Lt Col Arun Bhimrao Harolikar, MVC, Indian Army

Lt Col Arun Bhimrao Harolikar, MVC

On 4 December 1971, Lt Col Arun Bhimrao Harolikar, who commanded the Gorkha Rifles in the eastern sector, led an army advnace along the Sylhet-Ghazipur route. Their mission was to secure Ghazipur, a well-defended Pakistani post.

As fighting started, Harolikar saw that two of his companies were being held back because of intense enemy artillery fire. The Lt Col together with his remaining troops struck a different route and attacked the enemy from behind. After fierce hand to hand fighting, the Gorkhas gained control of Ghazipur.

Lt Col Harolikar and his Gorkhas were then airdropped at Sylhet. Instantly they were besieged by the enemy. Despite their supplies diminishing steadily, they offered a stiff resistance and held off the enemy for 8 days. On 14 December, help came when the Mountain Brigade broke through the enemy lines. Together, they fought the Pakistanis and defeated them.

Lt Col Arun Bhimrao Harolikar was awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his determination and leadership in the face of crisis.