Service No : IC-11930

Place of birth : Delhi

Service : Army

Last Rank : Major

Unit : 99 Mtn Regt

Arm/Regt : The Regiment of Artillery

Operation : Indo-Pak War 1971

Martyrdom : November 21, 1971

Major Chaman Lal

Major Chaman Lal was born in Delhi, but hailed from Manimajra on the border of Punjab and Haryana and only a few kilometers from Himachal Pradesh as well. He was commissioned into 99 Mtn Regt of the Regiment of Artillery, an important combat support arm of the Indian Army, well known for its booming filed guns, howitzers and other heavy weaponry. Besides being a deep rooted soldier, he was a keen sportsman and won many trophies in Badminton and Cricket during his school days as well as in NDA and in service. He excelled in the game of bridge too, owing to his sharp intellect and a photographic memory. He also won the memory contest at President’s house 3 years in a row while at school ( he collected his prizes from Dr Rajendra Prasad, the President of India). 


After completing his training he got posted to his parent unit and thereafter served in various operational areas. He soon honed his field craft skills and developed into a committed soldier and fine officer, who was respected by his juniors and seniors as well. In the year 1971, as the situation along the Indo-Pak borders worsened and war clouds started gathering around the horizon, Major Chaman Lal's unit got deployed on the eastern front. 


Battle for Karimganj (Eastern Front) Indo-Pak War : 21 Nov 1971


During Nov 1971, Maj Chaman Lal was functioning as the Battery Commander of 99 Mountain Regiment deployed in Karimganj district of Assam.  Indian Army had established a base camp in Karimganj in Deulitila area to keep a check on the Pakistani forces deployed at Zakiganj.  Karimganj at that time looked like a battle zone with the common sight of patrolling military vehicles, armoured vehicles in government schools and colleges etc.  The Sambhu Sagar Park near the statue of Rabindra Nath Tagore, Char bazaar, Das Patty, Steamer Ghat and many other places of Karimganj were fully under Indian Army control. In the preparation for an attack on Pak forces, Maj Chaman Lal Sharma and his comrades established good rapport with some influential civilians of Karimganj. Maj Chaman Lal utilized the knowledge gathered from the local people to prepare the operational plan with details of safest and easiest route to Bangladesh, positioning of bunkers, firearms etc. The Army units deployed in Karimganj were functioning under the overall operational control of IV Corps headquartered at Agartala under the command of Lt Gen Sagat Singh. 


An attack on Pakistani forces at Zakiganj was planned on 21 Nov 1971, as they were celebrating Eid festival on that day.  Initially, D Company crossed the Kushiara river and secured the border around Kushiara. Later, C and E Company under the command of Major MM Kapoor along with BSF jawans crossed the river and created road blocks along the road. In the meantime A and B Companies under the command of Major BBL Narang reached the FUP (Forming Up Place). When the D Company with other platoons was just 800 yards to Zakiganj, the troops got divided and launched a multi-directional attack, successfully effecting an entrance into Zakiganj.  Besides Major Chaman Lal's 99 Mtn Regt, the troops of 64 Cavalry, 9 Guards, BSF and 1 Company of East Bangladesh Regiment took part in the operation. It took Indian troops about 3 ½ hrs to push back the Pakistanis from Zakiganj, who left behind a large quantity of arms and ammunitions. However Major Chaman Lal from 99 Mtn Regt and Guardsman Dina Nath Yadav from 9 Guards battalion received gun shots during this operation and were martyred. By 22 Nov 1971, Zakiganj was totally under the control of Indian Army, which paved the way for future successful operations in that area. Maj Chaman Lal played a key role in the battle of Karimganj and he came to be known as the saviour of Karimganj along with Guardsman Dina Nath Yadav and SI Bharat Singh Gurung from BSF among the local people. 


Maj Chaman Lal was a gallant soldier and committed officer, who laid down his life in the line of his duty, following the highest traditions of Indian Army. He is survived by his wife Smt Rajbir Chaman Lal and son Shri Maneesh Kumar. 

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  • Taroon Choudhury

    2023 at 2:24 pm Reply

    Want a photo of Major Chaman Lal who sacrifice his life at Karimganj in the war with Pakisthan in 1971

    • Maneesh Kumar

      2023 at 12:08 am

      Dear Taroon,

      I have now provided late Major Chaman Lal’s photographs. Please do upload them.

      Thank you for the good work that you are doing in keeping alive the memories of the martyrs, who made the supreme sacrifice so that we may stay protected and live as free people.

  • Gautam Dey

    2023 at 9:12 am Reply

    We are working for 50th anniversary on wards when we came to know about 21 Nov through the then Deputy Commissioner by an higher Officials from Delhi.
    And invited all of three next of kin on 2021 as 5oth anniversary and pay tribute together and gave respect and momentum with District admn.
    we Seemanta Chetana Manch Purbottar, Karimganj.
    my self District President.

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