CAPTAIN NEIKEZHAKUO KENGURUSE: A silent hero of the Kargil War

The Kargil war bears an eloquent testimony to the bravery of countless Indian soldiers who left no stone unturned to keep us safe and sound in our homes. Indian soldiers from different corners of the country have braved all odds to defeat the enemy clan and defend Indian soil. The tale of Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguruse from the north eastern region of Nagaland is an example of bravery in its best terms.

Captain Kenguruse was fondly called Neibu by his family and friends, and Nimbu Sahab by the north Indian soldiers who served under him. Born in Nerhema village in Kohima, Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguruse had bravery in his blood. His great great grandfather had been one of the most respected warriors of the village. The village itself was called Perhema or home of the ones who always fought.

Although Neibu’s father who was in government services, was against his son joining the army, Neibu convinced him otherwise. Post his graduation, Neibu served as a teacher at a Government High School in Kohima before being commissioned into the Indian Army on December 12, 1998.

Soon after, in 1999, the Kargil war started. Captain Kenguruse who was then a junior commander in the Rajputana Rifles battalion, was promoted as the lead commander of the Ghatak Platoon of his battalion, which stands at the forefront of Indian Army’s counter forces.

On June 28, 1999, Captain Kenguruse’s platoon was given the dicey task of taking out a strategic machine gun post held by the enemy on a cliff face, the Black Rock. The battalion’s progress had been affected due to heavy gunfire from the enemy lines towards the cliff.

Under the command of Captain Kenguruse, the commando platoon scaled the cliff, and were attacked by mortar and automatic fire. Despite him being shot in the abdomen and his team facing heavy casualties, Captain Kenguruse urged his men to carry on with the assault. They reached the final cliff face where they faced a tougher hurdle in the form of a vertical rock wall that separated them from the enemy post. A bleeding Captain Kenguruse, instead of getting urgent medical help, immediately devised a plan wherein he secured a rope for his team to climb. But his boots kept slipping on the icy slopes that hung at an obtuse angle.

Without giving it a second thought, at a height of 16,000 feet in the freezing cold temperature of -10 degree Celsius, Captain Kenguruse kicked off his boots. Using his bare feet to get a grip, he somehow climbed up the frozen cliff, carrying a RPG rocket launcher alongwith him.

This display of undaunted courage was only starting by then. On reaching the top of the steep cliff, the captain fired the rocket launcher at seven Pakistani bunkers that stood before him. Despite a hail of gunfire, he succeeded in decimating the bunkers. Two enemy soldiers from a nearby bunker rushed towards him, and he tackled them with his commando knife in hand-to-hand combat. He single-handedly downed two more infiltrators with his rifle before being blown off by a volley of bullets. Captain Kenguruse had caused enough damage to the enemy and his troops succeeded in capturing the target. But the brave captain now lay deceased, with his heartbroken jawans dedicating the victory to their brave Nimbu Sahab.

This 25-year-old brave martyr’s unparalleled courage and sacrifice did not go unnoticed; he was posthumously awarded the MahaVir Chakra and was buried with full military honours in Dimapur. A true son of the motherland, ScripBros feels immense pride and gratitude to have narrated his story to the world.

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