"Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali" ("Glory be to the Goddess of War, here come the Gorkhas!")
~battle cry of the Gurkha warrior
What do you get when you put one Ghurka soldier armed with a khukri on a crowded train with 40 bandits intent on raping an 18 year old girl?
Pure brass cajones badassery...thats what
Check this out……
Lone Nepali Gorkha who subdued 40 train robbers
MANOJ ADHIKARI/SANTOSH POKHAREL
POKHARA, Jan 13: Gorkha soldiers have long been known the world over for their valor and these khukuri-wielding warriors winning the British many a battle have become folklore.
A retired Indian Gorkha soldier recently revisited those glory days when he thwarted 40 robbers, killing three of them and injuring eight others, with his khukuri during a train journey. He is in line to receive three gallantry awards from the Indian government.
Slave girl Morgiana in the Arabian Nights used her cunning to finish off Ali Baba´s 40 thieves, but Bishnu Shrestha of Baidam, Pokhara-6 did not have time to plot against the 40 train robbers. He, however, made good use of his khukuri to save the chastity of a girl and hundreds of thousands in loot.
Shrestha, who was in the Maurya Express to Gorakhpur from Ranchi on September 2 while returning home following voluntary retirement from the Indian army--saved the girl who was going to be raped by the robbers in front of her hapless parents, and in doing so won plaudits from everybody.
The Indian government is to decorate Shrestha with its Sourya Chakra, Bravery Award and Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Medal and the 35-year-old is leaving for India Saturday to receive the first of the awards on the occasion of India´s Republic Day on January 26.
“The formal announcement of the awards will be made on Republic Day and on Independence Day on August 15,” said Shrestha, whose father Gopal Babu also retired from the same 7/8 Platoon of the Gorkha Regiment around 29 years ago.
His regiment has already given him a cash award of Indian rupees 50,000, and decided to terminate his voluntary retirement. He will get the customary promotion after receiving the medals. The Indian government will also announce a cash bounty for him and special discounts on international air tickets and domestic train tickets.
The band of about 40 robbers, some of whom were travelling as passengers, stopped the train in the Chittaranjan jungles in West Bengal around midnight. Shrestha-- who had boarded the train at Ranchi in Jharkhand, the place of his posting--was in seat no. 47 in coach AC3.
“They started snatching jewelry, cell phones, cash, laptops and other belongings from the passengers,” Shrestha recalled. The soldier had somehow remained a silent spectator amidst the melee, but not for long. He had had enough when the robbers stripped an 18-year-old girl sitting next to him and tried to rape her right in front of her parents. He then took out his khukuri and took on the robbers.
“The girl cried for help, saying ´You are a soldier, please save a sister´,” Shrestha recalled. “I prevented her from being raped, thinking of her as my own sister,” he added. He took one of the robbers under control and then started to attack the others. He said the rest of the robbers fled after he killed three of them with his khukuri and injured eight others.
During the scuffle he received serious blade injury to his left hand while the girl also had a minor cut on her neck. “They had carried out their robbery with swords, blades and pistols. The pistols may have been fake as they didn´t open fire,” he surmised.
The train resumed its journey after some 20 minutes and a horde of media persons and police were present when it reached Chittaranja station. Police arrested the eight injured dacoits and recovered around 400,000 Indian rupees in cash, 40 gold necklaces, 200 cell phones, 40 laptops and other items that the fleeing robbers dropped in the train.
Police escorted Shrestha to the Railways Hospital after the rescued girl told them about his heroic deed. Mainstream Indian media carried the story. The parents of the girl, who was going for her MBBS studies, also announced a cash award of Indian rupees 300,000 for him but he has not met them since.
“Even the veins and arteries in my left hand were slit but the injury has now healed after two months of neurological treatment at the Command Hospital in Kolkata,” he said showing the scar. “Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier; taking on the dacoits in the train was my duty as a human being,” said the Indian army nayak, who has been given two guards during his month-long holidays in Nepal.
“I am proud to be able to prove that a Gorkha soldier with a khukuri is really a handful. I would have been a meek spectator had I not carried that khukuri,” he said.
He still finds it hard to believe that he took on 40 armed robbers alone. “They may have feared that more of my army friends were traveling with me and fled after fighting me for around 20 minutes,” he explained.
The country of Nepal is known for a few cool things…
- The Dali Lama ( who has stated that if someone was trying to shoot you the logical thing to do would be to shoot them first)
- Tenzing Norgay – The guy who drug Sir Edmund Hillary up Mount Everest so he could claim to be the first to climb it.
- The Abominable Snowman
- and Gurkhas…
Yeah, Gurkhas…these proud warriors have been a staple of the British and then Indian Armies since the mid 1800’s, even after having a little “spat” between 1914-1916 with the British Empire. While everyone thinks of Gurkhas as a single people, they are actually recruited from several different tribes and ethnic backgrounds from both Nepal and India. Known for their toughness (many grow up poor in the mountains gaining stoic toughness and self reliance living in the harsh mountainous environment of the Himalayas), loyalty and fighting spirit the mere work Gurkhas can install fear in enemies when they hear that is who in the trench across from them.
Jar-Jar Gurkha….”yousa gonna die now!”
The characteristic weapon of the Gurkha is his khukri knife. This large knife is a chopping and slashing masterpiece. With a forward curved blade and balance that creates a natural pivot point at the pommel when held, it turns a simple flick of the wrist in combination with a proper motion of the arm into devastating carnage. It has been known to take an enemy’s head with a single blow. A large version of the knife was used by tribesmen in the sacrifice of a water buffalo in the movie Apocalypse Now (which is an actual live animal decapitation that the studio got hammered with calls to ban in the film by animal rights groups) so it is easy to see how a smaller version would be able to cut through the proportionally smaller diameter of a mans neck. While many think that this knife is a terrifying tool of war, nothing farther could be from the truth. The fact is, many of the recruits the Gurkhas get to fill their ranks have used such blades since their youth. Chopping firewood, digging holes, cutting grass or vegetation or taking the head off or your dinner…all of this is done with a khukri. It should be noted that the service kukri is a very utilitarian design, not made from expensive steel and provided with 2 smaller knives for skinning small animals, detail work and sharpening the larger blade.
Tourist grade khukri I picked up in Afghanistan on deployment…the design is used there as well being right next to India.
What got me about this story is the hero’s nonchalant attitude about the whole thing. He said “They may have feared that more of my army friends were traveling with me and fled after fighting me for around 20 minutes,” ..what the hell did he think they thought his friends were waiting for in order to join in..an invitation?
I look at it like this..if I had been on that train with my G19 in carry mode with 15+1 rounds in the weapon and another 15 in a spare mag and 40 bad guys hopped on my thought would be
“how the hell do I get off here, I’m 9 rounds short”.
This guys thought was probably like
“glad I brought my knife, now I don’t have to worry about running out of bullets!”
So in closing…life is short, don’t piss off a Gurkha!