Service No : IC-18691

Date of Birth : March 2, 1941

Place of birth : Jhunjhunu Dist(Raj)

Service : Army

Last Rank : Major

Unit : 14 Grenadiers

Arm/Regt : The Grenadiers

Operation : Indo-Pak War 1971

Awards : Vir Chakra

Martyrdom : December 14, 1971

Major MH Khan VrC

Major Mahmood Hasan Khan hailed from Dhanuri village in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan and was born on 02 March 1941. Son of Risaldar Nawab Mohd Hasan Khan, he was born into a military family but lost his father at an early age. He was brought up by his uncle Major Akbar Ali Khan who was serving with the then Nizam of Hyderabad. He completed his school education in Hyderabad and later went to Aligarh Muslim University for higher studies. He joined the Indian Army in the year 1962 as a Sepoy and subsequently got commissioned as a commissioned officer. He was commissioned into 14 Grenadiers of the Grenadiers Regiment, an infantry Regiment known for its brave soldiers with a rich history of various battle honours. In 1971, Maj MH Khan got involved in the thick of operations as his unit got deployed on the western border when the war with Pakistan became imminent. 


Atian Supply Point Raid (Naushera Sector): 06 Dec 1971


During the Indo-Pak 1971 War, Maj MH Khan’s unit 14 Grenadiers was deployed on the western front. In December 1971, India had to go to war with Pakistan as the genocide perpetrated by the Pakistani army in their erstwhile eastern part of the country had resulted in an unprecedented influx of millions of refugees into India. Though the war was concentrated on the eastern front, Pakistan launched operations on the western front too. When the war was declared on 03 Dec 1971, 14 Grenadiers under the command of Lt Col Inderjit Singh was functioning under the operational control of 25 Div and was spread all over the Div AOR (Area of Responsibility) from Naushera to Poonch. On 06 Dec, 14 Grenadiers along with the elements of 8 Mahar battalion were tasked to raid the enemy's Atian Supply Point to cause maximum damage to it.  Maj MH Khan as 'Raid Commander' was tasked to carry out the assault along with two more officers, Capt Roy Chowdhary and 2nd Lt Prakash, and 49 OR (Other Ranks).


The raid involved going through a heavily guarded area and destruction of the objective of platoon strength. The team led by Maj MH Khan and divided into three groups planned a multi-directional attack on the enemy to achieve an element of surprise and cause maximum possible damage. The attack commenced at around 1800 hrs on 06 Dec and Major Khan led his men to the objective by shrewd manoeuvres, destroying post after post. The raid was thus successfully carried out after twelve hours of constant action. Maj MH Khan and his soldiers fightly valiantly, destroyed the enemy's 12 storehouses, and 6 timber stocks, besides eliminating several mules and personnel. Maj MH Khan was given the gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” for his act of conspicuous gallantry, unyielding fighting spirit, and leadership. By the second week of Dec 1971, India had almost achieved victory on the eastern front but the border skirmishes were still going on, on the western front. Maj MH Khan's unit 14 Grenadiers was involved in operations in the "Battle of Daruchhian" during that period. 


"Battle of Daruchhian" (Indo-Pak War): 13/14 Dec 1971


After the failure of the Pakistani divisional attack on Poonch, the Indian Army decided to carry out local and limited actions all along the ceasefire line to improve its defensive posture. One such attack was launched by an infantry battalion in the area opposite Madarpur on the night of 10/11 December, and having captured Nangi Tekri, Jungle Tekri, Bump and other features denied the use of the Kotli-Madarpur-Hajira road to the enemy. As a follow-up to these operations, it was decided to secure Daruchhian, a feature blocking the Balnoi neck of the Kotli-Balnoi road between the Poonch River and the ceasefire line. Daruchhian was a conical feature, narrow and rugged at the top and with steep projections. It was forested on all sides except the southwest spur and was reportedly held by less than one Pakistani company of regular troops and some Mujahids as part of the main picquet line. 14 Grenadiers battalion under the command of Lt Col Inderjit Singh was tasked to launch an attack on Daruchhian and it was allotted an additional company and artillery support of four to six fire units. Maj MH Khan was functioning as a Company Commander of "D" Company at that time.


The capture of Daruchhian was planned to be carried out by 0800 hrs on 14 Dec in three phases. It was a multi-pronged attack involving primarily B, C, and D companies of 14 Grenadiers and elements of other outside resources. As per the plan, in Phase-I 'B' Company was to capture OP (Observation Post); in Phase-II 'C' Company was to capture West Spur and in Phase-III 'D' Company was to capture South West Spur. Besides the commanding officer Lt Col Inderjit Singh, Maj MH Khan, Maj HS Chahal('B' Company Commander), and Capt Hamir Singh('C' Company Commander) as company commanders were involved in planning and executing the operational plan. 'A' Company under the command of Maj SR Dogra was responsible for marking the FUP(Forming up Point) for Pase-I and then acting as a reserve for Phase II. The attack was launched on the night of 13/14 Dec 1971 in three phases with three assault groups attacking from different directions.


In Phase-III of the battle, Maj MH Khan's 'D' Company was given orders to attack SW Spur at about 0400 hrs on 14 Dec. Maj MH Khan moved swiftly and ordered his platoons to give him fire support when he with one platoon moved towards the objective. Despite heavy enemy firing, Maj MH Khan and his men kept moving and reached the flat ground west of the OP position. While moving forward, Maj MH Khan noticed one of the enemy MGs that was impeding the advance and causing casualties. Maj MH Khan along with a few men in a daring move charged towards the bunker with grenades. However while doing so, Maj MH Khan was shot and got injured. But despite the injury, he moved forward and lobbed the grenade in the enemy bunker, before falling to another burst of fire on his head. The enemy gave a very stiff resistance and the battle for Daruchhian continued for over 12 hours. Maj MH Khan as the Company Commander of 'D' Company fought valiantly and led his men to give a befitting reply to the enemy firepower. In the fierce exchange of fire, during the battle, a total of eight officers, seven JCOs, and one hundred and forty-five other ranks were martyred, wounded, or missing in action. Besides Major MH Khan, the other martyred brave hearts included five officers (Maj HS Chahal, Maj SR Dogra, Capt OP Dalal, Capt Bakshish Singh, and 2nd Lt GP Bahukhandi), 4 JCOs ( Sub Jai Singh, Sub Taj Mohd Khan, Nb Sub Hasam Khan and Nb Sub Ram Sarup Singh) and 44 ORs. 


Major MH Khan displayed commendable gallantry and devotion to duty during the operation and laid down his life in the service of the nation. Though he was given the gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” for his act of gallantry on 06 Dec 1971, he did not live long enough thereafter and made the supreme sacrifice on 14 Dec 1971 during the heroic " Battle of Daruchhian". 

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  • Shaheen Khan

    2022 at 3:39 am Reply

    Late Major MH khan is my grandfather. We obviously have a lot of relevant information about him. Pease contact us so we can give as much info for the page of this great man.

  • Salim khan

    2023 at 10:21 pm Reply

    Puri gatha batao plz plz

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