At 11:30 p.m. on September 2, 2010, Bishnu Shresta (photo), a 35-year-old Gurkha soldier on his way home following his retirement from the Indian army, was awakened suddenly when the train he was on was stopped by a gang of 30 thugs.
Shresta said, “Suddenly, there were shouts and the sound of running feet. Somebody pulled at my bedclothes. I sat up and found a number of people standing near my feet. They demanded that I hand over all my cash and valuables. There was confusion all around and I shouted that I am an Indian Army jawan [infantryman]. The criminals backed off and turned their attention [elsewhere].... They started snatching jewelry, cell phones, cash, laptops and other belongings from the passengers.”
When some of the thugs started to attack and attempted to rape a young woman in front of her terrified and helpless parents, the girl cried out to Shresta: “You are a soldier! Please, save a sister!”
Something clicked. Shresta pulled out his khukuri knife and in the next 20 minutes killed three of the assailants, wounded another eight, and sent the rest of them running away in fear for their lives, leaving behind their loot. Looking back on what happened, Shresta said:
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