Remembering ‘Shillong Braveheart’ who sacrificed his life while fighting militants in Nagaland a year ago

Remembering ‘Shillong Braveheart’ who sacrificed his life while fighting militants in Nagaland a year ago

By Shweta Raj Kanwar | June 08, 2018

'Time Flies', and really fast! The death of Shillong braveheart Major David Manlun on June 7, 2017 has completed a year and yet the stories of his bravery echoes all over the region telling tales of his courage and valour and how he died for his country.

"I am coming home next week", texted Major David Manlun to his friend Richa in Shillong just the morning before he was martyred in the fateful morning of June 7, 2017 at the hands of NSCN(K)/ ULFA militants at Mon District of Nagaland.

Major David Manlun who sacrificed his life while fighting militants in Nagaland on June 7 had not the least idea that his desire to return home would be fulfilled but not he, but his coffin would arrive in Shillong at his home in Madanryting because destiny had something unexpected in store for the Shillongite!

A huge gathering of army as well as civilians gathered to pay their tributes to the brave martyr. Even nature seemed to drown itself in the sorrow of Major David's loss as the heavy downpour continued for almost about an hour during his burial at Happy Valley, Assam Rifles Cemetary.

Major David Manlun hailed from Churachandpur district in Manipur and was born on 27 July 1985 at Imphal. Son of a veteran Sub M Khamzalam (Retired) was determined to join the Indian Army as a Commissioned Officer. His elder brother is presently serving with the Assam Regiment at Shillong and sister is married to an Army officer.

A multifaceted personality, an athlete and a keen footballer, Maj David since his childhood had keen interest in sports and represented his team at various levels. He loved music a guitarist and vocalist of repute. He had a linguistic flair. In addition to English, Hindi and his mother tongue Zou, he was proficient in many languages to include Mizo, Kuki and Paite. A personality which was full of life, loved by everyone, his family, friends and colleagues. He lived his life to the fullest.

Maj David Manlun finished his schooling from Army Public School, Shillong graduated from St Anthony's College Shillong in the year 2006. In 2009 he joined the Officer Training Academy, Chennai. In Mar 2010 he was commissioned into the 1st Battalion the Naga Regiment, the out-fit which remembers him fondly. He joined the battalion at Naugam in J& K and served there for next two years and took part in number of operations. After a stint of peace station at Baklow in HP, he was posted in Nagaland with 164 Inf Bn TA (NAGA) since 2014. Here also, true to his nature he had been part of number of successful operations and in recognition of his exemplary service on 15 Aug 2016 he was awarded with the Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card.

Having almost completed his tenure of Nagaland and not yet being satiated by action he had opted for deputation to National Security Guard for which the probation was to begin on 23 Jun 2017. Alas! A bright spark gone .

As the Indian Army oath goes: "I hereby solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India,as by law established and that I will, as in duty bound honestly and faithfully,serve in the regular Army of the Union of India and go wherever ordered, by land, sea or air,and that I will observe and obey all the commands of the President of the Union of India and the commands of any officer set above me, even to the peril of my life."

Major David did live up to what he swore as a defence personnel, 'even to the peril of his life', and as promised, he did return back home with pride and valour only to be immortalized forever in the minds and hearts of his loved ones!

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