Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday on the occasion of Parakram Diwas named the 21 largest unnamed islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands after 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees. Of these, one island was named after Jharkhand hero Albert Ekka.
Born in Gumla of Jharkhand on December 27, 1942, Lance Naik Albert Ekka was was a soldier in the Indian Army. He was martyred in action in the Battle of Gangasagar, during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. He was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest award for valour in the face of the enemy. As he grew, Ekka developed interest for the army, and was enrolled in the Bihar Regiment on 27 December 1962. With his experience of hunting in jungles, he was able to be a better soldier with his skilful use of ground and movements.
After the 14th Battalion of the Brigade of the Guards was raised in January 1968, Ekka was transferred to that unit. He saw action in counter-insurgency operations while in the North East. During the preparations anticipation of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Ekka was promoted to Lance Naik. Notably, the PM through video conferencing also announced the model of the National Memorial dedicated to Netaji to be built on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, earlier known as Ross Islands.
“These islands have been named after the 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees – Major Somnath Sharma, Subedar and Hony Captain (then Lance Naik) Karam Singh, MM, 2nd Lt. Rama Raghoba Rane, Nayak Jadunath Singh, Company Havildar Major Piru Singh, Capt GS Salaria, Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Dhan Singh Thapa, Subedar Joginder Singh, Major Shaitan Singh, CQMH. Abdul Hamid, Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore, Lance Naik Albert Ekka, Major Hoshiar Singh, 2nd Lt. Arun Khetrapal, Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran, Naib Subedar Bana Singh, Captain Vikram Batra, Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey, Subedar Major (then Rifleman) Sanjay Kumar; and Subedar Major Retd (Hony Captain) Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav,” stated the PMO.
The Government had also declared January 23 as Parakram Diwas in 2021 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.