PARAM VIR CHAKRA : Major Shaitan Singh, PVC (Posthumous)

1 Dec 1924
18 Nov 1962
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Born – 01 Dec 1924 Banasar, Jodhpur , Rajasthan
Father – Lt Col Hem Singh
Commission – 01 Aug 1949
Award date – 18 Nov 1962
Religion – Hindu
Studies – Jaswant College, Jodhpur

Major Shaitan Singh was commanding a company of infantry battalion deployed at a height of about 17,000 feet. The locality was isolated from the main defended sector and consisted of five defended platoon positions.

During November 1962, the Chinese subjected the company position to heavy artillery, mortar and small arms fire and attacked in overwhelming strength in successive waves. Against heavy odds, our troops beat back the enemy attack. During the action, Major Shaitan Singh dominated the scene of operations, and moved at great personal risk from one platoon post to another sustaining the morale of his hard-pressed platoon posts. While doing so, he was seriously wounded but continued to encourage and lead his men who, following his brave example fought gallantly and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. For every man lost by us, the enemy lost four to five . When Major Shaitan Singh fell disabled by wounds in his arms and abdomen, his men tried to evacuate him but came under heavy machine gun fire. Maj Shaitan Singh ordered his men to leave him to his fate in order 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. The heroic resistance put up by this gallant soldier with his company against the assault of more than one thousand Chinese, is not only a tribute to the Regiment, but also a matter of pride for soldiers, the World over. These brave soldiers fought to the last man and last round. For this historic battle Major Shaitan Singh was awarded Param Vir Chakra. Undoubtedly, the battle of Rezang La is a great feat of leadership, courage and unswerving determination in the annals of Military History. Appropriately the plaque at the memorial of Rezang La says: –

How can a man die better
than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
and the temple of his Gods”

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