession) in a family of 4 more brothers & 2 sisters in the village of Dhamupur in Ghazipur district(बलिदानी धरती), United Provinces, British India on 1 July 1933.
  • Hamid was 20 years old when he was recruited at Varanasi into the Army. After undergoing his training at the Grenadiers Regimental Centre at Nasirabad, he was posted to 4 Grenadiers in 1955.
  • Pakistan’s strategy to infiltrate Jammu and Kashmir, and start a rebellion against Indian rule, Pakistani forces attempted a series of incursions across the Jammu and Kashmir border.
  • From 5 to 10 August 1965, Indian troops uncovered a mass infiltration. Captured documents and prisoners revealed Pakistan’s plans to capture Kashmir with a guerrilla attack were brought to light; about 30,000 guerrillas were trained by the Pakistanis for this purpose.
  • 4 Grenadiers arrived at midnight on 7–8 September, and had dug 3-foot (0.91 m) trenches by dawn. At 7:30 am they heard the first rumbles of Pakistani tanks.
  • As Hamid’s battalion, the 4th Grenadiers occupied a vital area near Chima village on the road to Punjab’s Khem Karan sector, they were given the job of holding the enemy near the village of Asal Uttar.
  • On September 8, the enemy made repeated attacks on the Grenadiers’ position, but was repulsed each time. The most serious assault came when the enemy advanced with a regiment of Patton tanks. So intense was the attack that a shell littered every yard of ground occupied by the Indian battalion.
  • The moment the tanks came within shooting distance, Hamid fired and watched the trajectory of the shell as it hit its targets. The tank he hit went up in flames in front of his eyes while the remaining two are again abandoned by the enemy soldiers.
  • By the end of the day, Hamid had destroyed two tanks, while four had been abandoned. He then called army  engineers and asked them to immediately lay out anti-tank mines in the area. The next morning he was back at his recoilless gun, even as his battalion faced an air attack from Pakistani Sabre jets. By the end of the day, Hamid had shot down two more tanks.
  • At 0800 hours on September 10, 1965, a battalion of Pakistani Patton tanks attacked the holding area of the 4th Grenadier positions. The Indian soldiers came under intense artillery bombardment but didn’t respond.
  • Within an hour, the Pakistanis had penetrated forward Indian positions. The situation grew grim. In the melee, Hamid spotted six Pakistani tanks heading towards his men. He didn’t think twice, hopped on to his jeep which had a gun mounted on it and rushed towards the tanks to flank them.
  • Throughout this blistering attack, Hamid had singlehandedly managed to destroy a total of eight enemy tanks, many more than what an armoured formation could take on.
  • For his actions at the Battle of Asal Uttar, Hamid was awarded the Param Vir Chakra on 10 September 1965.
  • Buried at the battlefield, Hamid lies in a modest grave at Asal Uttar today. A brick-red roadside plaque with the words ‘memorial of CQMH (Company Quarter Master Havildar) Abdul Hamid’ announces its location.