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Hero of ‘Operation Rajiv’ — Param Vir Chakra recipient Capt Bana Singh joins Bharat Jodo Yatra

Capt Singh, who joined Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, was awarded highest wartime gallantry medal for bravery during 1987 recapture of strategic height in Siachen.

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New Delhi: Param Vir Chakra recipient Captain Bana Singh (retd) joined Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as the Bharat Jodo Yatra entered Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Friday.

Referring to Captain Singh as the “Param Vir Chakra recipient who hoisted the Tricolour on Siachen’s icy heights”, Gandhi took to Twitter to post a picture of himself walking beside the war veteran.

Captain Singh responded to the gesture by thanking him, before signing off with “Jai Hind”.

The 3,570-km foot march by the Congress will conclude in Srinagar on 30 January. With Gandhi at the helm, the yatra began in Kanyakumari on 8 September last year.

Captain Bana Singh served in the 8th Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry (JAK LI) and played a central role in ‘Operation Rajiv’ — Indian armed forces’ recapture of ‘Quaid Post’, a critical height in Siachen, from Pakistani soldiers in June 1987. For his bravery and courage during the operation, Singh was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest wartime gallantry medal. Moreover, the recaptured post was renamed ‘Bana Top’ in his honour.

Trained at the High-Altitude Warfare School in Gulmarg, he was posted in Siachen in April of that year.

Singh made headlines last June with a tweet criticising the central government’s Agnipath scheme for army recruitment. While the tweet was deleted within 48 hours, Singh had told ThePrint then, “There should’ve been more debate before bringing in the Agnipath.”


Also Read: Nehru to RSS: Why Congress won’t unfurl tricolour at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk to mark Bharat Jodo end


Displayed ‘indomitable courage’

Singh enlisted in the Indian Army in 1969 and was attached to the 8th battalion of the Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI), an infantry regiment.

Born to a farming family in Jammu’s Kadyal village, Singh had told scholar Claude Arpi in an interview that his uncles had also served in the army.

Singh was serving as a Naib Subedar in June 1987 when ‘Quaid Post’ was recaptured by a party of 64, including him, led by Major Varinder Singh, a month after a recce party of the Indian Army had been severely wounded there by Pakistani forces.

The party had to climb 1,500 feet of ice-wall on the edge of a glacier to reach the critical post, and Singh played a key role in guiding them and ensuring the success of ‘Operation Rajiv’.

His Param Vir Chakra (PVC) citation noted that Bana Singh inspired his men by displaying “indomitable courage and leadership”.

The citation added that Singh, during the course of recapturing the post, moved from trench to trench, lobbed hand grenades, charged at the enemy with a bayonet, and engaged in fist-to-fist combat. 

“He cleared the post of all intruders,” the citation said.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)


Also Read: After Bharat Jodo Yatra, Congress to visit households with letter from ‘Apka Apna’ Rahul


 

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