There are few modern foreign warriors that U.S Marines consider their equals, much less hold in awed esteem. But at the top of that short list are the Gurkhas.
Gurkhas are best known for their legendary exploits of bravery and tenacity while serving in the Indian Army’s Gorkha regiments and the British Army’s Brigade of Gurkhas. They are also famous for their large knife called the khukuri (see below). A Gurkha armed with a khukuri is not something you want to mess with—a lesson forty Indian thieves recently learned the hard way.
The band of about 40 robbers, some of whom were travelling as passengers, stopped the train in the Chittaranjan jungles in West Bengal around midnight. Shrestha– who had boarded the train at Ranchi in Jharkhand, the place of his posting–was in seat no. 47 in coach AC3.
“They started snatching jewelry, cell phones, cash, laptops and other belongings from the passengers,” Shrestha recalled. The soldier had somehow remained a silent spectator amidst the melee, but not for long. He had had enough when the robbers stripped an 18-year-old girl sitting next to him and tried to rape her right in front of her parents. He then took out his khukuri and took on the robbers.
“The girl cried for help, saying ´You are a soldier, please save a sister´,” Shrestha recalled. “I prevented her from being raped, thinking of her as my own sister,” he added. He took one of the robbers under control and then started to attack the others. He said the rest of the robbers fled after he killed three of them with his khukuri and injured eight others.
Having seen so many actions movies in which a lone hero takes on a band of villains, we Americans may be dulled to such an extraordinary act of heroism. But this didn’t take place on a Hollywood film set. This happened on a train in the Indian jungle.
One phenomenally courageous man, armed only with a knife, took on forty bandits to save a young girl from being violated. In a twenty minute melee in which he sustained a serious blade injury to his hand, Shrestha managed to kill three, injury eight, and scare off thirty other robbers.
God bless Bishnu Shresthai, a Samaritan with a khukuri.