Compiled By: Shri Ramakrishna Prasad
Havildar Bachittar Singh was born on 10th January 1917 in Lopo village of Punjab and was the only child of Sardar Rur Singh. He had his education only up to 8th class, however he excelled in swimming and wrestling in his childhood. Right from his young age Hav Bachittar Singh was a nationalist and always wanted to join the army to serve the nation.
At the age of 17 years Hav Bachittar Singh, joined the army and was enrolled in the Sikh Regiment on 10th January 1937. After completion of his basic military training he served with his battalion in various places like Africa and Greece. He participated in the second world war also and faced the enemies in South Africa. However it was after India’s independence in 1947, that Hav Bachittar Singh proved his mettle as a soldier par excellence.
Operation Polo : 13 Sep 1948
After Independence on 15 Aug 1947, when Nizam of Hyderabad refused to join the Indian republic against the wishes of the people, India launched a police operation named “Operation Polo”, on 13 Sep 1948. 2 Sikh, the kill force of Sikh Regiment’s second battalion was given the most important task in Naldurg area, which was on the Sholapur – Secunderabad road about 19 km from the state border. Havaldar Bachittar Singh was leading the platoon.
At around 4 am in the morning, the B company of the platoon set up blockades on the road. When two vehicles were seen approaching his position Hav Bachittar Singh ordered his soldiers to fire on the approaching vehicles. There was a heavy exchange of fire but Hav Bachittar Singh in a show of bravery and leadership finally captured both the vehicles and their escorts.
On the same day enemy soldiers took secure positions and attacked his platoon. Hav Bachittar Singh with great skill and determination led the counter attack on the enemy forces. Hav Bachittar Singh was moving ahead in the face of the enemy and when he was about 30 yards away from the target, he got hit by a LMG burst in his thigh and fell. Despite in critical condition Hav Bachittar Singh, crawled forward and threw two grenades on the LMG post, and silenced it. Even though Hav Bachittar Singh was severely injured, he refused to leave the battle field and kept on motivating his men to press on the attack.
Inspired by his courage and leadership his platoon finally achieved the objective, however, Hav Bachittar Singh succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. His personal example of unsurpassed valour, grim determination devotion to duty and leadership was an inspiration to all who saw it. Hav Bachittar Singh was given nation’s first highest gallantry award during peace time, “Ashok Chakra” for his conspicuous bravery, indomitable spirit and supreme sacrifice. A college in Punjab has been named after Hav Bachittar Singh as Mahant Bachittar Singh College Of Engineering And Technology. An area in Ludhiana has been named as Bachittar Singh Nagar on Gill Road, Ludhiana to honour the first recipient of Ashok Chakra.