New Delhi: The Indian Army Sunday remembered Brig. Mohammed Usman – its highest-ranking officer killed in the 1947 India-Pakistan war.
A commemorative function was organised here to celebrate the birth centenary of the late officer. who described as a “symbol of India’s inclusive secularism”.
“At the time of partition, he with many other officers declined to move to the Pakistan Army and continued to serve the Indian Army, despite the bait of becoming the Pakistan Army Chief and intense pressure from the Pakistani leadership to join the army of the new nation,” a statement issued on the occasion recalled.
Usman was serving the Baluch Regiment that went to the Pakistan Army at the time of partition.
He was transferred to the the Dogra Regiment and was commanding 50 Para Brigade, deployed at Jhangar in December 1947 when the war with Pakistan broke out.
He was posted at the Jammu and Kashmir front as the brigade commander and led his soldiers from front in repulsing a fierce attack on Naushera and Jhangar, two highly strategic locations in the state.
He won himself a name “Lion of Naushera” for defending the sector with an unparallelled courage and valour.
He was, however, killed in action July 3, 1948.
He was awarded a posthumous Maha Vir Chakra for his role in the 1947-48 operations.
The commemorative function at Manekshaw Centre here was attended by Vice President M. Hamid Ansari, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, his deputy M.M. Pallam Raju, and Army Chief Gen. Bikram Singh, among others.
Ansari described Usman as “the hero of the battle of Naushera”, who, he said, “is one of the most inspiring military leaders of Independent India”.
“The heroic deeds of Usman will continue to inspire the Indian Army in the years to come.”
A film, “Naushera Ka Sher”, on his life was also screened.