Major H S Sarao is second from the left
Major HS SARAO of 165 Field Regiment was appointed as the affiliated Battery Commander with 16 Punjab at the commencement of OPERATION “ RIDDLE”. On 10 Sep 1965 an Infantry Brigade Group launched a two phase night attack. The second phase of the attack was launched by 16 Punjab with the area of the brigade on the ICHOGIL canal near the village of BARKI as their objective.
''As the battalion was forming up preparatory to the assault on the objective it came under heavy concentration of enemy field ,medium and heavy guns . During this period the forward observation officer with the advancing Infantry lost his way. Major HS SARAO,without a moment’s hesitation went up to the leading company to act as the forward observation officer. He was at this time hit by a splinter in the leg but with utter disregard to the injury he accompanied the leading company and was with them till the objective was captured.
On reaching the objective, the wireless set of the officer stopped functioning. The officer returned to the firm base at BARKI in spite of heavy enemy shelling to get another set from 4 SIKH , the battalion which had captured the village of BARKI in the first phase earlier. With his communication now restored , he effectively engaged possible defensive fire tasks on the WEST of ICHOGIL canal in order to foil any counter attack by the enemy. Phase two of the attack was then successfully completed and the battalion consolidated its gains.
On 11 Sep 65 , after engaging targets on the Ichogil canal bank , Major HS SARAO went and searched a house in BARKI village where he had on the afternoon of 10 Sep 65 suspected an enemy observation post and had also engaged the same from his previous location at BARKA KHURD. To his surprise and satisfaction he found that an enemy OP had in fact been occupying the house on 10 Sep 65. Major HS SARAO recovered from the house the enemy Artillery Task Tables and PAKISTANI maps which were of great assistance in avoiding the areas on our side which the enemy had registered as defensive fire tasks. He saw a pool of blood at the spot and reckoned the the enemy observation post officer must have either been killed or wounded and evacuated". This is the extract from the citation of Major H S Sarao.The OP officer had in fact been occupying an elevated position on the roof of this house in Barki village.WATCH OUT FOR THE NEXT POST.