Nowshera ka sher
Nowshera ka sher4 mins 395 4 mins 395
This is the true story of exemplary grit,courage and patriotism of an Indian Army officer.His name is Brigadier Mohammed Usman.He was decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra.
During the partition of India, Mohammed Usman declined to move to Pakistan alongside many other Muslim officers.He was born on 15 July 1912 in Bibipur,Azamgarh district.His parents were Jamilun Bibi and Mohammed Faqooq Khunambir.He studied at Harish Chandra Bhai School with his siblings Subhan and Gufran.He was brave from his childhood.Once he jumped into a well at the bare age of 12 in order to save a child from drowning.
At that time it was very difficult to get commissioned ranks for an Indian in the army.However Usman got selected and took admission in the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1932 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 1 February 1934.
Mohammed Usman was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 April 1936 and Captain on 31 August 1941.In April 1944 he was promoted as a temporary Major.He commanded the 14th Battalion of the 10th Baluch Regiment for a year.
As he was a frontier officer of the Baluch Regiment, during the partition period he was offered the post of the Pakistan Military Chief by the newly formed Pakistan government.But he refused.
Later on when the Baluch Regiment was allotted to Pakistan,he was transferred to the Dogra Regiment.
On 25 December 1947,the Pakistan forces captured Jhangar, located at the junction of roads coming from Mirpur and Kotli and was a strategically significant post.Brigadier Usman took oath that he would sleep on the floor till the time he recaptures this post.
In January-February 1948 Brigadier Usman defended attacks on Nowshera from Pakistani forces.His brigade inflicted around 2000 casualties on the enemy (around 1000 dead and 1000 injured).The Indian side suffered 33 dead and 102 wounded.It was this planning and defense of Brigadier Usman which made him a headache for the enemy and they announced a sum of Rs.50000 on his head,which is a large amount in that time.This battle earned Brigadier Usman the nickname "Lion of Nowshera".
K.M.Cariappa was the Lieutenant General at that time.He brought his tactical headquarters to Jammu due to two major operations, to recapture Jhangar and Poonch.The operations began soon.In February 1948, in the last week,the 19th Infantry Brigade advanced alongside northern ridge and the 50th Parachute Brigade cleared the hills in the Nowshera-Jhangar road in the south region.
The Indian Army under the able leadership of Brigadier Usman recaptured Jhangar.But Pakistan didnot deter to launch many subsequent attacks on the Indian forces.Heavy artillery shelling was done by the enemy units.But Brigadier Usman defended all attacks.However an enemy 25-pounder shell exploded near him one day and he was killed.He was 35 years old.His last words were that though he is dying but the territory should not fall at the hands of the enemy.Such was the patriotism of this braveheart.For his outstanding leadership and tremendous courage,he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously.
He had turned a vegetarian while he was posted in the Dogra Regiment in Burma.He had asked his men to fast on Tuesdays and the food saved was distributed to the villagers.He was not married.He spent a large part of his salary for the education of poor children.Once 50000 tribal rebellists had taken shelter in a mosque near Naushera and the Indian troops didnot fire as they were hiding in a mosque.Brigadier Usman personally reached the site and ordered his troops to open fire stating that the place no longer remained religious as it had been occupied by the marauders.
Brigadier Mohammed Usman was one of the greatest soldiers India has ever produced.He was an inspiring leader and remains the highest ranked Indian officer till date to have died in action.
Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his cabinet ministers attended his funeral.He was given state funeral with full state honors.He is buried in a grave near the Jamia Millia Islamia campus in New Delhi.His birth centenary was celebrated by the Indian army in the year 2012 at Jhangar in Jammu and Kashmir.A paramotor expedition was organized by Gorkha Training Centre in the memory of Brigadier Usman.
Though he is no longer with us,but his ideal leadership and patriotism will continue to inspire millions of Indians for the time immemorial.His selfless service and dedication will always be remembered by the nation.
Salute to the Lion of Nowshera!