reported by: Ch. Muhammad Natiq
Do not lose the bridge, were his last words. December 06, 1971 Sabuna Sector 1100 HRS
It was the first attack laid by Indians in the broad daylight. Countless men with the support of tanks and artillery were attacking wave after wave. For the last three days, this position was the centre of attention for the Indians. On December 03, a small company of the Pakistan Army, under the command of Major Shabbir Sharif captured the heavily fortified Indian position.
Verily it was a surprise for the Indians and they were in a constant struggle to take back the bridge from Pakistanis. In spite of various attempts, after sacrificing countless men, including the company commander of the 4 Jaat regiment (Major Narayan Singh) and losing many tanks; the enemy was still unable to take the bridge back.
All the attacks were made in the dark, but this attack was made in daylight. On a small concentration of Bravo Company of 6FF, the strength of a full brigade with the help of cavalry and artillery. Every single person of 6 FF was engaged in various positions at that time. Major Shabbir was also manning an anti-tank gun at that time. A night before, he was injured when Major Narayan threw a phosphorus grenade on him. In response, Major Shabbir killed him with Narayan’s own gun after hand-to-hand combat and dragged his body to the Pakistani area.
The enemy weaved a net of fire on the Pakistani concentration. Being their former position, the enemy was well aware of the grid references and was directing artillery fire with pinpoint accuracy. IAF Migs were flying in the area and enemy soldiers were laying intense fire as well. Major Shabbir spotted two tanks coming towards his position. He fired the first shell and the tank exploded like a hydrogen balloon. He loaded the second shell and fired on the other tank, but this was missed.
The enemy noticed his position, so the other tank took the aim at him. Instead of leaving the position, he ordered his man to load the third shell. But before his fire, an enemy tank fired and the shell launched by the enemy tank landed inches near him. The bursting shell tossed him many feet above the ground. Before landing on the ground, his soul left his earthly abode. His last words were, “Do not lose the bridge”.
His men kept his words and the bridge was under Pakistani control till the end. Major Hidayat Ullah was the person who took over the company after Major Shabbir Sharif.