Gajender Singh Bisht (1972-28 November 2008) was an NSG commando and havildar (sergeant) who died during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. His act of bravery was honoured with the Ashoka Chakra award by the President of India on 26 January 2009, India’s Republic Day.
Hailing from Ganeshpur in Uttarakhand, young Gajender Singh studied at the Janata Inter College in Naya Gaon. He was remembered by his teachers as a disciplined student who participated in every event organised in the school, be it sports or cultural activities. He had a particular interest in boxing.
Gajender Singh was a member of the National Security Guard’s 51 Special Action Group. Gajender Singh was part of the team of NSG commandos who were fast-roped on the roof of Nariman House in an operation to neutralize the terrorists inside who were holding at least six hostages.
According to Jyoti Krishna Dutt, Director General of the NSG, Singh was leading one of the teams that entered the building. The team came under intense fire from the terrorists and returned fire, while trying to dominate the situation. The terrorists also hurled a few grenades at the commandos. At this point, Singh had the option of retreating with his team.
However, he realized that they had to seize this opportunity to dominate and continued moving ahead. He didn’t turn his back to the militants and created a way for the other commandos despite a grenade thrown at him. Despite sustaining multiple bullet injuries while doing so, he moved forward and ultimately succumbed to his injuries, making the supreme sacrifice. This selfless and brave gesture of his ensured that his team secured a dominating position in the encounter.
While securing the Nariman House during Operation Black Tornado, Singh, a member of the Parachute Regiment was fatally wounded while storming the Jewish center.