Mala Ram Potalia
माला राम पोटलिया का चयन भारतीय रेलवे में 1 मई 1965 में बतौर गैंगमैन हुआ.
सन 1965 के भारत-पाक युद्ध के दौरान गडरारोड़ पर भारत के सैनिक सप्लाई के रेल मार्ग को तोड़ दिया तो रेल पटरी ठीक करते हुए दिनांक 9 सितम्बर 1965 को वह अन्य 13 साथियों के साथ शहीद हुए. मौत की परवह किये बिना पाक की निरंतर एवं भारी बमबारी के बाद भी साथियों के साथ राष्ट्रीयता से औत-प्रोत हो कर रेल पटरी को ठीक कर दिया. इससे सिंध क्षेत्र में सीमा पर लड़ रहे सैनिकों की सैनिक सप्लाई बहाल हो पाई. 11 सितम्बर 1965 को इनका शव पैत्रिक गाँव बायतु चिमनजी लाया गया, जहाँ इनके भाई सताराम ने मुखाग्नि दी.
देश के लिए अपने कर्तव्यपालन करने वाले गडरारोड़ के सभी 14 शहीदों की स्मृति में रेलवेमेन्स यूनियन के तत्वाधान में शहीद स्मारक बनाया गया है, जहाँ प्रतिवर्ष 9 सितम्बर को शहीद मेले का आयोजन होता है.
- जोगाराम सारण: बाड़मेर के जाट गौरव, खेमा बाबा प्रकाशन, गरल (बाड़मेर), 2009 , पृ. 74-75
Railways pays tribute to martyrs of Indo-Pak war
The Indian Railways will pay tribute to its 17 unsung heroes who attained martyrdom in 1965 Indo-Pak war while transporting arms, ammunition, and ration to the armed forces along the border in Barmer district. These fearless heroes, including three loco pilots and 14 railway constables, went to the war zone on September 10, 1965, in a six-wagon steam engine loaded with ammunition and ration for the battalion 13 Grenadier (GJ).
They were intercepted by the Pakistani air force at Gadraroad (3km away from the Gadraroad railway station) which indiscriminately bombed the train. The boiler of the engine exploded and all of them died on the spot. The explosion was so huge that the bodies of six employees were never traced, including that of chief loco pilot, Madho Singh Gehlot. The undocumented account also says that the train first collided with an engine of another train coming from the opposite direction on the same track. The collision left the train stranded on the tracks and was later intercepted by the Pakistani air force.
The railways had received information that the Indian armed forces were falling short of ration and arms. To transport the required goods, the train route was chosen due to the higher risk involved in taking the road. The air route in Barmer was not fully developed. Gehlot along with two other loco pilots and 14 railway constables took the toughest journey of their lives from the Barmer railway station.
Pakistan army had temporary control over some areas near Gadraroad. That was the reason why they could bomb the train in the Indian territory. However, within days, the offensive by our armed forces pushed them back into their territory.
Taking note of the supreme sacrifice made by its employees, the North Western Railway (NWR) had built a memorial at the spot where the train was bombed. Even now, trains passing by the spot would either slow down or stop to pay tributes to the martyrs. "The North Western Railway's contribution during the wars—World War I and II along with wars in 1965 and 1971—is unparalleled in the country. The contribution made by these fighters will remain in the memory of general public for years to come," said Tarun Jain, chief public relations officer. NWR.
List of Jat Martyrs
Jats martyred in the incidence were:
- Chetan Ram Saran - Ashoka Chakra
- Chima Ram Godara
- Hema Ram Godara
- Hukma Ram Godara
- Jeha Ram Potalia
- Karana Ram Sau
- Khimraj Saain
- Lala Ram Tarad
- Magha Ram Beniwal
- Mala Ram Potalia
- Nand Ram Bhukar
- Rawata Ram Jani
- Rupchand Chaudhary (Tarad) - Ashoka Chakra