|Battle of Gangasagar (1971 Indo-Pakistan War)
|27 December 1962 - 3 December 1971
|• Bihar Regiment (1962 - 1968)
• 14th Battalion of the Brigade of Guards
|• Sepoy (27 December 1962)
• Lance Naik (1971)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements
|• The Param Vir Chakra
• An intersection at Ranchi, Jharkhand has been named after him
• 'Friends of Liberation War’ honour conferred posthumously by the Bangladesh government
• A cover letter issued by the Army Postal Service Corps in his honour
• A special postal stamp in the memory of Albert was released on 26 January 2000
|Date of Birth
|27 December 1942 (Sunday)
|Zari Village, Gumla District, Bihar (now Jharkhand)
|Date of Death
|3 December 1971
|Place of Death
|Gangasagar, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)
|Age (at the time of death)
|Albert Ekka was critically wounded during the Battle of Gangasagar because of which he succumbed to his injuries Press 24 News
|Zari Village, Gumla District, Jharkhand
|Catholic Christian UCA News
|Bihari Adivasi Param Vir: Our Heroes in Battle by Major General Ian Cardozo
|Non-Vegetarian Press 24 News
|Gumla, VPO Jari (Chainpuri), Jharkhand – 835206, India
|Relationships & More
|Marital Status (at the time of death)
|Balamdina Ekka, passed away at the age of 89 Years
|Son- Vincent Ekka
|Father- Julius Ekka
Mother- Mariam Ekka
Some Lesser Known Facts About Albert Ekka
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka was a soldier in the Indian Army who participated in the Battle of Gangasagar during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. He was awarded India’s highest gallantry award, the Param Vir Chakra, for the exemplary role played by the brave soldier during the Battle of Gangasagar. Lance Naik Albert Ekka died on the night of 3 December 1971, owing to the injuries, that he sustained in the gun battle with the enemy.
- Albert was born in an Adivasi family, where hunting was practised extensively, as a result of which Albert’s marksmanship capabilities grew manifold.
- As a youngster, Albert Ekka was a very good hockey player. He participated in many hockey tournaments, and it was during one such tournament, that Albert was spotted by the 7th Bihar Regiment’s Subedar Major Bhagirath Soren.
- Soon after coming to the attention of Subedar Major Bhagirath Soren, Albert was enrolled in the Bihar Regiment.
- Albert Ekka completed his training on 27 December 1962 and served for 6 long years as a Sepoy in the Bihar Regiment before being transferred to the 14 Guards Regiment in 1968. The Tribune
- Albert Ekka’s battalion was posted at Tripura when the hostilities between India and Pakistan broke out.
- The 14 Guards Battalion was ordered to attack and capture the Gangasagar Complex, in East Pakistan, which encompassed the Gangasagar railway station, Mogra, Gol Gangail and the Triangle.
- Albert Ekka was a part of the Bravo Company which was being led by Major O. P. Kohli as the Company Commander.
- Albert’s company was tasked to capture the Gangasagar Railway station. The only reason why India decided to capture the Gangasagar Complex, was to eliminate any threat posed by the Pakistani forces to Agartala, the state capital of Tripura, which was merely 6 kilometres away from the Gangasagar Complex.
- On the night of 3 December 1971, Bravo Company moved towards their objective of capturing the railway station. While moving in the darkness, the Pakistani forces, which were well entrenched and heavily armed, opened fire upon the advancing Indian troops.
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka immediately swung into action; as he saw his comrades being pinned, and facing casualties by the heavy enemy light machine-gun fire.
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka crawled quietly to the enemy’s LMG bunker and neutralised the enemy inside the bunker with his bayonet. During the neutralising of the LMG, Albert was wounded in the arm and the neck and was bleeding profusely.
- Without caring for his wounds, Lance Naik Albert Ekka continued to lead the charge against the enemy and cleared the enemy’s defences one by one.
- Upon advancing towards the north of the Gangasagar Complex, Albert and his entire Bravo Company were pinned down by the enemy machine-gun fire.
- Knowing the danger the enemy’s fire posed to his fellow comrades, Albert Ekka once again decided to silence the enemy machine-gun fire so that the remainder of the company could move forward and secure their objectives.
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka once again stealthily crawled close to the base of the 2 stories tall building, that had been turned into an outpost by the enemy. Upon reaching the base of the building, Albert lobbed a hand grenade into the machine-gun nest. The hand grenade only managed to neutralise only one enemy out of the two. Param Vir: Our Heroes In Battle by Major General Ian Cardozo
- Albert, judging the severity of the situation, began scaling the wall of the building on his own and upon reaching the bunker on the second floor, Albert once again used his bayonet to neutralise the threat. Ministry of Defence
- During the second encounter with the enemy’s LMG, Albert Ekka was injured severely and had lost a lot of blood. While climbing down the stairs, Albert succumbed to his injuries and took his last breath. His Company Commander in an interview stated,
My chest filled with pride after seeing this whole scene. I was waiting for Ekka to come out of that building below. I also saw a lean skinny person coming down the stairs. I was watching him descend. Then suddenly Ekka’s body fell loose and he fell down on the ground.” Press 24 News
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka was the one and only recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, for all the operations undertaken by the Indian Army in East Pakistan. The Brave: Param Vir Chakra Stories by Rachna Bisht Rawat
- In her book, The Brave: Param Vir Chakra Stories, the author Rachna Bisht Rawat wrote,
Albert Ekka climbs up the rusty old iron ladder leaning against the building and jumps in from a window. He takes his rifle off his shoulder and with the gleaming blade of the bayonet charges at the soldier operating the machine gun. Ghonp-nikal, ghonp-nikal: he remembers the ustad’s instructions clearly. It has been hardly four years since his training and he has always been a quiet, but good student, silently absorbing the lessons. The time has come to put what was taught to the test. Screaming with cold fury, Ekka charges at the machine gun operator and just as the operator turns around pushes the bayonet deep, right into his stomach. Pulling it out with all his might, he raises his rifle and plunges the blade back into the man’s chest. Again. And again.”
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka was an introvert. He was very shy and found it very hard to get along with his fellow soldiers.
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka wore a very loose uniform, because of which he was scolded many times by his superiors. His Company Commander O. P. Kohli recalls,
Albert was completely disinterested in his personal appearance or his uniform. He would wear whatever size of the uniform was issued to him without bothering to get it fitted by a tailor. The result was that his clothes hung limply on his thin frame and invoked the ire of his company commander, who was a bit of a stickler for smart turnouts. I would often pull his belt which would be hanging at his waist and tell him to smarten up his appearance. I used to get angry at him sometimes because he used to put a lot of emphasis on smart turnout.” Press 24 News
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka’s command and control over his men was very good, the then Company Commander O. P. Kholi recalls,
His command and control were good particularly because he was very reserved and did not mix with others or speak much. His face would always remain blank and he would talk only on a need-to-know basis. One could never tell from his face if he was happy or sad, and what he was thinking.” The Brave: Param Vir Chakra Stories by Rachna Bisht Rawat