Lance Naik Albert Ekka, Param Vir Chakra, was only 28 when he made the supreme sacrifice for the Motherland.
His Param Vir Chakra citation reads:
'Lance Naik Albert Ekka was in the left forward company of a battalion of the Brigade of Guards during their attack on the enemy defences at Gangasagar on the Eastern front. This was a well-fortified position held in strength by the enemy.
'The assaulting troops were subjected to intense shelling and heavy small-arms fire, but they charged onto the objective and were locked in bitter hand-to-hand combat.
'Lance Naik Albert Ekka noticed an enemy light machine-gun (LMG) inflicting heavy casualties on his company. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he charged the enemy bunker, bayoneted two enemy soldiers and silenced the LMG.
'Though seriously wounded in this encounter, he continued to fight alongside his comrades through the mile deep objective, clearing bunker after bunker with undaunted courage.
'Towards the northern end of the objective one enemy medium machine-gun (MMG) opened up from the second storey of a well-fortified building inflicting heavy casualties and holding up the attack.
'Once again this gallant soldier, without a thought for his personal safety, despite his serious injury and the heavy volume of enemy fire, crawled forward till he reached the building and lobbed a grenade into the bunker killing one enemy soldier and injuring the other. The MMG however continued to fire.
'With outstanding courage and determination Lance Naik Albert Ekka scaled a side wall and entering the bunker, bayoneted the enemy soldier who was still firing and thus silenced the machine-gun, saving further casualties to his company and ensuring the success of the attack.
'In this process however, he received serious injuries and succumbed to them after the capture of the objective.
'In this action, Lance Naik Albert Ekka displayed the most conspicuous valour and determination and made the supreme sacrifice in the best traditions of the Army.
On the occasion of the 50th Vijay Diwas commemorating India's victory over Pakistan during the 1971 War at Fort William in Kolkata, one was heartened to see the Indian Army recognise one of its bravest soldiers.
Please click on the image for a better view.
IMAGE: Vincent Ekka, Lance Naik Albert Ekka's son, meets the Indian Army's Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Manoj Chandrashekhar Pande, left, at the 50th Vijay Diwas ceremony at Fort William, Kolkata on Thursday. Photograph: ANI Photo
- From our archives: The 1971 War