Lance Naik Albert Ekka
During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, the 14 Guards was asked to capture a Pakistani position at Gangasagar, 6½ km west of Agartala in the eastern sector. It was a well-fortified position, held in good strength by the enemy. The reduction of this position was considered necessary as it was the key to the capture of Akhaura.
The 14 Guards launched an attack on enemy positions at 0400 hours on 4 December 1971. Lance Naik Ekka went with the left forward company of the battalion in the attack. The assaulting Indian troops were subjected to intense shelling and small arms fire by the enemy.
Lance Naik Ekka observed that an enemy light machine gun was belching deadly fire from a bunker, causing heavy casualties to his company. Unmindful about his personal safety, he charged the enemy bunker, bayoneted two enemy soldiers and silenced the light machine gun. Though seriously injured in this encounter, he continued to fight alongside his comrades with courage, securing bunker after bunker.
After battling through a distance of 1½ km, when Lance Naik Ekka and his comrades reached the northern end of the objective, an enemy medium machine gun opened up from the second storey of a well-fortified building. It inflicted heavy casualties on the Indian troops and help up their progress.
Once again Lance Naik Ekka, rose to the occasion. Unmindful of his personal safety, he crawled to the building and hurled a grenade into the bunker. One enemy soldier was killed and the other injured. But the medium machine gun could not be silenced. Lance Naik Ekka then scaled the sidewall to enter the bunker. He bayoneted the enemy holding the bunker and silenced the deadly weapon. This saved his company from further casualties and ensured success.
Lance Naik Ekka died of the injuries suffered during this battle. As a result of the fall of Gangasagar, the southern and south-western flanks of Akhaura were exposed and the enemy rear was threatened. Consequently the enemy was forced to vacate Akhaura.
Lance Naik Albert Ekka was awarded Pram Vir Chakra, the highest wartime gallantry medal, posthumously, for displaying the conspicuous bravery and determination.
This Rs. 3 stamp was released on the occasion of India’s 50th Republic Day celebrations on 26th January 2000.
LANCE NAIK ALBERT EKKA
14 GUARDS (NO 4239746)
Lance Naik Albert Ekka was in the left forward company of a battalion of the Brigade of Guards during their attack on the ememy defences at Gangasagar on the Eastern front. This was a well-fortified position held in strength by the enemy. The assaulting troops were subjected to intense shelling and heavy small-arms fire, but they charged onto the objective and were locked in bitter hand-to-hand combat
. Lance Naik Albert Ekka noticed an enemy light machine-gun (LMG) inflicting heavy casualties on his company. With complete disregard fo his personal safety, he charged the enemy bunker, bayoneted two enemy soldiers and silenced the LMG. Though seriously wounded in this encounter, he continued to fight alongside his comrades through the mile deep objective, clearing bunker after bunker with undaunted courage.
Towards the northern end of the objective one enemy medium machine-gun (MMG) opened up from the second storey of a well-fortified building inflicting heavy casualties and holding up the attack. Once again this gallant soldier, without a thought for his personal safety, despite his serious injury and the heavy volume of enemy fire, crawled forward till he reached the building and lobbed a grenade into the bunker killing one enemy soldier and injuring the other.
The MMG however continued to fire. With outstanding courage and determination Lance Naik Albert Ekka scaled a side wall and entering the bunker, bayoneted the enemy soldier who was still firing and thus silenced the machine-gun, saving further casualties to his company and ensuring the success of the attack. In this process however, he received serious injuries and succumbed to them after the capture of the objective.
In this action, Lance Naik Albert Ekka displayed the most conspicuous valour and determination and made the supreme sacrifice in the best traditions of the Army.