Captain Chander Narain Singh hailed from Ram Nagar village in Dharamshala tehsil of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh. He was born on 2nd July 1939 in the military family of Captain Balwan Singh who served in JK state forces and hailed from Thalora Mandi in Samba district of J&K. Later the family shifted to Dharamshala after partition. As a son of a soldier, Capt Chander Narain Singh followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the army at the age of 21 years on 11 June 1961. He was commissioned into the Garhwal Rifles regiment, an infantry regiment well known for its gallant soldiers.
Poonch Sector: 05 Aug 1965
During Aug 1965, Capt Chander Narain Singh’s unit was deployed in the Poonch sector in J & K and was engaged in an intense fight with the enemy forces to capture and hold on to the strategically important ground features. On 5th August 1965, his unit got information that some Pakistani soldiers had infiltrated in the Poonch area and were seen around the location of the Brigade Headquarters.
On getting his orders, Capt Chander dispatched his patrol team immediately in the evening at 18.30 hours to carry out a search operation. Around at 19.30 hours, an encounter with the Pakistani infiltrators commenced wherein Pakistanis started firing using the heavy & light machine guns, mortars, and grenades from a higher position. However, Capt Chander ordered his patrol to take their positions and fire back at enemies. He instructed his soldiers to keep firing and keep the enemy pinned down while he himself crawled towards one of the flanks to engage the enemy perched at advantageous position. In this process, Capt Chander silenced one of the machine guns firing from the hilltop. But, the onslaught of fire continued on them. In order to neutralize the threat, he prepared a plan to launch an attack in night as the enemy position was too strong to conquer during the daytime.
The Citation for Mahavir Chakra awarded to him reads :
On 5th August 1965, Captain C N Singh was detailed to search for five Pakistani soldiers who were reported to have been in Poonch area in the vicinity of a brigade HO. While so doing, the patrol party encountered heavy Pakistani light machine gun, mortar and grenade fire from a higher position and one of our other ranks were killed in this action. Undeterred by heavy enemy fire Capt. Singh took a flanking position and silenced the enemy light machine guns. Gauging the numerical enemy superiority, he took the bold decision to launch a night attack. In complete disregard for his personal safety, he led the charge with a handful of men to within 50 yards of the enemy position, in the face of heavy grenade bursts and mortar fire. He pressed home the second charge but was killed by a light machine gun burst within 10 yards of the enemy post.
In this action, six enemy soldiers were killed, many more wounded, and the enemy left behind considerable quantities of arms, ammunition, and equipment. Throughout this operation, Captain CN Singh displayed conspicuous bravery and sacrifice in the best traditions of the Indian Army.
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