In my 25 years in the Army, it was always drilled into us ‘Offence is the Best form of Defence’. Now, when the army takes up defensive position, it is in fact a firm base for launching an offensive. This offensive mindset is a prerequisite for any operations.

This is the mindset that all the potential victims must always possess. This can be imbibed with regular reiteration. The offensive mindset will save your life and save others’ lives too. If the sexual predator has targeted you, it is unlikely that he will leave you for your ‘good behaviour’. These people invariably are the easiest to bully. They avoid fights as it draws attention. They avoid any altercation. They avoid any kind of ‘time-wasting’. They are looking to take you to another location.

Knowing how he is thinking, gives you ample opportunities to be offensive.

Be direct, explosive and surprise him. Don’t just give a smack. Penetrate! Blast through your target. HARD. FAST. REPEATEDLY. Wield your weapons with the savage intent of a prehistoric human: SMASH the face with your elbow. Crack the ears. Use your hips to drive gut-busting knee strikes. Kick back like a MULE. Grind with your knuckles. Grab fist fulls of hair and slam down! Hammer the nose, the testicles. Bite. Stomp. Gouge. Whip your fingers at the eyes. Take charge! You get the idea. Its YOU vs the predator … YOU gotta survive!

Remember, sharp objects is to pierce and blunt objects to smash. It would be advisable to know which parts to pierce and which are good places to smash!!! I’m sure you’ll figure that out.

Remember, its you or him!!! Go for it atta girl.

Be Aware . Be Alert . Be Safe .


The Untold Story of Humane-ness


A group of soldiers led by a young Major were on tier way to the post in a High Altitude mountainous terrain where they were to be deployed for the next three months.

The batch who would be relieved waited anxiously. It was a cold winter morning and intermittent snowfall made the treacherous climb more difficult. If someone could only offer a cup of piping hot tea, the Major thought, knowing it was a futile wish. They continued for another hour before they came across a dilapidated structure, which looked like a tea shop but locked. It was getting late.

“No tea boys, bad luck” said the Major to his team. But he suggested all take some rest there as they had been walking for three hours.

“Sir, this is a tea shop and we can make tea. We will have to break the lock”, suggested one of the soldiers. The officer was in a dilemma to the unethical suggestion but the thought of a steaming cup of tea for the tired soldiers made him to give them permission.

They were in luck, the place had everything needed to make tea and also a packet of biscuits. The soldiers had tea and biscuits and were ready for the remaining journey. The Major thought, they had broken open lock and had tea and biscuits without the permission of the owner. They’re not a band of thieves but disciplined soldiers. Instinctively, he took out a Rs 1,000/ note from his wallet, placed it on the counter, pressed under the sugar container, so that the owner can see. The officer felt relieved of his guilt. He ordered to shut the door and proceed.

Three months passed, and they continued to do gallantly in their work and were lucky not to lose anyone from the group in the intense terrorist infested area. It was time to be replaced by the next team.

Soon, they were on their way back and stopped at the same tea shop which was open and the owner was present in the shop. The owner, an old man with meager resources was very happy to greet fifteen customers. All of them had tea and biscuits. They talked to the old man about his life and experience specially selling tea at such a remote place. The old man had stories galore, replete with faith in God.

“Oh, Baba, if God is there, why should He keep you in such poverty?” commented one of the soldiers.

“Do not say like that, Sahib! God is actually there. I got proof. Three months ago, I was going through very tough times. My only son was beaten up by terrorists who wanted some information from him which he did not have. I had closed my shop to take my son to the hospital. Some medicines were to be bought and I had no money. No one would give me any money for fear of the terrorists. There was no hope, Sahib!”.

“And that day I prayed to God for help. And Sahib, God walked into my shop that day. For when I returned to my shop, I found the lock broken, I felt I was finished. I lost whatever little I had. But then I saw that God had left Rs 1,000/ under the sugar pot. I can’t tell you Sahib what that money was worth that day.”

“God exists, Sahib. He does”. The faith in the old man’s eyes were unflinching. Fifteen pairs of eyes met the eyes of the Major and read the order in his eyes, very clear and unambiguous, “Keep Quiet”. The Major got up and paid the bill. He hugged the old man and said, “Yes Baba, I know God does exist”. The fifteen pair of eyes did not miss to notice the moist eyes of their Officer, a rare sight.

(This is a true story of Kupwara Sector, J&K)



A True Incident: Valour

ops CI

Let me recount this incident. We were posted at P****, a district in J&K; as part of our field tenure. I was a Captain then and we were to relieve a battalion of brave hearts. I was to interact with a young dashing Captain who was to give me the ropes of the new location. Well, this is the story of Captain D (henceforth called CD) – true facts as the judicial fraternity would like to call it and not a figment of any fertile imagination!

The area is mountainous and broken country with large number of rivers and rivulets flowing down from the mountain ranges. These ranges are part of the lower Himalayas and are treacherous. It suffers from extremes of weather conditions and experiences snowfall during the months of winter. The International Border is not demarcated and the armies are deployed across the LC (Line of Control).

Op Kaziranga 016 (2)

So at this post CD was in charge of a Company (approximately 120 men). CD had put in around 5 years of service and had a good understanding of his men  and earned the respect in their eyes. He had led by example and set very high standards for himself and his men. He had always been impeccable in his personal conduct and been an inspiration; no mean task considering that his men represented the martial race.

The post was separated by two mountain ridges. The Southern ridge was occupied by one of our companies. The Battalion headquarters were located around 4 kilometers behind the Southern ridge line. The two ridges were separated by one major nullah, which could be crossed only at certain points and it flooded during the monsoons. The Northern ridge was occupied by the adversaries and on the lower slopes of this Northern Ridge, across the nullah was CDs Company. The Company complex included five locations deployed on the down slopes. Each of these five locations was deployed along a ridge jutting out from the Northern Ridgeline tapering towards the nullah. Thus boxed between the nullah to the South and the adversary on the North, all the posts of this company was dominated by observation and fire by the adversaries. At some places the enemy was at a distance of barely 75 meters. The gap between these positions had been heavily mined since ’71 operations and has been regularly mined since. The kind of domination precluded any day movement by troops and all the movements happened at night. Reinforcement, leave arrivals & departures, letters if any, stocking of the post; each and every tactical or administrative move had to be carried out by night. Full moon nights were a nightmare since the enemy too had night vision binoculars to detect movements at night!

This would give you a fair idea of the position. To overcome this physical domination, CD and his men resorted to every other kind of domination to negate the physical advantage accrued to the enemy. Exchange of fire was a daily affair and each one took it upon oneself to destroy the bunker (defensive positions) of the other. Firing into the loophole of a weapon emplacement was a special incentive as it assured the killing/ injury to the personnel manning the weapon inside; a sure sign of moral domination over the psyche of the enemy. This psychological warfare was an ongoing process.

One of the was a post with ten men located between two adjacent posts. Its location was more of a deterrent to prevent the enemy from resorting to moving behind two posts to resort to inflicting casualties in depth. All these posts were connected by eight feet high communication trenches, developed over the years – under the eyes of the enemy, and all at night. The trenches gave you protection from splinter bursts from air and helped movement at night. It also channelized you lest you stray onto a minefield. Every individual spends some nights at this Post to give him the real deal – of live fire and living under the nose of the adversary. So, you get a fair idea right? Well, you live by the barrel of your gun. And your powder better be dry for you never know when the adversary decides to launch his operations.

One afternoon, during the exchange of fire at one of the posts, a ricochet bullet hit one of the men in the thigh and had to be evacuated. CD was obviously infuriated and wanted to settle scores. He engaged one of the enemy posts for the next ten days and reliable intelligence reports mentioned that our retaliatory fire had killed three enemy soldiers, the third one probably a junior officer who was highly popular with their soldiers.

The enemy decided to settle scores and on the 11th day. It started, as if on cue, 0800 hours all the guns and rifles from each of these posts opened fire on this Post. Such heavy fire completely disrupting their daily routine and negating any kind of movement; these kinds of fire are also a precursor to any offensive actions that enemy undertakes. The idea being to keep the enemy’s head down and under the cover of fire, infiltrate your teams.

CD moved from post to post to motivate his men to maintain vigil, raise their morale and continue their surveillance of enemy actions. Soon morning turned to noon and noon to night. The men continued their posture and got their first back up of ammunition sent up at night. The firing went on non-stop for three consecutive days. CD was at his nerves end to find a solution to stop this continuous barrage. They continued to hold on. And hold they did.

Here I introduce Lance Naik Goonda Singh (GS)!  He had put in some years in the company and in peace time represented the battalion in firing team and was an ace marksman. In a peace location he was an enigma to the Company Commander as he would invariably be a point of discussion for his delinquent behaviour. GS would have been a couple of ranks higher but for his transgressions during his peace locations. He was a soldier better left alone.

But then all those who have donned the uniform know that it is these very soldiers who transform into something larger than life in war like situations. They don a different role and perform acts of outrageous courage and valour. It’s a military quote, “No Combat ready Unit has ever passed an Inspection!”. You could say that of GS. He would never meet your normal laid down standards of a soldier. But then … these were different times, this was a different situation and it required different mindset.

GS was at The Post and the third night CD gets a call from the Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in charge of The Post that GS would like to speak to CD. Now, that is an unusual request for a L/Nk to directly speak to the Company Commander. GS tells him “saab, ghar pe sirf kehna usse chhaati pe goli lagi thi” (Sir, when you speak to my folks at home, just tell them that the bullets hit me on my chest). CD screamed at GS, what are you planning to do GS, just wait, I am coming and you better not do anything rash.

CD rushed to the location, a twenty five minute walk at night, and not to mention the fire that continued unabated. Now, CD reaches the post and he encounters the JCO there. The JCO respectfully welcomes CD and leads him to another bunker and there is GS standing and speaks to CD, “Good, sir you came, we just made aloo paratha and we wanted you to taste it”.


“Sir, you think we don’t know that you’ve not eaten for the last three days? Please eat” he said, thrusting a plate with steaming hot parathas. This was the last thing that CD could think of after the phone call.

CD (controlling the tears flooding his vision) sat down to munch the cuisine, matching any five star hotel could dish out. While he was munching, the JCO was eliciting a plan to get the adversaries to stop the menace. GS felt the tensions rising in the bunker and told CD, look sir, you are just a youngster among us, joined recently (five years, hello!!!); but we all go a long way back. All of us are also some way or the other related and the villages we all come from will speak of our courage or lack of it. Our village has a number of decorated soldiers who had participated in the ’71 operations and we don’t want to be seen as a bunch of cowards sitting in our foxhole and doing nothing for our comrades. It is a matter of pride and honour that we would die willingly for the good name of the battalion, the pride of our company and our own selves. So, we are just informing you. With alacrity GS moved out of the bunker and in a trice locked the bunker. CD found himself sitting with the JCO. Yes, something unheard of, but there he was stranded with steaming hot parathas and JCO for company.

GS in the meantime, walks out and moves to another bunker, picks up a light machine gun and under the cover of darkness moves out of the communication trench in the open and exposing himself to enemy fire – effective and accurate under moonlight conditions and at 75 metres!! He stealthily crawls some thirty yards to a side in front of the enemy bunker and takes position besides a small tree, aims and squeezes the trigger. In copybook style taught in the firing ranges during training. He lets go a precise small burst into the enemy loophole that was firing. A painful scream confirms his hit.

He dismantles his gun and crawls another twenty yards and deploys behind a boulder this time. Same routine and similar result confirms his second hit. The other posts of the enemy by now start retaliating and his old position, the tree, draws a huge amount of enemy fire and wrath. GS by now has started crawling to the third location. Moves down along a nullah and places him behind another boulder. He takes a ten minutes break to get his breath back and for the enemy fire to recede. He takes another pot shot at another enemy bunker with same results. Three small bursts and three bunkers silenced. A bunker with an injured soldier among them is a very demoralizing factor. The injured soldier bleeds and cries out all inanity and generally draws the attention of the troops around. Your efforts are hence directed towards attending to the injured soldier and not as much towards the firing enemy.

That night, CD recollects, GS took out four enemy bunkers single handedly and with a composure of a connoisseur. GS had decided for himself that what could happen at the most, he would lose his life, right? Well, he was ready to be a martyr. He would give his life not sitting tight in his foxhole but fighting; fighting as a true soldier was taught, fighting and making each round count, no heroics, and no flashy show of dare devilry but just plain calculated risks. He knew his enemy, he knew his terrain well, he knew his capabilities and he had faith in his comrades. He was confident of his success. GS returned that night at around 1 p.m. and entered the foxhole where CD and the JCO, by now, were sipping tea. With a smile he pronounces, “at least got those B******* to keep shut” and with a single motion touches the feet of the JCO first and CD seeking their blessings.

CD was stunned to silence. Here he was locked up for nearly three hours, not knowing what was happening, a soldier under his command taking things in his own hands, doing things unheard of and now seeking his blessings. All CD could do was get up and hug GS. The enemy stopped firing that night and it did not resort to any firing during their entire duration of their stay at the location.

I was fortunate to shake hands with GS when we relieved them at that company location and I assure you my readers, they don’t make this kind any more. As for CD, he rose to Command this excellent battalion and earn laurels from his men and is a cult figure in their eyes.

WOSAF Tip # 84

Distracted Woman-texting-while-walkingBe Alert . Be Aware . Be Safe .

Police profiled the rape victims after interacting with serial rapists. How do they “select” their victim? 10 tips … Its shared for awareness.

#1 Hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid, or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. Grab and drag. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair.

#2 Clothing. They will look for women who’s clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing and on overalls the straps can be easily cut.

#3. Distracted Women. They look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

#4 Time & Place. Most likely time is early morning, between 5 and 8:30 a.m. The number one place women are abducted from/attacked at is grocery store parking lots/ office parking lots/garages/ public restrooms.

#5 Modus Operendi. They grab and quickly move her to a second location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught. Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years. If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.

#6 Weapons. They avoid any victim carrying an umbrella, walking stick or objects which can be used as a weapon. Their aim is to quickly grab and move. They avoid any fight or resistance. Keys or key chains are not deterrent as they don’t provide the necessary distance. They can be overpowered before it can be effectively used.

The idea is to convince the ‘bad guys’ you are not worth the effort. You try tricks, you’ll be made to pay. I take ‘no-nonsense’. Once this message gets across they avoid such victims.

Be Aware . Be Alert . Be Safe .