Decorated war hero Brigadier Sant Singh dead

Chandigarh, Dec 9 (IANS) Decorated war hero Brigadier Sant Singh died here on Wednesday at the age of 94, his family said.

Sant Singh was twice decorated with Maha Vir Chakra (MVC), India’s second highest gallantry medal in war time.

He was given the MVC for leading his men during “Operation Riddle” in the 1965 India-Pakistan war.

“On the night of November 2, 1965, Lieutenant Colonel Sant Singh was given the task of clearing an objective, which notwithstanding the ceasefire had been encroached upon by Pakistani forces.

“This was a difficult feature and strongly defended by the enemy. Despite enemy mines and artillery fire, Lieutenant Colonel Sant Singh moved forward with his men, charged the enemy and, after a bitter hand-to-hand fight, cleared the objective,” the MVC citation read.

Sant Singh and his men moved ahead and cleared other enemy position despite heavy artillery and automatic fire from Pakistani troops.

In the 1971 India-Pakistan war, Sant Singh led from the front again in “Operation Cactus Lily” in the eastern front and was given the MVC for the second time.

“Brigadier Sant Singh, MVC, while commanding a sector on the Eastern Front, achieved spectacular results with a mixed force, having one regular battalion, advancing 38 miles almost on foot, to secure Mymensingh and Madhopur in eight days.

“During the advance, in spite of very stiff opposition from the enemy, he cleared heavily defended positions at several places,” the citation for the second MVC read.

Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh, a former army captain himself, said on Wednesday that the country has lost a great soldier in the death of Sant Singh.

“It was for his exemplary courage, gallantry, valour and leadership that he got the Maha Vir Chakra twice, first in 1965 and then in 1971,” Amarinder said in a condolence message.

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