Raja Litta Raja Ditta

With Gibraltar infiltration tackled India decided to push further and attack into Bedori Bulge on Cease Fire Line dominating Uri Poonch Road. ‘Raja’ was a formidable height South of Bulge, An attack on this ridge had already failed.

Lt Col N.N.Khanna said to his Brigade Commander ‘2 Sikh will give you Raja’. On night 5/6 Sep, his unit crossed Forward Assembly Area, the twin trees named Bhai Bhai at 0300 hrs. Later into the day, at Bhai Bhai trees, Havildar Ujagar Singh will hand over the lifeless body of the Colonel to Battalion Havildar Major.

Raja was a formidable height and Col Khanna decided to go three company up. Everything that could go wrong went wrong that night. Time of attack delayed to almost first light. Artillery rounds at maximum range fell short of objective & assault engineers carried nothing to clear the wire.

30 minutes past 5, with unit completely pinned down under intense fire something extra ordinary happened. CO of 2 Sikh broke cover, raised a battle cry and rushed through the wire and mines to the bunker in front. Even a splinter wound did not deter him. This proved ‘turning the tables’ for Indians.

2 Sikh was galvanized by their CO, as if a new spirit was infused in them. Taking the lead they pushed upward in small teams from all directions Having seen their Colonel embracing the danger they kept up the attack with utter disregard to personal safety.

Col Khanna would later be hit by MG fire and evacuated from battlefield. That would not deter assaulting parties form pushing on to the objective. With 40 souls perished and 102 wounded they will win Raja at 0710 hrs.

Col Khanna died somewhere between Regimental Aid Post and Bhai Bhai Twin Trees. He was cremated at Poonch a day later. His troops would say “Raja Litta Raja Ditta”, meaning “In taking Raja Post we sacrificed our King”. Lt Col Khanna was posthumously awarded Maha Vir Chakra.

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The Valiant Captain of Raja

2 Sikh were all praise for a Pakistani Platoon Commander at Raja Post who kept up an aggressive posture by active appearance on front bunkers during the battle. His dead body was discovered and identified him as an officer of the rank of Captain.

The valiant Captain along with other dead soldiers were afforded a graceful burial by 2 Sikh near a Ziarat on a track leading from Raja defences. Captain Arminder Singh tells us that 2 Sikh War Diary does not record the name of the Captain but mentions he was from Zhob Militia.

General Mahmud in his book “Illusion of victory : a military history of the Indo-Pak War-1965” says that Raja post was defended by troops from 4 Azad Kashmir Regiment. There’s no mention of an officer killed in the battle. A nameless grave lies around Raja whom 2 Sikh remembers as a gallant Captain from Pakistan.


Pictures in this post (where otherwise mentioned) come from The Monsoon War Young Officers Reminisce : 1965 India Pakistan War by @capt_amarinder and Lieutenant General Tajinder Shergill, PVSM

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Imran Saeed

I am a teller of old tales. History, folklore, military, and more. Mostly covering Pakistan, my homeland, but also the Great White North, where I am currently settled.
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V N Thapar

These are enchanting tales of valor. In the battle of Raja one of my juniors at the NDA had taken part and vouched at the ferocity of the battle. His name was Capt Keshav Singh. He rose to be a Maj Gen. for me this article is an honor to his memory and a great tribute to 2 Sikh. I also like to pay my respect to the unnamed capt of the Zhob Militia who fought with elan. For what is bravery in battle unless there is a brave enemy to fight.