Everything suddenly changed. From its “well-entrenched position for the protection of Tawang”, the Brigade was asked to relieve the Dhola post and drive the Chinese out of the Indian territory.
Poor Lakshman would not see Rosy soon: “And there went my holiday plans flying out of the window. What a disappointment!”.
It was particularly painful for the signalers who had to work over long distances (from Army HQ in Delhi to Dhola post on the Namkha chu) through the most difficult terrain with antiquated equipment.
During the following month, the 7 Infantry Brigade never received a single written order, recalls Lakshman Singh.
The only thing which was heard was “Chalo! Lay a line; move forward”. The General Commanding Officer (GOC 4 Division Commander) kept telling his Brigade Commander (Dalvi): ‘Go forward’.
Maj. Gen. Niranjan Prasad, the GOC himself was getting frantic calls from the Corps Commander: ‘Go to Tawang’!
Once in Tawang, he was told: ‘What are you doing here, go to Lumpu’, and so on, to the Namkha chu.
Then the new Corps Commander (Lt. Gen. B.M. Kaul) arrived one day at 4 pm and things then changed for the worse.
“I am the GOC 4 Corps,” Kaul introduced himself.
“Nobody had heard of this 4 Corps; it was an adhoc creation to kick the Chinese out. Kaul was shouting: ‘Move forward, I will sack whoever does not immediately move forward’,” recalls Lakshman.
There was total chaos.
But the officers and soldiers had been trained to obey and not to question; and they all obeyed.
In Picture: The Namjiang Chu river as it enters India, north of today's Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh. This picturesque spot was close to the scene of a battle in 1962.