Veer Patni of winner of Ashok Chakra late Hangpan Dada to be feted today

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Mar 2017 10:33:46

Staff Reporter,

Prahar Samaj Jagruti Sanstha, has started the tradition of honouring the valiant recipient of the Ashok Chakra, highest peace-time gallantry award winner and has been doing it with sincerity and devotion for last three years. The awards are announced on Republic Day. This year, late Havaldar Hangpan Dada was honoured with the Ashok Chakra, posthumously.

A programme has been organised at the Maharshi Vyas Sabhagruha, Smriti Mandir, Reshimbaug on Friday at 6 pm to honour Veer Patni of late Havaldar Hangpan Dada AC, Chanseng Lowang. Lt Gen Ravi Thodge PVSM AVSM SM VSM (Retd) and Brig Sunil Vaze VSM will be present as chief guest. Justice Vikas Sirpurkar will also grace the ceremony and deliver a speech.

Prahar Military School Band will welcome the guests followed by rendition of a patriotic song by students of Wasudeo Leela Vidyakunj and dance performance by students of Prahar Military School. Flt Lt Shiwalee Deshpande Trustee of Prahar Samaj Jagruti Sanstha will conduct the programme. This was announced at a press conference by Flt Lt Shiwalee Deshpande on Thursday. Also present were Col Sunil Deshpande VSM, Chasen Lowang, wife of Havaldar Hangpan Dada her two children - Senval Dada (7) and Roankhin (10) besides some relatives, wife of Col Sunil Deshpande Shama Deshpande, Principal and staff of Prahar Military School.
Ashok Chakra winner late Havaldar Hangpan Dada of 35 Rashtriya Rifles was commanding the Sabu Post as Commander on May 26, 2016. While establishing a stop along with his section at 12,500 feet, he led a charge on hiding terrorists in Shamshabari Ranges in Naugam, Jammu and Kashmir, resulting in the neautralisation of four terrorists in the area and engaged them in a fierce encounter that went on for 24 hours. He charged at the spot where terrorists were holed up and killed two of them and a third terrorist was eliminated in a hand-to-hand fight, as they slid down the hill towards LoC. Dada sustained a sudden burst of automatic fire from the hiding fourth terrorist, receiving a gun shot wound. He continued to fight by pinning down the fourth terrorist and later succumbed to his injuries, before wounding the terrorists. He was awarded the Ashok Chakra, highest peace time gallantry award for his act of bravery by the President of India on January 26, 2017.

During the event on Friday, Veer Patni Chasen Lowang will be honoured with a cash award of Rs 51,000 and a citation, at the hands of the chief guest.
At the press conference held at Prahar Military School, a film prepared by the Indian Army on the actual operation in which Havaldar Hangpan Dada took part and was martyred, was screened. At the end of the screening, a deafening silence was in the hall.

Later, Chasen Lowang was invited to share the dais with Col Sunil Deshpande and interact with the media. But having seen the film, Chasen was emotionally moved and was in tears and could not speak. She spoke a few feeble words of her late husband being a brave man. The programme was conducted by Flt Lt Shiwalee Despande, in which one of the mediapersons asked Col Deshpande on the audacity of some people asking for proof of such actions having actually taken place and the act of bravery for which the Jawans and officers are honoured. A visibly irked Col Deshpande stated that whenever such skirmishes take place or such operations are conducted, no proof is ever asked for. This is not fair and in good taste, which casts doubts and aspersions on the capability and achievement of the military. It is wrong to think of asking for proof, he retorted.

Chasen Lowang, however, took control over her emotions and after stepping off the dais mingled freely amongst the scribes, who also became more free in asking her questions such as what the government has done for her after the death of her husband.

Chasen, with a faint smile on her glowing face, said, “I have been given a job in Divisional Commissioner’s office and has also been given all the benefits that were assured. The Army keeps enquiring about my well being and that of my children, by sending Army personnel and looking into any problems I am facing.”
Asked about what her son and daughter wish to become, a smiling Chasen said, “My son wants to join the Army and become an officer, while my daughter wants to become a doctor.”

Asked about her married life with Hangpan, she said, they had been happily married in 2004. “I had only two peace station tenures with him. He was a lively person, jovial, interested in sports, crazy about fitness and was brave.”

Chasen thanked one and all for the staunch moral support and the feeling of being solidly behind her in her difficult hour. “Actually I have not come to Nagpur to attend the programme but to meet the warm hearted people of this city,” she remarked.

Later, Chasen interacted with the teachers and staff of Prahar Military school, partaking lunch.
Flt Lt Shiwalee Deshpande proposed a vote of thanks.
Students of Prahar Military School proudly showed the model of the famous Surgical Strike conducted by the Indian Army across the LOC, which the Praharis had prepared as part of the inter-school battlefield model-making competition. Prahar Military school bagged the first prize for their excellent presentation.