The parents of late Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguruse along with officials of Assam Rifles outside the memorial hall at Pheza village in Kohima, Nagaland Credit: EastMojo image

Kohima: A ceremony to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of all the martyrs who laid down their lives for their country during Operation Vijay in Kargil in 1999 was hosted by the Inspector General of Assam Rifles (IGAR) North on Saturday.

The 20th Kargil Vijay Diwas ceremony was held at the memorial site of Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguruse at Pheza village under Kohima district of Nagaland.

Neiselie Kenguruse, the father of Captain Neikezhakuo, addressing the gathering at the ceremony in Pheza, Kohima in Nagaland

At the ceremony, Neiselie Kenguruse, the father of Captain Neikezhakuo, addressed the gathering and said: “The defence ministry remembers and organises a programme every year to honour him. When observing this, it makes me feel like his body will still be arriving [back to the state]. I am very grateful for all the efforts that you [Assam Rifles] have been making to keep his memory alive.” The father of the martyred captain blessed all the brave soldiers who survived the war later in his address.

Captain Kenguruse, who was awarded with Maha Vir Chakra (posthumously), hailed from Nerhema village in Kohima. He was born on July 15, 1974. He pursued his studies at St Xavier School, Jalukie and graduated from Kohima Science College. At first, he served as a teacher at Govt High School, Kohima from 1994 till 1997. He was later commissioned into the Indian Army on December 12, 1998. He attained martyrdom during the Kargil War on June 28, 1999 while destroying enemy bunkers and killing four enemy soldiers.

Subedar Imliakum Ao, Maha Vir Chakra awardee, being honoured by PC Nair, IGAR (North), on Saturday

Also present at the ceremony was Subedar Imliakum Ao from the 2nd Naga regiment who was the other recipient of MVC for his display of exemplary valour during the Kargil War of 1999.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ao brought back fresh memories of how he met Captain Kenguruse during the war and said, “We (Neikezhakuo) met a day before his death. On seeing me, he asked me if I was a Naga and I told him I am Imli Ao, an Ao Naga. At that time, I was a sepoy for seven years. Then he told me that he will be leaving for the war and that it was my turn the next day. And so the next day, I went the other direction and later got the news that he was no more.”

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Major General PC Nair, YSN, IGAR (North), lauded the brave soldiers for their selfless services and also for motivating and inspiring all the ranks of the armed forces of the country. The Major General further asked the youths to take the two brave soldiers from the state as an example in their life.

Family of late Captain Kenguruse taking a look around the memorial hall at Pheza Village in Kohima, Nagaland

The ceremony of Kargil Vijay Diwas began with the laying of wreath, which was then followed by the inauguration of the existing memorial hall and then after which a small ceremony programme was held, which was attended by all ranks of the formation, villagers, Gaon Buras (GB) from neighbouring villages and family members of the martyred captain along with ex-servicemen and school children.

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