Among the many brave hearts who laid down their lives in the inhospitable mountains of Kargil was a man from Nagaland whose actions in the battlefield transcended heroism. Meet Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguruse or Nimbu Saab as called by those who served under him.
Fondly addressed as Neibu by family and friends, Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguruse was born in Nerhema village in the district of Kohima. The fiercely independent Naga spirit was a family legacy for Capt. Kenguruse. His great great grandfather, Perheile, had been one of the most respected warriors of the village.
After graduating from the Kohima Science College, Neibu worked as a teacher at a Government High School in Kohima. However his heart yearned to serve his motherland and he enlisted in the Indian Army on December 12 1998. His deeply religious father didn’t want him to join the army. However Neibu was able to convince him otherwise.
Kargil War and Martyrdom
When the Kargil War started Captain Kenguruse was a junior commander in the Rajputana Rifles battalion. For his determination and prowess, he was made the lead commander of the Ghatak Platoon of his battalion. Only the most physically fit and motivated soldiers make it into the dreaded Ghatak platoon that makes up the first wave of Indian Army’s counter forces.
As the leader of the Ghatak Platoon he was tasked with the capture of the area ‘Black Rock’ in Drass sector during the Kargil War. The commando mission involved attacking the well entrenched enemy position on a cliff face. The position had been interfering with the capture of the main objective of the battalion.
The Ghatak Platoon, as it was scaling the cliff face, came under intense enemy fire in which Captain Kenguruse was injured in the abdomen. Despite the severe injury and profuse bleeding, the brave Naga carried on with the assault. Unmindful of his injury, he led the platoon to the top of the cliff and was faced with a sheer rock that separated the platoon from the enemy.
While securing the rope for his men to climb the rock face, his feet started slipping. Neglecting the bitter cold and sharp rocks, he kicked off his boots and launched the final assault barefoot. He fired a rocket launcher and charged at the enemy, killing two infiltrators with his rifle and another two with his commando knife in hand-to-hand combat.
A hail of bullets threw him off the cliff and he would later succumb to his injuries, but not before he was able to neutralise the enemy position single-handedly. An act of unmatched gallantry and courage.
Source: The Better India