At the age of barely twenty one years this brave and courageous hero sacrificed his life for the well-being of our nation-India.
Arun Khetrapal like his forefathers joined the army. In June 1971, Khetarpal was commissioned to the 17 Poona Horse.
During the Bangladesh war, 17 Poona Horse was assigned to the command of the 47th Infantry Brigade of the Indian Army. Through the duration of the conflict, the 47th Brigade saw action in the Shakargarh sector in the Battle of Basantar. The 47th Brigade was assigned the task of creating a bridge across the River Basantar. Arun Khetrapal was assigned Section A.
In the meanwhile, a part of the infantry had gone ahead and were surrounded by the Pakistani army. They sent a distress signal to the 47th Brigade and asked to come as fast as they could. You would think it is easy, they just had to cross the bridge, travel slightly more and they would be at the aid of the infantry…..what a piece of cake. But, war, is definitely not a stroll in the park. Between the bridge and the infantry, who were desperately in need of the 47th Brigade, was a mine field. The Brigade had no time to dismantle the bombs; they had to help their comrades. Second Lieutenant Arun Ketrapal with his comrade, the commander of section B, led the troop through the maze of the treacherous and perilous mine-field.
The Indian army faced the Pakistani army in combat. A lot of bloodshed occurred. Khetrapal was killed when his tank caught fire.
India won the war but lost one its great soldiers this day, 16th December, Arun Khetrapal. He was such a fantastic soldier that Brigadier Naser, the one by whose hands Khetrapal was killed, came and told Arun Khetrapal’s father how he thought Khetrapal was a very heroic soldier and thought he was a veteran fighter; if h had known he was only twenty one most probably he wont have been able to kill him.
Arun Khetrapal was among the most celebrated martyr. He was given Param Vir Chakra(PVC) for his bravery, posthumously.
He has left behind a legacy, from which we should all learn. He fought without even giving a second thought to his life and went on to defend his country. These are the heroes that let us live in peace while they guard our borders. Arun Khetrapal was one of the many that sacrificed their life for India. May their legacy be spoken of for the years to come.