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Old 29th January 2011, 04:48 PM   #1
Norman McCormick
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Default C'mon the Gurkhas!!!!!

Lone Nepali Gorkha who subdued 40 train robbers

MANOJ ADHIKARI/SANTOSH POKHAREL

POKHARA, Jan 13: Gorkha soldiers have long been known the world over for their valor and these khukuri-wielding warriors winning the British many a battle have become folklore.

A retired Indian Gorkha soldier recently revisited those glory days when he thwarted 40 robbers, killing three of them and injuring eight others, with his khukuri during a train journey. He is in line to receive three gallantry awards from the Indian government.



Slave girl Morgiana in the Arabian Nights used her cunning to finish off Ali Baba´s 40 thieves, but Bishnu Shrestha of Baidam, Pokhara-6 did not have time to plot against the 40 train robbers. He, however, made good use of his khukuri to save the chastity of a girl and hundreds of thousands in loot.

Shrestha, who was in the Maurya Express to Gorakhpur from Ranchi on September 2 while returning home following voluntary retirement from the Indian army--saved the girl who was going to be raped by the robbers in front of her hapless parents, and in doing so won plaudits from everybody.

The Indian government is to decorate Shrestha with its Sourya Chakra, Bravery Award and Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Medal and the 35-year-old is leaving for India Saturday to receive the first of the awards on the occasion of India´s Republic Day on January 26.

“The formal announcement of the awards will be made on Republic Day and on Independence Day on August 15,” said Shrestha, whose father Gopal Babu also retired from the same 7/8 Platoon of the Gorkha Regiment around 29 years ago.

His regiment has already given him a cash award of Indian rupees 50,000, and decided to terminate his voluntary retirement. He will get the customary promotion after receiving the medals. The Indian government will also announce a cash bounty for him and special discounts on international air tickets and domestic train tickets.

The band of about 40 robbers, some of whom were travelling as passengers, stopped the train in the Chittaranjan jungles in West Bengal around midnight. Shrestha-- who had boarded the train at Ranchi in Jharkhand, the place of his posting--was in seat no. 47 in coach AC3.

“They started snatching jewelry, cell phones, cash, laptops and other belongings from the passengers,” Shrestha recalled. The soldier had somehow remained a silent spectator amidst the melee, but not for long. He had had enough when the robbers stripped an 18-year-old girl sitting next to him and tried to rape her right in front of her parents. He then took out his khukuri and took on the robbers.

“The girl cried for help, saying ´You are a soldier, please save a sister´,” Shrestha recalled. “I prevented her from being raped, thinking of her as my own sister,” he added. He took one of the robbers under control and then started to attack the others. He said the rest of the robbers fled after he killed three of them with his khukuri and injured eight others.

During the scuffle he received serious blade injury to his left hand while the girl also had a minor cut on her neck. “They had carried out their robbery with swords, blades and pistols. The pistols may have been fake as they didn´t open fire,” he surmised.

The train resumed its journey after some 20 minutes and a horde of media persons and police were present when it reached Chittaranja station. Police arrested the eight injured dacoits and recovered around 400,000 Indian rupees in cash, 40 gold necklaces, 200 cell phones, 40 laptops and other items that the fleeing robbers dropped in the train.

Police escorted Shrestha to the Railways Hospital after the rescued girl told them about his heroic deed. Mainstream Indian media carried the story. The parents of the girl, who was going for her MBBS studies, also announced a cash award of Indian rupees 300,000 for him but he has not met them since.

“Even the veins and arteries in my left hand were slit but the injury has now healed after two months of neurological treatment at the Command Hospital in Kolkata,” he said showing the scar. “Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier; taking on the dacoits in the train was my duty as a human being,” said the Indian army nayak, who has been given two guards during his month-long holidays in Nepal.

“I am proud to be able to prove that a Gorkha soldier with a khukuri is really a handful. I would have been a meek spectator had I not carried that khukuri,” he said.

He still finds it hard to believe that he took on 40 armed robbers alone. “They may have feared that more of my army friends were traveling with me and fled after fighting me for around 20 minutes,” he explained.
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Old 29th January 2011, 05:49 PM   #2
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Ayo Gorkhali!
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Old 29th January 2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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Oh the modesty!
He thinks after battling 40 armed men for 20 minutes, killing 3 and injuring 8, that it was the thought that he might have friends that scared them away!



Great find Norman, thanks for sharing.
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Old 29th January 2011, 06:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Ayo Gorkhali!



Indeed!
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Old 29th January 2011, 10:36 PM   #5
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As the Gorkha saying goes... Kaathar hunnu bhanda marnu ramro ......and this man certainly lives up to their ethos ......Respect
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Old 29th January 2011, 11:34 PM   #6
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Klaatu Barada Nikto: These guys are ballsy!

OTOH, gurkhas soiled their reputation in the Malvinas/Falklands, reportedly killing wounded prisoners.




Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
As the Gorkha saying goes... Kaathar hunnu bhanda marnu ramro ......and this man certainly lives up to their ethos ......Respect
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Old 30th January 2011, 06:47 AM   #7
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Celtan,
Why the tourist knife?

The Gurkhas on the Falklands saved a helluva lot more lives than they took.
Don't go by what you hear second hand.

Richard.
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Old 30th January 2011, 07:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
OTOH, gurkhas soiled their reputation in the Malvinas/Falklands, reportedly killing wounded prisoners.


If it is 'reportedly' it is hardly themselves who have soiled anything but others...
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Old 30th January 2011, 10:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
Klaatu Barada Nikto: These guys are ballsy!

OTOH, gurkhas soiled their reputation in the Malvinas/Falklands, reportedly killing wounded prisoners.




It's always good to try and check for some reference before making such an obviously inflammatory claim Manuel.
It's hardly fair to sully the reputation of these brave men without being certain of the facts is it?

This is especially relevant when the claims pertain to events in the living memory of many British and Argentinian forumites.

I cannot find any reports of Gurkha's murdering POWs in the Falklands conflict.

Here's what I found:

Soldier magazine ran a photo-story of the 1/7GR preparing for deployment to the South Atlantic as part of 5 Airborne Brigade's contribution to Op Corporate. Titled "Mountain Men Prepare To Show Their Steel" it showed images of Gurkhas sharpening their Kukhri knives and charging etc. These images were later reproduced in the Argentine military publictaion under the headline "Los Barbaros Gurkhos" (The barbarian Gurkhas) which painted a picture of doped-up, knife wielding savages in the pay of the Crown who would kill prisoners. The Argentine article had an unintentional effect of scaring some of their own soldiery witless.

There was a famous incident where a Gurkha recce patrol stumbled onto an Argentine anti-aircraft troop and by simply drawing a kukhri and waving it aggressively, got them all to surrender. The knife was later auctioned off for charity, raising £300.00.



That said, it is also important to understand how the Gurkha's do opperate.

I think this recent article and the quotes from military sources at the end gives a good overview of these brave, dedicated men and how the innate cultural differences between them and their western allies can cause 'raised eyebrows'.

Gurkha brings back Taliban warlords head.

Last edited by Atlantia : 30th January 2011 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 30th January 2011, 01:51 PM   #10
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Hi Guys,

All the Nepalese (and Thais!) I have met, have characteristically been extremely courteous and pleasant. A close friend being a member of their Royal family, I had the frequent opportunity to socially engage many.

OTOH, War brings out the worst in every one. It is a medical fact that war conditions actually change the _anatomy_ of the brain, meaning that soldiers do not behave the same as when in regular social conditions.

What I said comes from reading war action reports in 1982-83. OTOH, it helps if you can read Spanish, as Argentineans speak that language. : )

Granted, virtually all of the reports on War Crimes are for actions committed by British troops, not Gurkhas.

Nonetheless, there_are_ reports of Gurkha atrocities, namely a surprise attack of the Duke of Edinburgh's First Gurkha Fusilier Battallion on advanced Argentine positions, which involved killing of the woundedc, raping of prisoners, and mutilations.

Author Gabriel Barcia Marquez quoted witnesses as saying that the Gurkhas:

…beheaded Argentine soldiers with their assassins' scimitars and were so bloodthirsty that the English had to handcuff them to stop further killing after the Argentines had surrendered.

More comments on the subject appear in "Los chicos de la guerra", by Daniel Kon.

Regarding the attached "tourist's" kukri/Kuhkuri: I saw an ethnic weapon in very bad shape, and out of sheer pity, chose to rescue it and try to repair some of the damage suffered at the hands of its previous uncaring owner.

As`I already said, I did so because of my previous contacts with people from Nepal. Since you suggest it is a pile of touristry crap, I guess I will rather throw it to the trash and avoid wasting my valuable time on rstoring such a piece of worthless, rusted metal, to which I have no cultural or historic ties. Thanks kindly for the info, it saved me some time for which I have better use..!

Best regards

Manuel Luis Iravedra
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Old 30th January 2011, 02:50 PM   #11
fernando
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Hi guys,
This topic is becoming rather controversial and out of our basic scope.
As (also) following the thread's author request, i will close it until further notice.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 10:22 PM   #12
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Thumbs down Moderator Warning

This thread is permanently closed.

In the future, I strongly suggest discussions be kept on-topic and non-inflamatory to avoid suspension (or revocation) of posting privileges.

Andrew
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