Service No : EC-55355
Date of Birth : June 1, 1942
Place of birth : Delhi
Service : Army
Last Rank : Captain
Unit : 2 Grenadiers
Arm/Regt : The Grenadiers
Awards : Vir Chakra
Martyrdom : September 11, 1967
Captain Prithvi Singh Dagar hailed from Malikpur village of the Najafgarh tehsil in Delhi and was born on 01 June 1942. Son of Shri Chaudhary Keval Singh Dagar and Smt Dadka Devi, he completed his High School from High School at Ujwa, and later went to the well-known Ramjas College, Delhi. Right from his younger days, he always wished to don the Army uniform and continued to follow his passion. Following his dream, he eventually got selected to join the Army and passed out of IMA Dehradun on 02 Feb 1964 at the age of 21 years. He was commissioned into the 2 Grenadiers Battalion of the Grenadiers, an infantry Regiment known for its gallant soldiers and a string of battle exploits.
Nathu La Operation : 11 Sep 1967
Nathu La pass was located on the watershed serving as a natural boundary and connected Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. This pass was of utmost importance to the Indian Army as it provided a tactical advantage of observation and fire. After 1962 war, trade through this route was closed. India on August 20, 1967, started fencing its border with three layers of barbed wire, which did not go down well with the Chinese forces. On August 23, 1967, Chinese soldiers marched towards the Nathu La, carrying rifles fitted with bayonets and stopped at the border. About after an hour, the Chinese troops withdrew. However, they returned again and continued with their protests. On Sept 5, 1967, India started upgrading barbed wire fence to a concertina coil. During this, the Chinese political officer landed in an argument with India's Commanding Officer of the local infantry battalion, Lt Col Rai Singh, after which the work was halted.
On September 7, 1967, the work was resumed which provoked the Chinese Army. About 100 Chinese soldiers scuffled with the Indian soldiers but were beaten down by the Indian Army. The fencing was to be completed by September 11, 1967. As the army engineers were engaged in the construction of the fencing, 2 Grenadiers battalion along with 18 Rajput battalion was detailed as a protection party for engineers, who were constructing a wire obstacle at Nathu La. Capt Prithvi Singh Dagar from 2 Grenadiers was detailed as the Officer in charge of a party ordered to strengthen the wire-laying party opposite the South Shoulder at Nathu La. However as the wire was being laid, a scuffle erupted with the Chinese soldiers. The Chinese soldiers opened fire from the front as well as from both the flanks. In this firing, Capt Dagar was hit by a rifle bullet in the right hand.
Despite being injured, and in the face of MMG fire from the attacking force, Capt Dagar with the rifle of a dead comrade, killed two Chinese soldiers. But the Chinese MMG could not be silenced and was causing great damage to Indian positions and soldiers. Sensing the gravity of the situation, Capt Dagar contemplated that something had to be done at any cost to silence the enemy MMG. Then in a rare show of courage, Capt Dagar leaped forward and assaulted the MMG position. However, during this process, Capt Prithvi Singh Dagar and many other soldiers got severely injured. Capt Prithvi Singh soon succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Capt Prithvi Singh Dagar was a valiant soldier and gritty officer, who led from the front and laid down his life at the age of 25 years in the service of the nation.
Capt Prithvi Singh Dagar was given the Vir Chakra (posthumously) on April 16, 1969, for his exceptional courage, leadership and supreme sacrifice.
Citation for the "Vir Chakra" awarded to him reads:-
At about 0530 hours on 11 September 1967, Capt Prithvi Singh Dagar was detailed as the Officer in charge of a party ordered to strengthen the wire laying party opposite the South Shoulder at Nathu La. Soon after work was started the Chinese engaged in the scuffle with his party, but undaunted he continued his work. The Chinese soldiers opened fire and he was hit by a rifle bullet in the right hand. Despite his wounds and in the face of MMG fire from the attacking force, he with the rifle of a dead comrade, killed two Chinese soldiers. Despite all efforts, the Chinese MMG could not be silenced. Finding no other alternative but to make a direct assault, he leaped forward and assaulted the MMG position and in this action, he laid down his life.
In this action, Captain Dagar displayed exemplary courage and leadership of a high order.