By IMPAR (Indian Muslims for Progress and Reforms)
Today is the death anniversary of one of the highest decorated sons of the soil.
Quarter Master PVC Havildar Abdul Hamid was born on July 1 1933 in the Dhamupur Village of Ghazipur District in U.P to Sakina Begum and Mohammad Usman, a tailor. In 1954 at the age 20, Abdul Hamid got recruited in the army at Varanasi. After undergoing training, he was posted to the 4th Grenadier Regiment in 1955.
When China had made incursions in Ladakh, Abdul Hamid was with 7 Mountain Brigade, 4 Mountain Division. The first war that he participated in 1962 was at the Thang La Pass against the People’s Liberation Army of China.
But Havildar Abdul Hamid is remembered for the bravery he displayed against the Pakistani army. Pakistan had acquired the famous Patton tanks from America. With a fleet of these tanks, Pakistan attacked a strategic location near Cheema village in Khem Karan sector between 9-10 September 1965.
Abdul Hamid then commanded a RCL gun detachment on jeeps. The Indian army then did not have anti-tank mines, and an RCL gun did not prove effective enough to repel tanks. However, on the ninth night when Hamid observed two Patton tanks surreptitiously sneaking in Indian territory, he took cover by camouflaging his jeep in a sugarcane field.
When the tanks came close, he fired the RCL gun. One of the tanks caught fire and the other tank commander jumped out and fled. Some time later, two more tanks crept in. They too, met the same fate at the hands of Abdul Hamid. The story of infiltration continued all night and Hamid kept destroying and capturing deserted tanks. Altogether he had put to fire to seven Patton tank. Six were captured that night. Havildar Abdul Hamid died in confrontation with the eighth tank that he encountered. This was on September 10, 1965 at the age of 32.
Havildar Abdul Hamid was awarded the highest gallantry award of Param Vir Chakra posthumously.