February 15th, 2016
Image Source: Indian Army Fans
Corporal Shailabh Gaur, a member of Indian air force’s elite Garuda commando unit who took four bullets to his abdomen while fighting terrorists at Pathankot airbase has said he is prepared to join his unit again. A day after he was shot at by terrorists he did not have the courage to tell his mother the truth. He told her that he was patrolling the perimeter and was all right. Shailabh’s story is one of the bravest of the Pathankot fight and shows how selflessly and courageously he fought. His story flew under the radar after the battle as the focus was on the martyrs and the politics with Pakistan.
He was originally posted at Adampur airbase near Ludhiana but being a member of emergency response team of Garudas, he was flown to Pathankot airbase a day before the attack. Shailabh was admitted to the military hospital for 20 days and now he wants to go back and join his unit.
What Inspires Him
Corporal Gaur says that Hollywood movies like ‘Commando’ and ‘Rambo’ inspired him a lot in school. Previous three generations of his family had been in the defense forces and thus the choice of career was obvious for him. He was selected for Air Force in 2010 and due to his exceptional performance during training, he was recommended for the elite commando unit. And four years later he proved his worth.
What Transpired That Day
Corporal Shailabh said “We spotted a trail which led us inside the area, terrorists hiding there began firing as the platoon took positions,” he recalls. In the ensuing gun battle, Corporal Gursewak Singh who was Shailabh’s friend was shot. Then, Corporal Gaur realized something had pierced his stomach. “Gursewak was a close friend, we had joined the Air Force together and we were buddies,” he says. The terrorists in the meantime kept firing with their AK-47’s. “They used lob grenades and mortars. The commandos, on the other hand, could not use heavy weapons for the fear of collateral damage. The terrorists were there to destroy valuable air force assets and the commandoes’ brief was to secure the technical area. When the terrorists moved to a different location Corporal Gaur could attend to his injuries. By then it was nearly 5 am.He fought the terrorists for 90 minutes and after half an hour had passed he realized bullets had pierced his abdomen. “It was only after I started vomiting that I realized I had bullets in my body,” said the commando. Even then Shailabh continued to provide cover fire to his fellow soldiers as they swept the area.
The doctors at the hospital removed 4 bullets and splinters from his stomach and were surprised how the soldier survived. There were 3 liters of blood in his abdominal cavity due to the injuries. But six weeks later Shailabh has almost completely recovered. Shailabh has been asked to appear at the air force hospital at Ambala on February 17 for medical examination and he would be able to join back only if declared medically and physically fit.
The Logical Indian community praises the braveheart commando and wishes him for his future endeavor’s.