Bishnu Shrestha

Bishnu Shrestha (born 1975) is a Gurkha soldier in the Indian Army (7th battalion the 8 Gorkha Rifles) and recipient of the Sena Medal for bravery,[1][2] and the Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak medal,[3][4] both awarded for his gallant conduct during an armed train robbery.

The Sena Medal, awarded by the Indian Government "for such individual acts of exceptional devotion to duty or courage as have special significance for the Army."

Early lifeEdit

Shrestha was born in Bachchha Deurali Khola, ward no. 9 of Parbat District in the western part of Nepal. He and his family moved to Pokhara after being recruited to an Indian Gurkha regiment.

Train robbery incidentEdit

In September 2010, Bishnu Shrestha, a 35-year-old Gurkha soldier, was on his way to Gorakhpur from Ranchi. He was travelling via the Maurya Express (Hatia-Gorakhpur) when between 30 to 40[5][6] armed robbers attacked the train near Chittaranjan, West Bengal and robbed the passengers of their valuables.

Shrestha was fast asleep when the bandits reached him. Awakened, he was prepared to give up his valuables, but the 18-year-old woman next to him was grabbed by the robbers who intended to rape her. The woman called for help. He pulled out the large, curved kukri that all Gurkha soldiers carry and attacked the bandits.

Shrestha told the Times of India, "I am a soldier and get paid to protect citizens of this country. I could not sit back and watch as passengers were looted. I pulled out my khukuri and attacked the criminals. I succeeded in connecting with at least three of them. The blows were severe and they must have got themselves admitted to some hospital. By then, the criminals started fighting back. They fired a shot that missed me. At one point of time, the khukri fell from my hand and I was overpowered. They picked it up and used it on me." The Times of India continues, "After Shresta slumped to the ground, profusely bleeding from his wound, all fight went out from the other passengers. None of them dared to make eye contact with the criminals and did their bidding."[7]

Six robbers were arrested and Rs 10,470 in cash, 33 mobile phones, 14 wrist watches and an ATM card were recovered, along with two pistols, live cartridges, and seven daggers. [5]

Shrestha's injuries to his left arm required two months of medical treatment, but he recovered full use of his injured hand.

AftermathEdit

Shrestha was pleased by the appreciation he received and thanked the media for covering the news.

“The Indian media brought the incident to light and the Nepali media too gave it due importance. I may have even been sent to jail on the charge of robbery had the girl and the Indian media not come forward to my support," Shrestha said. "I was hardly recognized even in Baidam [his neighbourhood]. Now the whole country knows me."[8]

When the intended rape victim's family offered him a large cash reward, he refused it with the following comment: "Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier. Taking on the thugs on the train was my duty as a human being."[6]

In popular cultureEdit

Bollywood Music director, singer, and actor Himesh Reshammiya announced that he would make a biopic on him based upon his heroics of the Maurya Express train robbery. But cast and crew have not been finalised yet.[9][10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "LIST OF PERSONNEL BEING AWARDED GALLANTRY / DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS ON THE OCCASION OF REPUBLIC DAY 2012 SENA MEDAL (Gallantry) Entry 54. 5753917A NK BISHNU PRASAD SHRESTHA, GORKHA RIF". Indianarmy.gov.in. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  2. ^ "LIST OF PERSONNEL BEING AWARDED GALLANTRY / DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS ON THE OCCASION OF REPUBLIC DAY 2012 SENA MEDAL (Gallantry) Entry 54. 5753917A NK BISHNU PRASAD SHRESTHA, GORKHA RIF". The-indian-army.blogspot.in. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Jeevan Raksha Padak announced. New Delhi , January 6,2012 16:34 IST". Pibmumbai.gov.in. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  4. ^ "A Gurkha soldier, who fought 40 train robbers, to be felicitated in the Republic Day of India, XNepali, 16 January, 2011". Xnepali.com. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b "6 arrested for train robbery, injuring 20, September 3, 2010". Telegraphindia.com. 4 September 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Lone Nepali Gorkha who subdued 40 train robbers, Jan 13, 2011". Archives.myrepublica.com. 13 January 2011. Archived from the original on 22 December 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Soldier takes on dacoits on train Gang Of 30". Times of India. 4 September 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Govt's special honor for gallant Gorkha, Jan 13, 2011". Archives.myrepublica.com. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  9. ^ "कन्फर्म / आर्मी ऑफिसर बिष्णु श्रेष्ठ की बायोपिक बनाएंगे हिमेश रेशमिया, 4 नई फिल्मों में खुद करेंगे एक्टिंग". Dainik Bhaskar. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Himesh Reshammiya buys the rights of the Bishnu Shrestha biopic". Retrieved 1 April 2019.