It appeared to be a no-win situation for the Army on Peak 5250 near the Khalubar ridge in the Batalik sub-sector. But only till the determined Muslim Company of 22 Grenadiers decided to launch an aggressive attack and repulse the Pakistani intruders. The valiant
Muslim company which fought for full three days could not have completed it without the active support of 1/11 Gurkha Rifles.
The enemy forces, occupying the strategic heights, were repulsing every attack, often just by hurling boulders down at the advancing army. The Charlie Muslim Company, led by Major Ajit Singh, was given the task of recovering the peak. Leading a team of 30 brave soldiers, he launched an offensive under the cover of darkness.
They advanced on Peak 5250 to lead a fierce attack but the enemy defences were extremely strong. Major Singh lost 10 of his soldiers in two hours. Another 18 were injured and it was decided to make a tactical retreat. But as they lay nursing their wounds behind some large rocks inthe mountains, young Naik Zakir Hussain came forward and
saluted the Major.
We will launch another attack, sir, with your permission,” he said, determinedly. The company commander, hit by a rock on his head, discussed the matter with other soldiers and took the decision.
A little after 2 a.m. another attack was launched by the considerably depleted Muslim Company. Stealthily they climbed, and as they reached close to the peak, with the battle-cry of ‘Allah-o-Akbar’, they launched the attack from the rear.
Once on the top, chanting `Allah-o-Akbar’, the Grenadiers opened fire, foxing the enemy, weakening their defence. But both numerically and strategically stronger, the enemy retaliated once they gathered their wits. Though 10 of their soldiers had already been killed earlier, the injured 18 kept fighting with nothing more than courage and the will to defend the country.
And when the Pakistani reinforcements actually arrived, the Grenadiers did not let them advance and kept fighting, both upward and downward. For three days the soldiers kept enemy reinforcements from reaching Khalubar,” said an officer.
Abid Hussain, another young Naik, manned the machine gun for 72 hours, lying in the open trying to stop the enemy from climbing. He was cut to pieces by enemy fire and died with his finger on the trigger,” the officer added.
It was only on the third night that soldiers of the 1/11 Gurkha Rifles began advancing forward to Khalubar. They saw how badly their brothers-in-arms from the Grenadiers were injured, and launched the attack even though they had climbed all night and were supposed to recover during the day. With their `khukris’ brandished, the Gurkhas launched the final assault in daylight itself with the battle cry of `Ayo Gurkhali.’
Even though the enemy could see them, they kept advancing in the face of heavy firing and Pakistan shelling. The Pakistani intruders, taken aback by the ferocity of the attack, tried to flee but could not.
Thus was the battle for Peak 5250 in the Khalubar ridge won by India. Lance Naik Zakir Hussain and others have been recommended for gallantary medals. Unfortunately most posthumously. Let their sacrifice be not in Vain. They made sure Batalik will be Indian Forever.
This story has been taken from Indian Express story dated 7th October 1999.