Paramvir Chakra winners
Paramvir Chakra winners (Highest gallantry award in India) Naik Jadu Nath Singh Rathore
During the Jammu & Kashmir ops in the winter of 1947, the capture of Jhangar on December 24th, by the Pakistani raiders, placed them in an advantageous position in the Naushahra sector. Being in full command of the communication lines from Mirpur to Punch, they could now build up their forces for attack on Naushahra. The Army was alive to this threat.
In January 1948, they conducted operations to prevent the enemy build up in the area and in the process occupied Kot village to the north-west of Naushahra. In any case an attack on Naushahra was imminent. Brigadier Usman of the 50 Para Brigade had made adequate preparation to thwart this attack by establishing strong pickets on possible enemy approaches. One of these approaches lay to the north of Naushahra through Tain Dhar. The expected enemy attack came on the foggy morning of February 6th, at 0640 hrs. The enemy started the attack by opening fire from their pickets on the Tain Dhar ridge on an Indian patrol. Simultaneously, the whole of Tain Dhar feature and the surrounding hills became live with bursts of machine gun and crunches of mortar fire. Meanwhile under the cover of darkness the enemy crept up to the Indian pickets. In the first light of dawn the men on the post saw thousands of hostiles creeping up to them. On the crucial day of February 6th, Naik Jadunath Singh was in command of a forward post of picket No.2 at Tain Dhar. The post was garrisoned by nine men. The enemy launched their attack in successive waves to take this post.
At this juncture Naik Jadunath Singh displayed great valour & superb leadership and used his small force in such a manner that the enemy retreated in utter confusion. When four of his men were wounded he re-organised the battered force for meeting another onslaught. The post did not give in despite its being outnumbered. When all men including himself were wounded, he personally took over the bren gun from the wounded bren-gunner. The enemy was now right on the walls of the post. Naik Jadunath Singh, unmindful of personal safety encouraged his men to fight. His fire was so devastating that what looked like a certain defeat was turned into a victory. Thus the post was saved a second time.
By now all men of the post had turned into casualties. The enemy put in his third and final attack determined to capture the post. Naik Jadunath Singh, wounded and alone, rose to give a battle for the third time. He came out of the Sangar and firing his sten gun charged on the advancing enemy. The surprised enemy fled in disorder. He met a gallant death, in this third and last charge when two enemy bullets pierced him in the head and the chest. At a most critical stage in the battle for the defence of Naushahra, he saved his picket from being overrun by the enemy.
He was honoured with the highest war-time gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra, posthumously.
Naik Jadu Nath Singh Rathore
Company Havaldar Piru Singh Shekhawat, son of Shri Lal Singh was born on 20 May 1918, at village Beri, Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. He joined 6 Rajputana Rifles on 20 May, 1936.
During the Jammu & Kashmir operations in summer of 1948, the Pakistani raiders mounted a strong counter offensive in the Tithwal sector. The enemy also forced the Indian Army to vacate their forward positions across river Kishanganga. After the setback, the Indian troops took position on the Tithwal ridge.
At this juncture, 6 Rajputana Rifles was moved from Uri to Tithwal to strengthen the 163 Brigade in its impending offensive in the sector. The Indian offensive commenced on 11 July 1948. The operation went on well till July 15th. The reconnaissance reports, however, revealed that the enemy was holding a high feature in the area and that its capture was essential for making any further progress. Further ahead lay another feature also held in strength by the enemy. The 6 Rajputana Rifles was assigned the task of securing these two features. The 'D' Company was to secure the first feature. The 'C' Company was to capture the second feature after the 'D' Company had carried out its task. The 'D' Company launched its attack on the objective at 0130 hrs on July 18th. The path to the objective was about one metre wide with deep ravines on either side. Overlooking this narrow path were the hidden enemy bunkers. The company was subjected to heavy fire and within half an hour it suffered 51 casualties. During this battle, Company Havildar Major Piru Singh was with the leading section of the company, more than half of which was mowed down by the devastating fire of the enemy. He rushed forward to deal with the enemy medium machine gun post which was playing havoc with his troops. Enemy grenade splinters ripped open his clothes and wounded several parts of his body. But this did not deter him. He still continued the advance, shouting the battle cry, "Raja Ramchandra Ki Jai." Rushing forward he bayoneted the crew of the enemy MMG, with his own sten gun, silenced the menacing gun and occupied the post. By this time all his companions lay behind either dead or wounded.
The responsibility of clearing the enemy from the hill feature lay with him alone. Bleeding profusely he inched forward to attack the second enemy MMG post. At this juncture a grenade wounded him in the face. The blood dripping from his face almost blinded him. By now all sten gun ammunition with him had been spent. He courageously crawled out of the occupied enemy trench and hurled grenades at the next enemy post. CHM Piru Singh then jumped into another trench and bayoneted two enemy soldiers to death. As CHM Piru Singh, emerged out of the second trench to charge on the third enemy bunker, he was hit in head by a bullet and was seen dropping on the edge of the enemy trench. There was an explosion in the trench which showed that the grenade had done its work. By then CHM Piru Singh's wound had proved fatal.
"He paid with his life for his singularly brave act, but he left for the rest of his comrades a unique example of single-handed bravery and determined cold courage. The country is grateful," wrote Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to Mrs. Tarawati, 75-year old mother of Company Havildar Major Piru Singh, "for this sacrifice made in the service of the Motherland, and it is our prayer that this may give you some peace and solace."
He was honoured with the highest war-time gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra.
On 5 December 1961, 3/1 Gorkha Rifles was ordered to clear up a roadblock established by the gendarmerie at a strategic roundabout at Elizabethville, Katanga. The plan was that one company with two Swedish armoured cars would attack the position frontally and Capt. Gurbachan Singh Salaria with two sections of Gorkhas and two Swedish armoured personnel carriers would advance towards this roadblock from the airfield to act as a cutting-off force. Capt. Salaria with his small force arrived at a distance of 1500 yards from the roadblock at approximately 1312 hours on 5 December and came under heavy automatic and small arms fire from an undetected enemy position on his right flank. The enemy also had two armoured cars and about 90 men opposing Capt. Salaria's small force. Capt. Salaria appreciating that he had run into a subsidiary roadblock and ambush and that the enemy force might reinforce the strategic roundabout and thus jeopardize the main operation, decided to remove this opposition. He led a charge with bayonets, kukris and grenades supported by a rocket launcher.
In this gallant engagement, Capt. Salaria killed 40 of the enemy and knocked out the two armoured cars. This unexpectedly bold action completely demoralised the enemy who fled despite his numerical superiority and protected positions. Capt. Salaria was wounded by a burst of automatic fire in his neck but continued to fight till he collapsed owing to profuse bleeding. Capt. Salaria's gallant action had prevented any movement of the enemy force towards the main battalion's action at the roundabout. It had also prevented the encirclement of UN Headquarters in Elizabethville. Capt. Salaria subsequently died of his wounds. Capt. Salaria's personal example, utter disregard for his personal safety and dauntless leadership inspired his small but gallant force of 26 Gorkhas to hold on to their position, dominate the enemy and inflict heavy casualties despite the enemy's superiority in numbers and tactical position.
Capt. Salaria's leadership, courage, unflinching devotion to duty and disregard for his personal safety were in the best traditions of our army and he was awarded Param Vir Chakra, the highest wartime gallantry medal, posthumously.
During the 1962 Indo-China conflict, 13 Kumaon was deployed in Chushul sector. The 'C' Coy of the battalion led by Major Shaitan Singh held a crucial position at Rezang La, at a height of 5000 metres. The company area was defended by five platoon positions and the surrounding terrain isolated it from the rest of the battalion. The expected Chinese attack on Rezang La came on November 18th in the morning. It was the end of a very cold winter night. The icy winds howling through Rezang La were biting and benumbing. In the dim light of the morning, the Chinese were seen advancing through nullahs to attack No.7 and No.8 platoon positions.
The Indian troops fell on their prepared positions to face the enemy offensive. At 0500 hours when the visibility improved both platoons opened up on the advancing enemy with rifles, light machine guns, grenades and mortars. The nullahs were littered with dead bodies. The survivors took position behind boulders and the dead bodies. The enemy was not, however, discouraged. They subjected the Indian positions to intense artillery and mortar fire at about 0540 hours. Soon about 350 Chinese troops commenced advance through the nullahs. This time, No.9 Platoon, which held fire till the enemy was within 90 metres opened up with all weapons in their possession. Within minutes, the nullahs were again full of dead bodies. Unsuccessful in frontal attack, the enemy, approximately 400 strong, then attacked from the rear of the company position. They simultaneously opened intense medium machine gun fire on No.8 Platoon. This attack was contained at the barbed wire fencing of the post. The enemy then resorted to heavy artillery and mortar shelling. An assault group of 120 Chinese also charged No.7 Platoon position from the rear. However, Indian 3-inch mortar killed many of them. When 20 survivors charged the post, about a dozen Kumaonis rushed out of their trenches to engage them in a hand-to-hand combat. Meanwhile, the enemy brought up fresh reinforcements. The encirclement of No.7 Platoon was now complete. The platoon, however, fought valiantly till there was no survivor. No.8 Platoon also fought bravely to the last round.
Major Shaitan Singh, the Company Commander, displayed exemplary leadership and courage in the battle of Rezang La. He led his troops most admirably. Unmindful of his personal safety he moved from one platoon post to another and encouraged his men to fight. While moving among the posts he was seriously wounded. But he continued to fight along with his men. While he was being evacuated by two of his comrades, the Chinese brought heavy machine gun fire on them. Major Shaitan Singh sensed danger to their lives and ordered them to leave him. They placed him behind a boulder on the slopes of a hill, where he breathed his last. In this action, 109 Kumaonis out of a total of 123 were killed. The Chinese suffered many more in killed. After the war was over, the body of Major Shaitan Singh was found at the same place. It was flown to Jodhpur and cremated with full military honours.
Major Shaitan Singh was awarded Param Vir Chakra, the highest wartime gallantry medal, posthumously, for his leadership and devotion to duty.
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles, was the leading Scout of a team tasked to capturing Area Flat Top on 04 July 1999 being held by Pakistani-backed militants. Having scaled the cliff, the team was pinned down by machine gun fire from an enemy bunker, 150 meters away. Rifleman Kumar, realizing the magnitude of the problem and the detrimental effect this bunker would have in the capture of Area Flat Top, displayed extraordinary courage. Without concern for personal safety, he crawled alone up the ledge, along a flank, and charged towards the enemy bunker, through a hail of automatic fire. Almost instantly he took two bullets in his chest and forearm. Bleeding profusely from the bullet wounds, he continued the charge towards the bunker. Unhesitant, he then picked up the enemy machine gun and crept towards the second enemy bunker. Three enemy soldiers, taken completely by surprise were killed by him on the spot. Inspired by his dare devil act the rest of the platoon, emotionally charged, assaulted the feature and captured Area Flat Top.
For his sustained display of the most conspicuous personal bravery and gallantry of the highest order in the face of the enemy, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest medal for gallantry.Mahavir Chakra winners (Second highest gallantry award in India)
Brigadier Rajendra Singh, son of Thakur Harnam Singh was born on 25 October 1928 at Rawalpindi (town named after Bappa Rawal of Chittaur). He was Chief of Staff of J&K state forces.
In October 1947, Pakistan supported raiders launched an attack on Muzaffarabad in Kashmir. The raiders made a dash for Baramulla and Srinagar. A valiant and courageous rearguard action by Brigadier Rajendra Singh, Chief of Staff of the State Forces, and a handful of his men delayed the advance of the Pakistani army by four crucial days. This gave the Indian Army time to land its troops in Srinagar on the morning of October 27, after Maharajah Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession. Brigadier Rajendra Singh and his men put up a stiff defence even though vastly outnumbered. They were eventually overwhelmed by the raiders' superior numbers and killed. Brigadier Rajendra Singh was the first senior officer to lay down his life for the defence of the country after independence. The Indian Army fought some spirited actions around Srinagar city, the most noteworthy being the battle of Budgam and Shalteng. These actions resulted in the complete rout of the raiders, who were chased by the Indian Army to Uri and beyond.
Brigadier Rajendra Singh was awarded Mahavir Chakra, posthumously for his outstanding leadership, courage and sense of duty.
Sepoy Dewan, son of Shri Udai Singh was born on 4 March 1923, at village Purdam, Tejam, Pithoragarh, Uttar Pradesh. He joined 4 Kumaon Regiment on 4 March 1943.
On 3rd November 1947, 700 Pakistani raiders suddenly attacked a company of 4 Kumaon Regiment in Badgam area in Kashmir. One of the platoons came under heavy fire and orders went out to the platoon commander to withdraw. But the commander could not comply. The enemy was too close. If the platoon attempted to withdraw, the soldiers would be exposed to enemy fire. As the commander wondered what he should do, his gunner Sepoy Dewan Singh, realizing that they were in desperate situation, picked up his bren gun and began firing, with such deadly accuracy and speed that the enemy left behind at least 15 dead and was forced to fall back. This enabled the beleaguered platoon to effect a quick withdrawal. When the enemy realized that the platoon had withdrawn and there was only one man left, they concentrated their fire on him but to their chagrin lone gunner kept on firing, keeping them pinned down. Finally a bullet found it's mark and the brave sepoy's gun fell silent.
Sepoy Dewan Singh was awarded the Mahavir Chakra posthumously for his exceptional courage, gallantry and devotion to duty.
Major Khushhal Chand was born on 26 September 1909. His family later moved and settled in village Geysnur, Keylong, Himachal Pradesh. He was commissioned in the Dogra Regiment on 15 September 1941. Subsequently he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In January 1948, Ladakh lay largely unprotected and the Pakistani raiders were gradually closing in on it. Major Khushhal Chand was sent to delay the advance of the enemy. This the major did with great skill and ingenuity, using guerrilla tactics. He would strike and retreat and then strike again somewhere else, making the enemy think there was a large Indian force in the area. He delayed the enemy advance on Leh along the Indus valley for four months. On one ocassion he and a sepoy held the Khaltsi bridge for 24 hrs. In the night while the sepoy kept firing, he set fire to the bridge, leaving the enemy stranded on the other side. The major's tactics slowed down the progress of the enemy and gave the Indian army time to organise the defence of Ladakh. Throughout these operations Major Chand fought without adequate rations, weapons and ammunition and led his small band to success with great vigour and skill.
Major Khushhal Chand was awarded the Mahavir Chakra.
Lieutenant Kishan Singh Rathore was born on 1 October 1929, in Bikaner, Rajasthan. He was commissioned in the Rajput Regiment on 13 October, 1946. Subsequently he rose to the rank of Colonel in the Indian Army.
On 6th February 1948, Lieutenant Kishan Singh Rathor and 70 men of the Rajput regiment deployed at Tain Dhar were attacked by 1500 Pakistani intruders. The Lieutenant inspired his soldiers by moving among them in the pickets. On several occasions he personally carried the ammunition to the pickets braving the incessant enemy fire. His exemplary leadership enabled the Indians to hold on.
In March, Lt. Rathor was deployed as an intelligence officer at Koman Gosha Dhar. When the Indian position came under intense enemy fire, Lt. Rathor led a platoon attack on the enemy's left to ease the pressure. When one of the men was hurt the Lieutenant showed great bravery by going to retrieve the body of his fallen comrade. Again a month later, on 9 April 1949, he led his platoon to Jhangar. 350 metres short of objective he was caught under heavy enemy fire. There were two alternatives before him -- to withdraw or advance. He chose the later and in a successful bayonet charge compelled the Pakistanis to retreat.
Lieutenant Rathore was awarded the Mahavir Chakra for conspicuous bravery.
Brigadier Yadunath Singh, son of Colonel Gridhari Singh, was born on 11 February 1907, in Rajasthan. He was commissioned in the 4 Kumaon Regiment on 30 August, 1928. He rose to the rank of Major General.
All through the summer of 1948, Brigadier Yadunath Singh of the Kumaon Regiment displayed exemplary leadership skills during the Indian army's operations in Kashmir. On 5th March 1948, the Brigadier led the 19 Infantry Brigade in a top secret mission for the recapture of Jhangar. The rivers and nullahs were in full spate due to heavy rain and the enemy kept up continual firing. Undaunted, he crossed the overflowing Jambir Nullah, at the very head of his Battalion and succeeded in establishing a bridge head, which greatly assisted the Indian Army's operations in that area.
In April, the Brigadier was involved in the capture of Rajauri. Despite a sprained ankle, he remained in the thick of battle, constantly encouraging his men. His leadership was evident in the Indian army's successes in later operations at Barwali Ridge, when he effected a link up with the Indian Battalion at Punch, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy.
In recognition of his bravery and leadership skills he was honoured with the Mahavir Chakra.
Major Thakur Prithi Chand, son of Rai Bhadur Thakur Amar Chand, was born on 1 January 1911, in village Rangri, Manali, Himachal Pradesh. He was commissioned in the Dogra Regiment. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
On the 8th of March 1948, Major Thakur Prithi Chand and his men completed their arduous three week march to Leh. Their mission was to raise and train a local militia that would defend Ladakh against imminent Pakistani intrusions. By May, a 200-strong Indian force was in place but the Pakistani supported raiders had overrun most of Baltistan and Kargil. To contain the enemy advance towards Leh along the Indus and Nubra river valleys, the major resorted to guerrilla warfare tactics. His daring raids and ambushes confused the enemy and slowed them down. On one ocassion, the raiders supported by the howitzers attacked one of the Indian forward pickets in Leh forward post. Soon after, the Major led his men deep into enemy territory and successfully destroyed an enemy howitzer. Major Thakur Prithi Chand and his loyal force played a major role in defending Ladakh.
The gallant officer was awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his inspiring leadership, courage and bravery.
Rifleman Dhonkal Singh, son of Shri Simrath Singh, was born on 1 December 1923, in village Sekala, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He joined 6 Rajputana Rifles on 1 December 1944.
On 29th April,1948, 6 Raj Rif was ordered to capture a feature overlooking the Nalwa picket ('Uri Ka Morcha') with a view to strengthen the defence of Uri. Rifleman Dhonkal Singh who was guiding his platoon as the leading scout received serious injury to his left shoulder when his platoon came under heavy LMG fire. Despite the serious injury the brave soldier crawled forward to the flank of the enemy and when within a few metres of the post destroyed it with a hand grenade. Three enemy personnel were killed and the rest abandoned the post and ran back. While pursuing some of the fleeing enemy soldiers he was again hit by grenade splinters in the face and chest. He began bleeding profusely and he knew his end was near. Summoning all his last reserves of energy he flung a grenade and killed two of the enemy, including their commander. Then he fell down dead. His bravery enabled his company to capture the strategic post without further loss of life.
For his supreme sacrifice, Dhonkal Singh was awarded Mahavir Chakra, posthumously.
Naik Nar Singh, son of Shri Uttam Singh was born on 14 March 1926 in village Gangolakatuli, Almora, Uttar Pradesh. He was enrolled in 4 Kumaon on 14 March 1944.
During the 1947-48 Jammu & Kashmir operations, the build-up of the Pakistani forces in the Chakothi area of Handwara sector in May 1948 was a matter of great concern for the Indian commanders. The enemy was holding the area in brigade strength. To meet this threat, 77 Para Brigade was moved to Pandu area, to operate north of Jhelum, so as to cut the enemy line of communication and harass them on the rear. In these operations, 4 Kumaon was ordered to capture the hill feature, Master, north of Jhelum. It was a narrow and steep feature, much like a pyramid, covered with dense pine forest on one side. The other side was barren. The approach to it lay along a very narrow and bridle path. The enemy was holding it with 1 Coy, 1 MMG section and 1 mortar section. The approach to the position was covered by the enemy with 2 MMGs and 6 LMGs.
The advantage lay with the enemy because they occupied a higher ground. During this operation, Naik Nar Singh commanded a section. The attack commenced at 0530 hours. But owing to the lack of space for manoeuvring and intense enemy fire, the 'B' Company could make no progress. During the second assault an enemy bullet hit Naik Nar Singh on the right shoulder blade. A stream of blood started flowing out of his body. The matter was reported to the Platoon Commander who advised him to evacuate. The Company Commander also ordered him not to take part in the third assault. But he maintained a stoic silence. During the third attempt on Master feature, Naik Nar Singh's section led the assault. As the troops started moving out of the concentration area he quietly slipped out and took over the command of his section. While on the lead he spotted an enemy LMG. He encouraged his comrades in his faint voice to push on, "Kumaoni Ke Bachho Jan Chale Jae, Lekin Dushman Ke Aj Tukre-Tukre Kar Dalo, Piche Nahi Hatna." (Oh, the Children of Kumaon worry not even if your life goes, but cut the enemy into pieces today, do not retreat).
Then firing his sten gun, Naik Nar Singh jumped into the enemy bunker, bayoneted two of the gunners and captured the gun. In this attack the enemy was totally routed. The Master hill feature was in Kumaoni hands by 1130 hours. Many guns, rifles and a large quantity of ammunition and stores were captured. The enemy suffered 20 killed and 20 injured. Indian troops suffered 2 killed and 7 wounded. Meanwhile, Naik Nar Singh had suffered heavy loss of blood and was found dead in the enemy bunker lying on top of his two victims, holding fast a bren gun he had captured from the enemy.
Naik Nar Singh was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty, posthumously.
Lt. Col. Kaman Singh, son of Dafadar Vijay Singh Pathania (Vijay Singh served with 23 Cavalry during Mesopotamia campaign in WW1), was born on 23 April 1917, at Ladori, Nurpur, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. He was commissioned in the Garhwal Rifles on 22 December, 1940. Two of his sons fought during the Indo-Pak War of 1971.
On 18 May 1948, during Kashmir Ops, 3rd Battalion, Garhwal Rifles was given the task of securing Tragham ridge. Two companies had moved out at night with the object of securing ring contour behind the ridge and advancing on from the rear, while the 3rd company launched a frontal attack, supported by armoured cars, from the base at Pethahir. Lt. Col. Kaman Singh was himself leading this attack. No sooner his company had started advance it encountered very heavy resistance from lower features and around the Pethahir position. The latter position was being monitored and sniped constantly. Owing to bridges having been destroyed by the enemy the progress of the armoured cars was very slow and they consequently could not support the attack very effectively. At times it looked as if the advance might be held up. At about 1100 hrs news was received that owing to a loss of surprise the 2 company attack on the ring contour had been held up short of the objective and that they were now completely surrounded by the enemy. Early establishment of contact with these coys became imperative. There were no reserves available. Lt.Col. Kaman Singh pressed on with the attack and assured his senior officers that come what might, he would capture the ridge and establish contact with the other Coys. He then himself went up to the forward position and lead the attack personally, organizing and cheering his men with encouragement, himself in the forefront. He pressed on to the enemy positions with such boldness and determination that enemy was forced to evacuate them one by one suffering heavy casualties. The ridge was captured and contact with Coys established before the end of the day. It was inspiring leadership, great personal courage and dogged determination on the part of Lt. Col. Singh that carried the day against very heavy odds.
Again, on June 17 1948 his Battalion (less 2 coys) was given the task of carrying out a raid on a strongly held position on Buni ridge beyond Tithwal. He was leading the advance with forward Coy when at about 0400 hrs they surprised the enemy and killed 20 of them capturing 2 prisoners. This completely demoralized the enemy which fled in confusion. Lt. Col. Singh pressed on with the leading Coy into the enemy defences and captured a prominent feature, which was later discovered to be enemy Coy and Battalion TAC HQ. The attack although uphill was carried out with such dash and speed that enemy fled leaving behind many dead and wounded. Lt. Col. Singh was now far and ahead of his 2nd Coy. and he therefore decided to take up a defensive position on the feature. Before the 2nd coy could arrive the enemy having rallied put in three successive counter attacks with large numbers. All these attacks were repulsed by the Coy with heavy losses to the enemy, including one Lt. Col. killed. Although his men were now running short of ammunition Lt. Col. Singh held on to the position. In this action once again. Lt. Col. Singh displayed a fine example of inspiring leadership, high sense of duty and great personal courage. Throughout the Op, Lt. Col. Kaman Singh's handling of his battalion was very sound and his leadership and personal example of courage and determination of a very high order. As a mark of respect to the brave Colonel, the last Indian post on the Srinagar-Muzzafarabad road was named Kaman Post and the bridge was named Kaman Setu (Bridge).
Lt. Col. Kaman Singh was awarded Mahavir Chakra for his conspicuous gallantry.
Lt. Col. Anant Singh, son of Lt. Col. Raghubir Singh Pathania, was born on 25 May 1913, at village Re, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. He was commissioned in 5 Gorkha Rifles on 3 February, 1945. He subsequently rose to the rank of Major General.
In November 1948, the Indian army's advance towards Drass and Kargil sector was hindered by the enemy presence at Pindras gorge. To overcome this a two-pronged attack was planned to effect a breakthrough. The 1/5 Gorkha commanded by Lt. Col. Anant Singh Pathania was deployed to capture the ridge ahead of Pindras, on the north of the Gumri Nala. This long ridge was divided into two objectives viz. Kumar and Anant. It is said that the battle waged by the Lt. Col. and his men was one of the hardest ever fought during the Jammu and Kashmir operations. The Lt. Col. not only led several reconnaissance missions but also pressed home the attack on the enemy on 14th November. Despite the heavy enemy machine gun fire, the 1/5 Gorkhas forged ahead, ultimately capturing both features, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. The victory was attributed to the Lt. Col.'s daring reconnaissance of enemy positions on the eve of battle. Throughout the reconnaissance stage and during the attack, this officer personally led his men. He was a source of great encouragement to his men.
Lt. Col. Anant Singh Pathania was honoured with the Mahavir Chakra for his exceptional gallantry and leadership.
Second Lieutenant Bhagwan Dutt Dogra, son of Shri Dewan Chand was born on 25 September 1941, at Lahore. He was commissioned in 9 Gorkha Rifles on 10 June, 1962.
Second Lieutenant Dogra was posted on the left flank of the battalion that guarded the track leading to the position held by the Gorkha Rifles in the Tsangdhar area NEFA. The Chinese subjected his position to heavy shelling on the morning of 20th October, before attacking in force. The officer moved from bunker to bunker enthusing and inspiring his men. He suffered a grievous injury in the process but continued fighting. When his gunner was hit he took over the light machine gun and used it to devastating effect. Ultimately the Chinese destroyed the gun and 2nd Lt Dogra was captured.
His daring act and inspiring leadership won him the Mahavir Chakra.
Major S.P.S. Shrikent, son of Dr. S. S. Shrikent, was born on 12 June 1929, at Dinapur, Bihar. He was commissioned in 9 Gorkha Rifles on 10 December, 1950. Subsequently, he rose to the rank of Brigadier.
He was the adjutant of his regiment in NEFA when on 20th October 1962 the Chinese overran and surrounded the battalion headquarters. Major Shrikent, finding the situation desperate, snatched a sten gun from an orderly, rallied the few survivors of the battalion headquarters, gallantly charged the enemy with complete disregard for his personal safety and inflicted heavy losses on the advancing Chinese.
In this action, Major Shrikent displayed courage and leadership of a high order for which he was awarded Mahavir Chakra.
Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, son of Shri Guman Singh Rawat, was born on 19 August 1941, at village Baryun, Pauri Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh. He joined Garhwal Rifles on 19 August, 1960.
During the 1962 war with China, the 4 Garhwal defended bridge No.3 near Nuranang along India's northeast frontier. Early on 17th November, the Chinese launched two successive attacks to dislodge the Indians from this position. But the Indians held on. The third attack was a three-pronged one, supported by heavy mortar and artillery fire. A medium machine gun threatened the defences of the Garhwal platoon. Rifleman Rawat and two others, a Lance Naik and another Rifleman volunteered to destroy the machine gun. As the Lance Naik provided covering fire, Rifleman Rawat and his companion hurled grenades, that killed and wounded some Chinese soldiers. Rawat then rushed forward and snatched the gun from the Chinese. However, while returning, he was struck fatally on the head by enemy fire. He died holding the gun he had captured.
Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat was awarded the Mahavir Chakra posthumously for his exceptional courage and initiative.
Captain Chander Narain Singh, son of Captain Balwant Singh, was born on 2 July 1939, at Srinagar, Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh. He was commissioned in Garhwal Rifles on 11 June, 1961. His uncle retired as Major General of Indian army.
On 5th August 1965, Pakistani army infiltration was sighted in Poonch, close to the Infantry Brigade headquarters. Immediately, a patrol commanded by Captain Chander Narain Singh was dispatched to locate and liquidate them. Barely an hour later, the patrol halfway up a hill range encountered savage Pakistani machine gun fire. Despite losing one man in this initial skirmish Captain Singh moved towards the enemy's flank. Two light machine guns were effectively silenced.
Captain Singh commenced his final attack at night. He led his small band of men in the charge to within 50 metres of the enemy when he was killed by a burst of machine gun fire. However his men continued the attack and liquidated the enemy, capturing large quantities of arms and ammunition in the process.
For his heroism, Captain Chander Narain Singh was decorated with the Mahavir Chakra posthumously.
Lieutenant Colonel Raghubir Singh Rajawat, son of Shri Pratap Singh, was born on 2 November 1923, at Sheora, Jaipur, Rajasthan. He was commissioned in Rajputana Rifles on 18 April, 1943. Subsequently he rose to the rank of Brigadier.
Lt. Col. Raghubir Singh was commanding a battalion of the Rajputana Rifles Regiment during the battle of Asal Uttar. Between 7 and 10 September 1965, the unit was attacked by Pakistani forces. On 9th September at 2100 hours, in moonlight, the enemy forces launched a ferocious attack with tanks and managed to overrun the forward company positions. Lt. Col. Raghubir Singh, anticipating the enemy's assault, left his command post and regardless of personal safety moved up to those companies past three enemy tanks. He entered the positions under intense enemy artillery fire and established contact with the company commanders.
This example of courage, determination and leadership on the part of the Commanding Officer inspired the men to defy the enemy tanks and under his command they destroyed 20 enemy tanks.
For his outstanding bravery Lt. Col. Rajawat was awarded Mahavir Chakra.
Major Anup Singh Guhilote, son of Lt. Col. Dalel Singh, was born on 19 September 1940, at Nangloi village, Delhi. He was commissioned in Dogra Regiment on 11 December, 1962.
Dogra regiment was deployed in Laksham in the east, during the battle of 1971. The regiment's mission was to move into enemy-held territory on the night of 3rd December, and put up road-blocks all along the Chauddagram-Laksham road. By the first light of dawn the next day, the regiment accomplished this under Major Gahlaut's command. The next day, two companies of the Dogra regiment surged ahead and had two enemy platoons trapped. The Pakistanis, refusing to surrender, engaged the Indian troops in a bitter battle. Major Gahlaut led one platoon from the front, but was surprised by an unexpected enemy attack from the rear. He, however, rallied his troops, urging them to beat back the enemy. There was a fierce hand to hand fight. The major sustained grievous wounds but refused to give in. Though bleeding profusely, he fought on. The Pakistanis were finally beaten back. The exhausted Major collapsed on the battlefield, and died shortly thereafter.
For displaying exemplary leadership Major Gahlaut was awarded Mahavir Chakra, posthumously.
Lieutenant Colonel Rajkumar Singh, son of B.S.Thakur, was born on 25 December 1934, at village Bharaut, Merrut, Uttar Pradesh. He was commissioned in Punjab Regiment on 4 December, 1954. Subsequently he rose to the rank of Brigadier.
During the Indo-Pak war in November 1971, Lt Col Rajkumar Singh commanded a battalion of 14 Punjab Regiment. On 20 November he was assigned the task of occupying a defended position in the area Garibpur-Jaganathpur on the Eastern Front to contain the enemy intruding into the Indian territory. He planned and organised the defences held by his battalion with great skill and professional competence. The enemy attacked the area with two infantry battalions and a squadron of tanks. Lt Col Rajkumar Singh directed his troops with great courage and confidence. With utter disregard for his personal safety, he moved from one company locality to another inspiring his junior commanders and troops. The enemy launched three determined attacks but all were beaten back with heavy losses. Pakistanis left 350 dead behind. Indian army lost 90 men. Throughout, Lt Col Rajkumar Singh displayed conspicuous courage, exemplary leadership and professional skill.
He was awarded Mahavir Chakra for his bravery on the battlefield.
Major Basdev Singh Mankotia, son of S.B. Rai Singh Mankotia, was born on 16 April 1941, at village Sidhpur Garh, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. He was commissioned in Punjab Regiment on 11 December, 1962. His father, grand father and great grand father had served Indian Army with distinction.
During the Indo-Pak war in December 1971, Major Basdev Singh Mankotia commanded the outpost of Ranian Screen that guarded the approach to Amritsar. On 3rd December, Pakistan launched the first of its attempts to capture Ranian. Supported by heavy artillery fire, the Pakistanis advanced rapidly.
When they were nearly 50 meters away, the shrewd Major directed the full force of his mortar and artillery fire on the enemy, who taken by surprise, beat a hasty retreat. The second attack was also repulsed. Even as they advanced a third time, the major led a fierce counter-attack to repulse them, but sustained severe injuries. Refusing evacuation he persisted till the enemy had been driven back. Over the next few nights, the Indians were subjected to Pakistani artillery and air attacks, but the Major stood firm despite being wounded and running temperature, foiling all these attempts to capture Ranian. In all, seven enemy attacks were repulsed by him.
For his heroic defence of Ranian, Major Basdev Singh Mankotia was awarded the Mahavir Chakra.
In 1951, Sawai Bhawani Singh, was commissioned into Indian Army in the 3rd Cavalry Regiment as a Second Lieutenant. In 1954, he was selected for the Presidents Bodyguard. In 1963 he was posted to HQ 50 (Indep) Para Brigade. From January 1964-1967, he was selected and posted as Adjutant, Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. In June 1967, he volunteered for the new Para Commando Unit and was posted to 10 Para Commando as 2nd-in-command. The following year he became the commanding officer. In 1970, he helped in training the Mukti Vahini before the commencement of the Bangladesh war.
On the night of 5 December 1971, Lt. Col. Sawai Bhawani Singh, who was commanding a battalion of the Parachute Regiment (commandos), led his men deep into the enemy territory and for four days and nights, with complete disregard for his personal comfort and safety, made skillful and relentless raids on the strongly held enemy posts at Chachro and Virawah. His inspired leadership and personal courage led to the capture of large areas of the enemy territory and created panic and confusion among the enemy, forcing him to retreat leaving behind large number of prisoners and equipment. In this operation, Lt. Col. Sawai Bhawani Singh set an example of personal courage, exceptional qualities of leadership and devotion to duty in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. He was awarded Mahavir Chakra for his gallantry. His Battalion also got 10 gallantry awards for their action in these operations. He took voluntary retirement in 1974.
When Indian Army was in action in Sri Lanka under operation Pawan at the request of then President, Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi requested Maharajah Sawai Bhawani Singh to go to Sri Lanka and boost the morale of his old unit (10 Para). He was successful in boosting the morale of the unit and for his success, the President of India bestowed upon him the rank of Brigadier for life. This is a rare offer when a retired Army personnel has been given a promotion in rank. Besides, Brig Sawai Bhawani Singh has also served as the first Resident High Commissioner to the State of Brunei from July 1993 to January 1997.
Major Jaivir Singh, son of Thakur Jai Chand Singh, was born on 25 December 1940, at village Kalai, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. He was commissioned in Sikh Regiment on 30 June, 1963.
Major Jaivir Singh was deployed in Chhamb on the western front during the Indo-Pak war. His company defended the crucial Phagia Ridge position.
From the 3rd of December, the enemy began first of its offensives, to dislodge the Indian forces there. The first attack was successfully repulsed, but the Pakistani troops returned with a stronger force the next day. They penetrated through Indian defence and soon a bitter hand to hand fight ensued. The brave Major exhorted his men to remain steadfast. The Pakistanis were held back for the second time with a loss of twelve lives.
The fighting was at its fiercest on December 5th . The Sikh regiment suffered heavy casualties, but led by a determined Major Singh, they not only repulsed the advance but recaptured the post on the Ridge lost earlier, Major Singh's inspiring leadership and shrewd planning had outwitted the enemy.
Major Jaivir singh was awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his exemplary leadership and courage.
Group Captain Chandan Singh Champawat, son of Colonel Bhadur Singh, was born on 8 July 1924, at Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He was commissioned in Indian Air Force on 27 July, 1946. Subsequently he rose to the rank of Air Vice-Marshall.
During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Group Captain Chandan Singh was in command of an air force station on the eastern front. He had to coordinate and oversee operations involving the airlifting of commando troops to forward areas. On 8 December he was asked to airdrop 3000 troops and 40 tons of army equipment into a heavily defended enemy area. The reconnaissance missions he had led to the area, prior to the operation, helped him plan the details of his action and carried them out successfully.
As the war progressed he led over 18 such missions deep into the enemy territory. There were several occasions when his aircraft was hit. His airborne operations played a crucial role in the Indian army's successful advance to Chaka and its subsequent capture.
Group Captain Singh was decorated with the Mahavir Chakra for his exceptional drive, determination, courage and inspiring leadership.
Naik Sugan Singh Rathore son of Shri Abhay Singh, was born on 6 March 1942, at Nagaur, Rajasthan. He joined Rajputana Rifles on 6 March, 1962.
The inability of the Pakistani Dictator Yahya Khan to tide over his political failure in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) caused him to provoke a war with India. As the opening shot of this war Gen. Yahya Khan's Air Force conducted a pre-emptive strike on Indian airfields. Barely had the Pakistanis returned from their pre-emptive strikes on 3rd December, 7th Rajputana Rifles quickly captured Dhallai an enemy post on Tripura border. On 9/10 December the battalion was involved in a ferocious battle for Mynamati ridge with a view to facilitate the capture of Mynamati Cantonment of the enemy. Advance of Naik Rathore's section was held up due to spirited MMG and small arms fire of the enemy. Naik Sugan Singh could not tolerate this affront. He boldly charged the enemy MMG post and destroyed it. In this charge he was badly hit on the shoulder. Profusely bleeding he still crawled to the second enemy MMG post and hurled a grenade killing three occupants and silencing the gun. Seriously wounded he died on account of his injuries.
For his gallant and sustained action in the face of the enemy, he was awarded Maha Vir Chakra. The unit also earned two Vir Chakras and battle honour Mynamati.
Lance Naik Drig Pal Singh Rathore son of Shri Sunder Singh Rathore, was born on 23 December 1945, at Naugma, Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He joined Rajputana Rifles on 23 December 1965.
During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Lance Naik Drig Pal Singh and the 15 Rajput Regiment participated in the battle of Fazilka. Two enemy medium machine guns located in the enemy bunkers claimed several Indian lives.
On the night of 13th December, determined to silence these guns, the Lance Naik, accompanied by two men, crawled towards the bunkers. He hurled a grenade that completely destroyed one machine gun, he was struck on the left shoulder by a burst of gun fire. He continued advancing but a second round of fire struck him on the chest, killing him instantly. His action, however had not been in vain. The enemy was compelled to beat a hasty retreat, leaving behind a large cache of arms.
Lance Naik Drig Pal Singh was honoured posthumously with the Mahavir Chakra.
Lieutenant Colonel Hanut Singh Rathore, son of Lt. Col. Arjun Singh, was born on 6 July 1933, at Jasol, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He was commissioned in Poona Horse (17 Horse) on 28 December, 1952. Subsequently he rose to the rank of Lieutenant General.
During the Indo-Pak war in December 1971, Lt. Col. Hanut Singh was commanding 17 Horse in Shakargarh Sector of the Western Front. The Indian forces fought some of its toughest battles in the Shakargarh sector against Pakistani forces during the 1971 war. On 16th December, his regiment was inducted into the Basantar river bridgehead and took up positions ahead of the infantry. The enemy launched a number of armoured attacks in strength on 16 and 17 December. Undeterred by enemy medium artillery and tank fire, Lt. Col. Hanut Singh moved from one threatened sector to another with utter disregard for his personal safety, inspiring his men to remain steadfast. Not only was the enemy armour attack repulsed, 48 of their tanks were destroyed. His presence and cool courage inspired his men to remain steadfast and perform commendable acts of gallantry. Throughout this period, Lt. Col. Hanut Singh displayed conspicuous gallantry and leadership in keeping with the best traditions of the Army and was awarded Mahavir Chakra. Here Lt. Col. Hanut Singh is seen standing on his Centurion tank, Kooshab.
17 Poona Horse is one of the most decorated in the Armoured Corps and in 1965 it had already been awarded with one PVC, only to win another in 1971 at the Battle of Basantar in which 48 Pakistani tanks were destroyed. Hanut Singh is the elder brother of former Finance minister of India, Jaswant Singh Jasol (Jasol is the name of the village in Barmer district of Rajasthan). He retired as Lt. General. He is highly religious. He is an acclaimed tactician and authority in Tank Warfare, author of the official history of the Armoured Corps.
General Hanut meditated extensively at night while engaged in his duties as an army officer during the day. There is the story from the 1971 war when General Hanut retired to a shed to meditate alone. When he got up, an armed Pakistani soldier, who had been hiding in the shed the entire time, surrendered.
Colonel Udai Singh, son of Shri Khet Singh, was born on 13 January 1929, at village Garha, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He was commissioned in 8 Gorkha Rifles on 4 June, 1950. Subsequently he rose to the rank of Brigadier. His father had also served in the Jodhpur State Force.
Col Udai Singh commanded three companies of the Gorkha Rifles deployed in the biting cold of Kargil in the north.
In December 1971, the Colonel and his men were asked to capture Chalunka and Turtok positions. The Colonel led his troops in several nightlong marches across unfamiliar areas at altitudes of 5,500 meters and more, braving subzero temperatures. At one place, they faced a strong enemy force but the colonel and his men completely outmaneuvered it. A large cache of enemy arms and equipment was seized as well. The Gurkha Rifles launched several more attacks on heavily defended enemy positions in the mountains. Despite poor communication facilities and the total absence of any artillery support, Colonel Singh led his men to success.
In this operation, spanning over eleven days, the Indian Forces eventually occupied Turtok and areas beyond it. For his skilled leadership and command Colonel Udai Singh was decorated with Mahavir Chakra.
Captain Pratap Singh, son of Captain Khazan Singh, was born on 17 January 1960, at Basai Darapur village, Delhi. He was commissioned in the Regiment of Artillery on 27 August, 1983. His father was a decorated soldier of WW 2.
Captain Pratap Singh's Regiment was part of the Indian forces that defended Bana outpost against Pakistani forces in the summer of 1988.
The enemy had already made several attempts to capture Bana and on 9th May an enemy commando group made a determined attack equipped with ropes and ladders. Though the attack was driven back, enemy ropes and ladders remained in place. They had to be removed to ensure the safety of the outpost. On 18th may Captain Singh accompanied by a jawan descended the wall, to remove the ropes and ladders. At the bottom he found a huge cache of ammunition and grenades. As he was examining his find a grenade suddenly exploded, wounding him in the arms and chest. But the captain completed his mission entrusted to him. He cut the ropes and dislodged the ladder system. Only then did he return to his post where he soon succumbed to his wounds.
Captain Pratap Singh was posthumously honoured with the Mahavir Chakra for his devotion to duty and courage.
On 30 May 1999, as a part of battalion operations to capture the Tololing feature, Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari, 18 Grenadiers (Mech. Inf.) was tasked to secure the initial foothold by capturing its forward spur where the enemy held a strongly fortified advance position. The post was located in a treacherous, mountainous terrain at about 15,000 feet and covered with snow.
While Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari was leading his team towards the objective, he was fired at from two mutually supporting bunkers with universal machine guns. The officer immediately directed the rocket launcher detachment to engage the bunker and without waiting, rushed into the bunker and killed two intruders in close quarter combat. Thereafter, the officer, displaying presence of mind under heavy fire, ordered his medium machine gun (MMG) detachment to fix position behind a rocky feature and engage the enemy. The assault party continued to inch their way up. Despite suffering grievous bullet injuries, Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari continued to direct his sub unit. Refusing to be evacuated, the officer charged at the second bunker and killed one more occupant, thus capturing the second bunker at Tololing which later facilitated capture of Point 4590.
For conspicuous gallantry and supreme sacrifice, Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari was honoured with the Maha Vir Chakra, posthumously.
Victoria Cross winners
- Lance Dafadar Gobind Singh Rathore
Gobind Singh (7 December 1887 - 9 December 1942) was 29 years old, and a Lance-Dafadar in the 28th Light Cavalry, Indian Army, attached to 2nd Lancers during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 1917-12-01 east of Peizieres, France, Lance-Dafadar Gobind Singh three times volunteered to carry messages between the regiment and brigade headquarters, a distance of 1.5 miles (2.4 km) over open ground which was under heavy fire from the enemy. He succeeded each time in delivering the message, although on each occasion his horse was shot and he was compelled to finish the journey on foot. He later achieved the rank of Jemadar. He belongs to Nagaur District of Rajasthan.
The medal is currently displayed in his regiment 2nd Lancers (G.H.) in India, and the regiment is currently located at Meerut (U.P.).
Chatta Singh (1886- March 28, 1961) was approx. 29 years old, and a Sepoy in the 9th Bhopal Infantry, Indian Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 13 January 1916 during the Battle of the Wadi, Mesopotamia, Sepoy Chatta Singh left cover to assist his commanding officer, who was lying wounded and helpless in the open. The sepoy bound up the officer's wounds and then dug cover for him with his entrenching tool, being exposed all the time to very heavy rifle fire. For five hours until nightfall he stayed with the wounded officer, shielding him with his body on the exposed side. He then, under cover of darkness, went back for assistance and brought the officer to safety. He later achieved the rank of Havildar.
Darwan Singh Negi (November 1881- 24 June 1950) was approx. 33 years old, and a Naik in the 1st Battalion, 39th Garhwal Rifles, Indian Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On the night of 23/24 November 1914 at Festubert, France, the regiment was engaged in retaking and clearing the enemy out of trenches. In this very dangerous operation Naik Darwan Singh Negi was the first to push round every traverse. Although he was wounded in the head and in the arm, he kept on going forward in the face of heavy fire from bombs and rifles at very close range. He later achieved the rank of Subedar.
His Victoria Cross is on display in the Garhwal Rifles Museum in Lansdowne, Uttaranchal.
Gobar Sing Negi (October 1893 - 10 March 1915) was 21 years old, and a Rifleman in the 2 /, 39th Garhwal Rifles, Indian Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 10 March 1915 at Neuve Chapelle, France, during an attack on the German position Rifleman Gobar Sing Negi was one of a bayonet party with bombs who entered their main trench, and was the first man to go round each traverse, driving back the enemy until they were eventually forced to surrender. He was killed during this engagement.
Prakash Singh Dogra was 25 years old, and a Jemadar in the 4 / 13th Frontier Force Rifles, Indian Army during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 16/17 February 1945 at Kanlan Ywathit, Burma (now Myanmar), Jemadar Prakash Singh was commanding a platoon which took the main weight of fierce enemy attacks. He was wounded in both ankles and relieved of his command, but when his second-in-command was also wounded, he crawled back and took command again, directing operations and encouraging his men. Being again wounded in both legs, he continued to direct the defence, dragging himself from place to place by his hands. When wounded a third time and dying, he lay shouting the Dogra war-cry, so inspiring his company that the enemy were finally driven off