Param Vir Chakra is India’s highest military honour, awarded to members of the Indian Armed Forces who have displayed indomitable courage and gallantry in the face of the enemy during combat. One such Paramveer was – Major Shaitan Singh Bhati. Major Shaitan Singh was given this honor for his extraordinary bravery and leadership ability in the ‘Battle of Rezang La’ during the India-China war of 1962. Today, on his death anniversary, 18th November, let us know some things about him through this article.
Major Shaitan Singh Bhati Biography in Hindi
Shaitan Singh Bhati was born on December 1, 1924 in Banasar village of Jodhpur district of Rajasthan. His father was Lieutenant Colonel Hem Singh. Singh completed his secondary education from Chopasni Senior Secondary School, Jodhpur. After completing high school in 1943, Singh attended Jaswant College and graduated in 1947.
Shaitan Singh joined the Jodhpur State Army as an officer on August 1, 1949. After independence, when Jodhpur merged with India, he was assigned to the Kumaon Regiment. On November 25, 1955, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and participated in operations in the Naga Hills as well as the Indian takeover of Goa in 1961. He was later promoted to the rank of Major on June 11, 1962.
During the Sino-Indian War in 1962, the 13th Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment was deployed in the Chushul sector. C (Charlie) Company, under Singh’s command, was at a post at Rezang La. Major Shaitan Singh was commanding a company of 13 Kumaon at an altitude of about 17,000 feet in Rejang La in Jammu and Kashmir.
On November 18, 1962, Chinese soldiers launched a massive attack on their hideout. 120 soldiers of Charlie Company of 13th Kumaon were attacked by about 600 people of China. Major Shaitan Singh’s company was in a defensive position. Instead of being deterred by this attack, these brave Ahirs of the Indian Army responded by launching a fierce attack on the Chinese. Hundreds of Chinese soldiers were killed in this attack by Indians.
Major Shaitan Singh kept moving from one platoon to another, firing at the enemy and encouraging his soldiers. Despite great danger to his life he continued to fight. In this battle, he was injured several times while moving from one platoon to another without any protective cover and was ultimately martyred on 18 November 1962.
The body of Major Shaitan Singh was found three months later at the same place behind a rock in that snowy area. It was taken to Jodhpur and cremated with full military honours. Major Shaitan Singh was awarded the highest wartime gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra, for his indomitable courage, leadership and exemplary devotion to duty.
“Major Shaitan Singh was commanding a company of the Ahir infantry battalion deployed at Rezang La in Chushul sector at an altitude of about 16,000 feet. The area was separate from the main defense area and consisted of five platoon-defended positions. On November 18, 1962, the Chinese army fired on the company’s position with heavy artillery, mortars and small arms fire and attacked with overwhelming force in several consecutive waves. Despite overwhelming odds, our troops repulsed continuous enemy attacks. During the action, Major Shaitan Singh dominated the operation site and moved from platoon post to platoon post at great personal risk, maintaining the morale of his determined platoon posts. While doing so he was seriously wounded but continued to encourage and lead his men, who followed his brave example and fought valiantly and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. For every man we lost, the enemy lost four or five. When Major Shaitan Singh became physically incapacitated due to wounds to his arms and stomach, his men tried to evacuate him but came under heavy machine-gun fire. Major Shaitan Singh then ordered his men to abandon them to their fate to save their lives. Major Shaitan Singh’s supreme courage, leadership and exemplary devotion to duty inspired his company to fight almost to the last man.”
Paramveer Chakra: 21 Paramveers who became immortal in the pages of history
|Somnath Sharma||Major||3 Nov 1947|
|Jadunath Singh||Naik||6 Feb 1948|
|Rama Raghoba Rane||Second Lieutenant||8 Apr 1948|
|Piru Singh||Company Havildar Major||17 Jul 1948|
|Karam Singh||Lance Naik||13 Oct 1948|
|Gurbachan Singh Salaria||Captain||5 Dec 1961|
|Dhan Singh Thapa||Major||20 Oct 1962|
|Joginder Singh||Subedar||23 Oct 1962|
|Shaitan Singh||Major||18 Nov 1962|
|Abdul Hamid||Company Quarter Master Havildar||10 Sep 1965|
|Ardeshir Tarapore||Lieutenant Colonel||11 Sep 1965|
|Albert Ekka||Lance Naik||3 Dec 1971|
|Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon||Flying Officer||14 Dec 1971|
|Arun Khetarpal||Second Lieutenant||16 Dec 1971|
|Hoshiar Singh Dahiya||Major||17 Dec 1971|
|Bana Singh||Naib Subedar||23 May 1987|
|Ramaswamy Parameshwaran||Major||25 Nov 1987|
|Manoj Kumar Pandey||Lieutenant||3 Jul 1999|
|Yogendra Singh Yadav||Grenadier||4 Jul 1999|
|Sanjay Kumar||Rifleman||5 Jul 1999|
|Vikram Batra||Captain||7 Jul 1999|
Tribute to 21 immortal martyrs from a grateful nation!