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No memorial for Kargil hero in Meghalaya
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUL 26:
Published on 27 Jul. 2009 1:38 AM IST
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Ten years has passed, but the Meghalaya government is yet to get a memorial dedicated to Captain Keishing Clifford Nongrum, who died fighting during the Kargil war. SS-371111 (Clifford’s service number) of 12 J&K Light Infantry died fighting the Pakistanis during the Kargil war to help recapture Pt 4812 in the strategic Drass-Kargil sector on July 1, 1999. The Keishing’s has been pleading with the state government for many years to have a memorial dedicated for their brave son, but the government is yet to respond to his request. “Our only wish that the state government would finally recognize his contribution for the country and dedicate a memorial in his name,” Captain Nongrum’s father Peter Keishing hoped. Today, the parents of Captain Nongrum are in Drass along with other family members of Kargil war martyrs to attend the Kargil Vijay Diwas at the War memorial there. “We have not decided yet to have a memorial in Captain Nongrum’s memory,” Chief Secretary Ranjan Chatterjee said, but informed that a road has been named after him. Infact, the state government had named a road from General’s Point up to Kench’s Trace as “Captain Clifford Nongrum” in memory of the soldier who took a near perpendicular road up to Pt 4812 from the southeastern direction to attack entrenched Pakistanis during the Kargil war. This apart, the government has allotted a Gas station to Captain Nongrum’s family at 20th mile near Umling on the Guwahati-shillong National Highway. Villagers in the area now refer the area as “Kargil Point” in memory of the martyr. Out of nine posts held by the Pakistani soldiers, Capt Nongrum led his column from the front and personally helped to recapture four of them before he was riddled with enemy bullets. Before he died, the Kargil hero managed to lob grenades that killed six Pakistani soldiers to recapture a strategic bunker which eventually led to the hoisting of the Tricolour on Pt 4812. Another unfulfilled wish of Captain Nongrum’s father is that more youths from the state should join the Indian Army. “It was my son’s wish and every time he used to come home here he used to motivate youths to join the Indian Army by visiting schools and colleges,” Keishing said. The second-floor room of the Capt. Nongrum’s residence at Lumdemthring has now been turned into a mini museum filled with Maha Vir Chakra award given to Capt Nongrum posthumously, a parachute brought from the Siachen Glacier and trophies.

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