Service No: IC-14655
Date of Birth: Aug 03, 1941
Place of Birth: Bathe Bhaini ,Punjab
Last Rank: Major
Unit: 18 Rajput
Arm/Regt: The Rajput Regiment
Award: Maha Vir Chakra
Date of Martyrdom : Sep 11, 1967
Major Harbhajan Singh was born on 3rd August 1941 at village Bhatte Bhaini in Patti tehsil of Tarn Taran District in Punjab. Before partition, it was a part of Lahore District, now in Pakistan. His father S. Assa Singh was a patriot and a freedom fighter who was deported from Shanghai (then a British Enclave) for active participation in Gadar Movement in late 1920’s.
After primary schooling at his village school, Major Harbhajan Singh completed his matriculation in March 1956 from DAV High School, Patti. In June 1956, he got himself enrolled as a boy soldier at Army recruiting office, Amritsar and joined Corps of Signals.
On 30th June 1963, he was granted regular commission as an officer and was posted to 14 Rajput. He took part in Indo-Pak war of 1965 as Adjutant of his Unit. Later he was posted to 18 Rajput unit of the Rajput Regiment.
Nathu La Operation: 11 Sep 1967
In 1967 the Indian Army decided to lay a wire fence along the Sikkim-Tibet border at Nathu La to avoid a clash between the Indian and Chinese troops. The task of laying the wire fence was entrusted to 70 fields Coy. Maj Harbhajan Singh was Commander of the ‘A’ Coy battalion at Nathu La. On 11 September 1967, the engineers commenced the construction of the wire obstacle on the North shoulder of Nathu La at 0540 hours.
The Chinese forces were opposed to the wire obstacle and consequently, a scuffle took place between the Indians and Chinese troops. The Chinese simultaneously opened fire from the front as well as from the flanks. The Rajput company and the engineers were caught in the open and at this Juncture, Major Harbhajan Singh shouted to his men to charge the attacking force. Major Harbhajan Singh himself bayoneted three Chinese soldiers and then moved forward to silence their light machine gun, which was firing on the Indian troops, by throwing a hand grenade. During this process, Maj Harbhajan got severally injured and was martyred.
For displaying conspicuous gallantry and determination, Major Harbhajan Singh was awarded “Maha Vir Chakra”.
Citation of the Maha Vir Chakra to him reads:-
At 0540 hours on 11 September 1967, Major Harbhajan Singh was commanding a company, which was detailed as a protection party for engineers who were constructing a wire obstacle at North Shoulder on Nathu La. When the wire was being laid, a scuffle took place with the Chinese. Suddenly the Chinese soldiers opened fire from the front as well as from both the flanks. Realising that his company and the engineers had been caught in the open, he shouted to his men to charge the attacking force. After bayoneting three Chinese soldiers, he moved forward and silenced their LMG, which was firing on the men in the open, by throwing a hand grenade. In doing so, he made the supreme sacrifice of his life. In this action, Major Harbhajan Singh displayed conspicuous gallantry and determination of a high order.
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