Gun Gurkha Pun honoured for Afghan bravery
A GURKHA soldier who single-handedly fought off up to 30 insurgents in Afghanistan, even using his gun tripod when he ran out of bullets, has been rewarded for bravery.
Sergeant Dipprasad Pun, 31, of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, f i red 400 rounds, launched 17 grenades and detonated a mine to thwart the assault by Taliban fighters at a British checkpoint near Babaji in Helmand province last year.
The only weapon he did not us e was the traditional Kukri knife carried by the Nepalese soldiers, because he did not have it with him.
Pun saved the lives of three colleagues who were at the checkpoint and was pres- ented with the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for his outstanding bravery at a ceremony in London.
The medal is a level below t he prestigious Victoria Cross, Britain’s top award for gallantry.
‘‘ I think I am a very lucky guy, a survivor,’’ he said.
‘‘ Now I am getting this award, it is very great and I am very happy.’’
Pun i s originally f r om Bima in western Nepal but now lives in Kent, south-east England, with his wife.
Pun was on sentry duty on the evening of September 17, 2010, when he heard a clinking noise outside the checkpoint. Going to investigate, he found two insurgents trying to lay a bomb.
Realising he was about to be attacked, and his platoon were out on patrol, he opened fire on the enemy.
In the firefight, he was attacked with AK47 machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades for 15 minutes.
Pun kept moving and fired back with numerous weapons and believes he killed at least one enemy.