SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE – OPERATION EAGLE – A LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI:
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE-OPERATION EAGLE-GALLANTRY AWARD:
May 28, 2011
Personal Number. MR-03277K, Rank. Major, AMC/DPC,
Rudra Narasimham, Rebbapragada, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
2011 South Huron Parkway, Apartment #11,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162
United States of America.
Shri. Narendra Damodardas Modi,
Honourable Prime Minister of India,
The Prime Minister’s Office(PMO),
South Block, Raisina Hill,
New Delhi – 110 101.
Subject:- Operation Eagle – Military Operation in Chittagong Hill Tracts – India-Pakistan War of 1971 – “The Past is Never Dead.” – Regarding.
Reference:- Government of India Ministry of Defence Letter No. 3533/2009/D( Cer ) dated 2nd/3rd December, 2009. A photo image of this letter is included for easy reference.
1. Using the famous words of Nobel Laureate William Faulkner, I would like to submit to you that, “The Past is Never Dead… It’s not even Past.”
2. I, R. Rudra Narasimham, also known as, Personal Number. MS-8466, Rank. Lieutenant/Captain, R. R. Narasimham, AMC/SSC was posted to Headquarters Establishment No. 22 C/O 56 APO ( Est No. 22 ) as Medical Officer during 1971. I had joined this duty at Est No. 22 with effect from 22 September 1971.
3. At Est No. 22, I was officially briefed about military Operation Eagle ( Op Eagle ). This Operation was approved by Prime Minister Shrimati. Indira Gandhi. Op Eagle was executed under the legal authority duly sanctioned by Government of India. I had acted in obedience to the orders issued by my immediate superior Officers as the military plan had the approval of Government of India. All the orders that pertain to this military action were issued following the proper chain of Command after approval from Prime Minister’s Cabinet Secretariat. Kindly ask me if I have to provide any other information about Op Eagle.
4. The Op Eagle battle plan included the use of helicopter flights from India for airlifting of battle casualties from Chittagong Hill Tracts to the Field Hospital, Lungleh, Mizoram. This Field Hospital was specifically established for this military action under the battle plan.
5. For the conduct of military operations, I was posted to the Unit called South Column commanded by Lieutenant Colonel B K Narayan, The Regiment of Artillery. Under his Command, my Unit had penetrated the enemy territory. We had launched an offensive attack on entrenched enemy post at about 40 miles distance from a Border Security Force Post in Indian territory. As the Unit Medical Officer, my duties and responsibilities were that of treating and holding battle casualties at my Unit location in Chittagong Hill Tracts. The Force Headquarters of Op Eagle had the duty and the responsibility of evacuation of battle casualties from the Unit location to the Field Hospital.
6. During the initial phase of Op Eagle, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi withheld her permission for the use of helicopter flight from India to the Unit location in Chittagong Hill Tracts.
7. In the absence of helicopter flight, Brigadier T S Oberoi, Commandant Hq Est No. 22, the Field Commander at the Force Headquarters, Op Eagle had no alternate or contingency plan for immediate and safe evacuation of battle casualties from Chittagong Hill Tracts to the Field Hospital. I accepted this challenge and went beyond the call of my duty and executed the difficult task of this casualty evacuation after we had captured the enemy position in a fierce battle.
8. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was briefed about this battle casualty evacuation problem. The Prime Minister gave permission for helicopter flights from India to Chittagong Hill Tracts on Day 5 of Op Eagle after I had successfully completed my task.
9. My actions in the execution of Op Eagle as Medical Officer clearly show that I had taken the initiative and had responded in a timely manner at a critical juncture, went Beyond the Call of Duty, and had performed my tasks without sense of fear and without concern for my personal safety inside enemy territory where we faced the threat of enemy retaliation and the threat of Mizo rebels who had operated on both sides of the Indo-Pak border. To give you a perspective about the nature of Op Eagle, the battle casualty evacuation on Day 3/4 involved a physically challenging march of over 80 miles within 24 hours across remote, roadless, hilly, forest terrain. Kindly let me know if any other Army Medical Corps Officer had performed a similar task. For the first time in the history of Indian Army Medical Corps, I had provided medical care, comfort as a Medical Officer, and in addition performed nursing duties which are expected of AMC Nursing Assistant and Ambulance Assistant during any battle casualty evacuation. As the Unit was still engaged in defending the just captured enemy post, the AMC Nursing Assistants of my Unit remained on their duty and could not be spared for the battle casualty evacuation.
10. My Unit Commander, Lieutenant Colonel B K Narayan had initiated a citation that recommended the grant of the Gallantry Award – “Vir Chakra” to recognize my gallant action deep inside the enemy territory; the citation was approved and recommended by the Brigade Commander, Brigadier T S Oberoi, and by the Formation Commander, Major General Sujan Singh Uban, Inspector General of Special Frontier Force.
11. Kindly direct the Under Secretary ( Cer ), Ministry of Defence to issue this Gallantry Award as recommended by my Unit during Op Eagle.
R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,