Defense

71 War decorated Army Veteran, falls to Covid

The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, May 25
Col Panjab Singh, VrC (Retd) passed away at the age of 79 at Command Hospital, Chandi mandir. Recently Col Panjab Singh, VrC (Retd) had successfully recovered from COVID but due to some medical complications post COVID, left for heavenly abode yesterday. Born on 15 Feb 1942, he was commissioned into 6thBatallion, The SIKH Regiment on16 Dec 1967. He went on to have the honour of commanding the prestigious Battalion from 12 Oct 1986 to 29 Jul 1990. In 1971 war, during Operation Cactus Lilly, 6 SIKH occupied 13 KMs frontage on the heights above Poonch covering two strategic points, the loss of which would have directly threatened Poonch. Col Panjab Singh, VrC (Retd) then a Major, was commanding a company deployed at Tund which had been actually limited to a platoon with the company headquarter. Enemy attacked the position with more than a Battalion on 03 December 1971, supported by artillery and mortar fire. The next 72hours were classical defensive battle fought by the fierce soldiers of 6 SIKH under the inspiring command of Col (then Major) Panjab Singh. The enemy came as close as few meters to the defenses. Col Panjab with complete disregard for his safety, moved from trench to trench and ensured that all weapons under his command engaged the assaulting force till the attacking force retreated leaving behind their dead and weapons. The enemy attacked the position nine times over two nights which were similarly foiled. For this brave act he was awarded the prestigious VrC on 24 Dec 1971. Postretirement Col Panjab Singh was the Director of Sainik Welfare, Himachal Pradesh and he dedicated himself to look after the welfare of veteran’s fraternity. He was also the Vice President, Indian Ex Service League, Himachal Pradesh of Southern Area. A popular gentleman, as a veteran he continued to inspire a generation of young officers who were lucky to interact with him. He leaves behind a proud legacy of a brave soldier and a gentleman. Unfortunately, on 21 May 2021, his elder son Anil Kumar had also succumbed to the COVID Pandemic. He is survived by his wife Vidya Devi, their daughter MUsha, son Ajay Kumar, son in law Lt Gen DP Pandey, daughters in law Smriti, Suman and grandchildren.    

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