The Story of Youngest Param Vir Chakra Recipient Arun Khetarpal

Param Vir Chakra Recipient Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal is one of those memorable names in Indian history who made the supreme sacrifice for the nation and fought till the last breath. Belongs to an army background, he continued the legacy of serving the nation and laid his life. 2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal is a lesson of motivation for every single youth in the country.

Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal Biography

Arun Khetarpal was born on 10 October 1950 in Pune. He was born to a military family, where his father was already serving in the Indian Army. He was eldest of the two sons. Arun’s family has a legacy of serving in the Army, where his great grandfather served in the Sikh Army. 

Arun Khetarpal completed his schooling from Lawrence School, Sanawar, located in Kasauli hills (Himachal Pradesh). He was an all-rounder student who was good at sports as well as academics. With his personality traits, he was made the School Prefect. Arun always lived with the motto “Never Give IN.” In 1967, he joined NDA and became a part of Foxtrot Squadron. He was the Squadron Cadet Captain of the 34th Course.

He was commissioned in 17 Poona Horse as 2nd Lieutenant. Soon after his commissioning in the Indian Army, the Indo-Pak war broke (3 December 1971). Arun Khetarpal was undergoing the Young Officers course at Ahmednagar but was called back to take part in the Battle of Basantar.

For his supreme sacrifice for the nation and display of unmatched bravery & leadership, he was awarded Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry award. Arun Khetarpal become the youngest recipient of Param Vir Chakra.

About Arun Khetarpal Family

Father Brigadier (retd) M.L. Khetarpal
Mother Mrs Maheshwari Khetarpal
Brother Mukesh Khetarpal

Interesting Facts about Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal

  • Arun Khetarpal belongs to the family who has a history of serving the Indian Army. Arun’s great grandfather served in the Sikh Army under British rule and fought in the 1848 war.
  • His father Brigadier (retd) M.L. Khetarpal also served the Indian Army.
  • Arun Khetarpal was an exceptional swimmer. Alongside he was also good at academics and sports activities.
  • 2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal joined National Defence Academy in 1967 and underwent the training at IMA Dehradun. 
  • He was later commissioned in 17 Poona Horse regiment in June 1971.
  • During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the seniors of Arun ordered him to abandon his tank “Famagusta,” but he refused to move back. He continued to fight, saying that his tank and gun are still functioning.
  • After the martyrdom of 2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal, his tank “Famagusta” was restored and is displayed at the Armour School, Ahmdegarh.

2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal Details:

Award PARAM VIR CHAKRA (Posthumous)
Year of Award 1972 (Republic Day)
Service No. IC-25067
Rank at time of Award 2/LT
Unit 17 Poona Horse

Story of 2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal [Battel of Basantar]

16 December 1971. 2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal was squadron commander of one of the squadrons of 17 Poona Horse. When the position at Jarpal in the Shakargarh Sector was subjected to attack by a Pakistani Armoured Regiment and troops were heavily outnumbered by enemy forces. 2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal voluntarily led the reinforcement and assaulted the enemy strong points, physically overrunning them and capturing the enemy’s infantry and weapon crews at pistol point. 

In the course of this action, the commander of one of the tanks in his troops was killed; undeterred 2nd Lieutenant Khetarpal continued to attack relentlessly till all opposition was overcome. When enemy tanks started pulling back after their initial probing attacks, he chased them and destroyed one of them. 

The enemy launched another attack, a fierce battle ensued, and 10 enemy tanks were hit and destroyed, of which 2nd Lieutenant Khetarpal personally destroyed four. In the fight, 2nd, Lieutenant Khetarpal’s tank was hit, and he was severely wounded. He was ordered to abandon his tank, but realizing that the enemy was still pressing the attack, he continued engaging the enemy despite the grievous wounds and his own tank burning. 

He destroyed one more enemy tank before his tank was hit a second time, killing him. But the enemy had been denied the breakthrough. 2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal displayed the most conspicuous gallantry in the face of the enemy, indomitable fighting spirit and tenacity of purpose. This was an act of courage and self-sacrifice far beyond the call of duty. (Source: Facebook)

Arun Khetarpal Last Words

 “No Sir, I will not abandon my tank. My Main gun is still working and I will get these bastards.”

Varun Dhawan as Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal

On Arun Khetarpal’s Birth Anniversary, Varun Dhawan made a public announcement to play the role of 2nd Lt Arun Khetarpal. The movie will focus on the brave-hearted soldier of the Indian Army and showcase the unforgettable sacrifice paid by Lt. Arun in the Battel of Basantar during the battle of the 1971 India-Pakistan war. Talking more about the movie “EKKIS,” it will be directed by Sriram Raghavan, who directed the ‘Badlapur’ film.

I am a Defence Freak who love to write for those who want to SERVE THE COUNTRY with PRIDE. I am currently preparing for Civil Services alongside writing on this website. All I want to say is... HOW'S THE JOSH?


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