Rama Raghoba Rane

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Rama Raghoba Rane; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India

Saviour of Rajouri

Daily Excelsior , Saviour of Rajouri remembered "Daily Excelsior" 8/4/2016

The Army and civilians of Rajouri area today remembered the savior of Rajouri, 2nd Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane and paid homage to this brave soldier.

Born on June 26, 1918 at Chendia in Karnataka, 2nd Lieutenant Rane, was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers on December 15, 1947. In 1948, this area had been infiltrated by irregulars and regular Pakistan army personnel. After throwing out the invaders with the recapture of Naushera, Indian troops commenced their advance on April 8, 1948 from Naushera to Rajouri to protect the natives from the atrocities of the raiders.

4 Dogra attacked the Barwali ridge, 11 km north of Naushera and captured it after driving out the enemy from its well-prepared positions. But beyond Barwali, the increasing number of road-blocks and minefields obstructed the progress of the battalion. The obstacles were so formidable that even the tanks could not cross over.

During this critical phase, 2nd Lt Rane and his section of 37 Assault Field Company, who was attached to 4 Dogra, performed a heroic action of clearing the stretch of road for the Infantry to advance. As the Engineer section started clearing the mine-fields on April 8, two Army engineers were killed and five others including Rane were injured in enemy mortar fire.

However, Rane and his men completed the task by evening and enabled the tanks to push forward towards Rajouri.

The Indian troops advanced another 13 km on this day before they encountered another major road-block with the enemy pickets on the adjoining hills guarding all approaches. 2nd Lieutenant Rane drove to the road block in a tank and crouching under it, blasted it with mines and was thus able to clear the road before the end of the night. On April 11, he again worked relentlessly with his team for 17 hours to open the road to Chingas and beyond.

Lt Rane made a substantial contribution in facilitating the Indian advance on Rajouri. The gallant actions of this officer, to open this route to Rajouri earned him the highest war-time gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra.

The Advance Landing Ground at Rajouri is named as “Rane Hawaii Patti” in the honour of this brave saviour of Rajouri.

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