Birth Place: Ambala, Haryana
Service: Air Force
Last Rank: Corporal
Service Years: 2010 - 2016
Unit: Garud Squadron
Date of Martyrdom: Jan 3, 2016
Corporal Gursewak Singh was a commando in the Indian Air Force and belonged to the Garud commando force, a special force of the IAF. Corporal Singh hailed from Ambala, a cantonment town in Haryana. His father, Sucha Singh served briefly in the army and his elder brother, Hardeep Singh is also serving in the army. Inspired by Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Corporal Singh always wanted to serve his nation. He completed his BA at a well-known college in Bangalore and soon after that, attempted the IAF exam. He cleared it on his very first attempt and joined the Garud unit of the Indian Air Force in 2010. On 18th November 2015, less than two months before the horrific attack, he married Jaspreet from Haryana.
PATHANKOT ATTACK: 02 JAN 2016
On 2nd January 2016, the Pathankot Air Force Station of the Indian Air Force was attacked by a heavily armed group. They were disguised in Indian Army uniforms and hid in the elephant grass. Upon infiltrating the base, they advanced towards the area where the high-value asset vehicles were kept but were soon intercepted by the Indian security forces. In the ensuing 15-hour gun battle, 4 attackers and two security force troops from the Defence Security Corps were killed along with Corporal Singh of the elite IAF’s special Garud unit.
The following morning, on the 4th of January, an explosion killed Lt. Col. Niranjan of the National Security Guard (NSG) during combing operations, and two others were injured. Five National Investigation Agency officials reached the airbase. Combing operations were conducted and the army, NSG, IAF, paramilitary forces and Punjab Police were all involved. The operation went on until the 5th of January when the last attacker was reportedly neutralised. In the entire exchange, 7 security personnel, one civilian and 4-6 attackers were killed. The operation launched to eliminate this threat by the India Army was called ‘Operation Dhangu’.
Corporal Gursewak Singh was posted in Adampur in Punjab. Upon receiving news of the Pathankot attack, the Garud unit rushed to the airbase to counter the terrorists. The Garud Commando Force was tasked with the operation to kill the terrorists along with the National Security Guards in Pathankot. On 3rd January, the Indian Air Force dropped their commandos at various spots to mobilize and attack the terrorists from different points. While Corporal Gursewak Singh was getting down from the helicopter using a rope, he was shot by a terrorist in the neck. Undeterred, he continued to fight but succumbed to his injuries before medical help could arrive.
Corporal Singh displayed heroic bravery and he fought with grit and resolve. He put his motherland above his own safety and laid down his life without fearing death. For his fearlessness and patriotism, he will always be remembered and honoured by all countrymen.
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