Indian Army has produced many brave officers who have laid down their lives in the line of duty. But the bravery of Khetarpal has indeed been the highest point in the history of the army. His bravery is deeply embeded in the ethos of the army and is evident from the numerous buildings named after him at IMA and NDA , higher than any other officer of the Indian Army.
The IMA has its auditorium named Khetarpal and the all passing out officers take oath in front of this building.
The IMA also has one of the main entrance gate named Khetarpal.
The main ground at NDA is named Khetarpal Ground.
The tank of Arun Khetarpal was called Famagusta Jx 202. It was restored after the war and is with the regiment.
Famagusta’s crew was Sowar Prayag Singh, the driver. Sowar Nand Singh, the Radio Operator. Sowar Nathu Singh, the Gunner and 2/lt Arun Khetarpal, the commander.
Nand Singh was first to die. This was just before the fatal encounter with Major Nasser. Then Arun sccumbed to his injuries. Both Prayag Singh and Nathu Singh were badly wounded but survived and retired from the army as Hon. Captains.
Arun Khetarpal’s mother did not get the news of his death till the 26th of December. She had got his motorcycle serviced and his room decked up after hearing that the war was over on the 17th December.
He was cremated on the 17th of December near Samba dictrict. All his family got was his ashes in small handkerchief.
Mrs Indira Gandhi met Mrs Khetarpal, Arun’s mother, after the war and told him quote ‘Aap Dhanya Hai’ with moisture in her eyes.
Arun Khetarpal had gate crashed in the night before his regiment was to leave for the front to meet his mother and say goodbye. His mothers final words were ‘Fight like a lion and don’t come back a coward.’