The Story of the Skardu Siege
Lt. Col. Sher Jung Thapa

In 1947, the 6 J& K Infantary moved to Skardu in Ladakh to ensure its security against an eminent Pakistani onslaught. From the 9th of February around 600 Pakistanis commenced a series of attacks seeking to dislodge the Indian garrison which was commanded by Lt. Col. Sher Jung Thapa. Sporadic fighting continued all through February but in March the raiders strengthened by new suppliers intensified their fire.

In April raiders ambushed the relief forces and prevented their reaching Skardu. Lt. Col. Thapa was ordered to break out by General Thimayya. But the Lt. Col. felt his men were too weak to effect a breakthrough. Also he would have to leave the wounded and the sick behind. He did not want to do this.

On 12 th August he and his men repulsed an attack around 200 raiders. But now Thapa knew he could not hold on any longer and he ordered his men to have Skardu in small numbers. On 14th August after withstanding a heroic siege of 6 months Skardu finally gave in.

For his sustained gallantry, Lt. Cl. Thapa was awarded the Mahavir Chakra.