Army dedicates park to public in J-K's Doda

Jammu, Nov 22 (PTI) General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh on Friday dedicated to the public an Army goodwill park constructed as a mark of tribute to its most decorated soldier Naib Subedar Chuni Lal at his native village in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, a defence spokesman said.

Naib Subedar Lal, who was awarded Ashok Chakra (posthumously), Vir Chakra and Sena Medal, sacrificed his life in the service of the nation fighting a group of terrorists trying to sneak through the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara district of north Kashmir on June 24, 2007, he said.

'The Army goodwill Park has been constructed with a statue of the martyr soldier, children's park and open gym equipment for the villagers. Benches for sitting, pathway to walk around and fountain within the premises were also put to improve the overall ambiance,' the spokesman said.

Lt Gen (retd) Satish Dua, General Officer Commanding (GOC), White Knight Corps, Lt Gen Harsh Gupta, GOC, Counter-insurgency Force (Delta), Maj Gen Ravi Murugan and other Army and civil administrators attended the function at Bhara village, he said.

He said sarpanches, police personnel, villagers and students also participated in the event.

The spokesman said a wreath was laid on the bust of martyr by the Northern Commander and other generals present during the ceremony with a guard of honour given by guard of eight Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, the unit of Lal which he joined in 1984 - three years before he volunteered and participated in an operation to capture the 'Quaid post' which was later called the Bana Top, located at 21,153 feet in the Siachen Glacier, for which he was awarded the Sena Medal (Gallantry).

He said among those present included the parents of the martyr, who was awarded Vir Chakra for Gallantry when he fought an attempted intrusion by the Pakistan Army and was instrumental in killing 12 intruders and saved the post form enemy capture in Poonch sector in 1999.

'It was a momentous occasion where Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Bana Singh (Retd), the recipient of Param Vir Chakra, and few other comrades of Lal, who participated with him in various operations were present during this ceremony to pay their homage to this brave soldier who laid down his life for the motherland following the highest traditions of Indian Army,' the spokesman said. PTI TAS AQS