New Delhi: Union defence minister Rajnath Singh has assured the Central government’s support in constructing a war memorial-cum-museum dedicated to 1962 India-China war hero Havaldar Sher Thapa in Arunachal Pradesh.

The war memorial-cum-museum would be built at Orak village in the Limeking circle of Upper Subansiri district.

Singh gave his assurance when state’s tourism minister Nakap Nalo along with Arunachal East Lok Sabha MP Tapir Gao called on him at his residence in New Delhi on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Nalo and Gao informed the Union minister: “Thapa, a Havaldar of the Indian Army’s 2nd Battalion of Jammu & Kashmir Rifles, had single-handedly killed a large number of Chinese soldiers and injured several of them in the battle fought at the Tama Chung Chung ridge (Subansiri sector) during the 1962 aggression by China.”

“The residents of Orak and surrounding areas are witness to his bravery and service to the motherland and it is a long-standing demand of the patriotic Arunachalees to build a befitting memorial to this brave son of India,” they said.

The defence minister on his part assured that the Central government will look into the matter and provide all help for speedy construction of the memorial of the martyr.

Singh also assured the wholehearted support of the Centre to the Arunachal government so as to bring the fruits of development to the common people, especially those staying in international border areas.

The present Central government is working hard to develop the Northeastern states on all fronts, he said.

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Unconfirmed reports suggest that Havaldar Sher Thapa had managed to alone kill 79 Chinese soldiers and injure 150 of them in the battle fought at the Subansiri sector of Arunachal Pradesh on November 18, 1962.

The Chinese army managed to kill Thapa after he ran out of ammunition, but his mortal remains were laid to rest with full honours. It is believed that the tales of his heroic deeds were also broadcast by the Chinese radio on November 19, 1962.

Gao had earlier this year called upon the Government of India to consider awarding gallantry award to Thapa posthumously, in recognition of his heroic act.

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