Chandigarh: Brigadier (retired) Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, hero of the Longewala battle against Pakistan in 1971, passed away at age 78 on Saturday.
Brigadier Chandpuri passed away at a city hospital in the early morning hours. He had been suffering from cancer. He is survived by his wife and three sons.
Brigadier Chandpuri had joined the Indian Army in 1962 and was commissioned to the 23rd Battalion of The Punjab Regiment. He was part of several UN peacekeeping missions but it is his heroics while defending the Longewala post in Rajasthan – with just 120 soldiers and against a sizeable Pakistani infantry brigade and armoured battalion – that made him an inspirational figure not only for fellow soldiers but for citizens at large. His inspirational leadership ensured that the approaching Pakistani force was sent back scampering.
Border, a Bollywood movie based on the battle, showcased the valiant efforts of the soldiers at Longewala. Brigadier Chandpuri’s character was played by Sunny Deol in the movie.
For his bravery, valour and spirit, Brigadier Chandpuri was the recipient of many awards and honours. Prominent among these were the Maha Vir Chakra – for defending the Longewala Post, and the Vishisht Seva Medal.