Service No: 4039009
Date of Birth: Aug 19,1941
Place of Birth:Pauri Garhwal, (UK)
Last Rank : Rifleman
Unit: 4 Garh Rif
Arm/Regt: The Garhwal Rifles
Award : MVC
Date of Martyrdom : 17 Nov 1962
Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat was born on 19 August 1941 to Shri Guman Singh Rawat, at village Baryun in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Rfn Jaswant Singh joined Indian Army on 19 Aug 1960 at the age of 19 years. He was recruited into 4 Garhwal Rifles of the famed Garhwal Rifles Regiment, known for its gallantry and many battle honours in various operations. During 1962 Indo-China war, Rfn Jaswant Singh’s unit was deployed in the NEFA region.
When the troops of Garhwal Rifles were given the command to return back from Battle of Nuranang, a 21-year-old Sepoy from the unit refused to leave the battleground. In a display of rare courage, he held the post and gave a tough time to the Chinese soldiers with his dare-devilry. Rfn Jaswant Singh was martyred in the battle, but fought courageously for three days, and almost to the last man.
It was the last phase of the war in November 1962, and the Army units facing the enemy were struggling with a shortage of manpower and ammunition. On 17 Nov Rfn Jaswant Singh’s battalion was subjected to repeated Chinese assaults. A Chinese medium machine gun (MMG) located at a vantage point close to the A company lines was proving to be a dangerous menace. Rfn Jaswant, Lance Naik Trilok Singh Negi, and RFN Gopal Singh Gusain decided to neutralize the threat and went after the Chinese MMG.
Rfn Jaswant Singh along with his comrades using their best field craft skills crawled towards the bunker housing the MMG. After approaching within 12 meters from the MMG, Rfn Jaswant threw grenades at the bunker, killing a number of Chinese soldiers and capturing the MMG. Rfn Jaswant Singh took the MMG and began crawling back towards the Indian lines but was fatally hit by Chinese automatic fire when nearing safety.
Rfn Jaswant Singh was martyred but his daredevil action silenced the MMG and a major threat was neutralized. This turned the course of the battle and eventually the Chinese retreated, suffering a loss of 300 soldiers. Rfn Jaswant Singh was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his exceptional bravery, unyielding fighting spirit, and supreme sacrifice. Rfn Jaswant Singh’s unit, 4 Garhwal Rifles was awarded the battle honour Nuranang, the only battle honour awarded to an Army unit in the Sino-Indian war of 1962.
The citation for the Maha Vir Chakra awarded to him reads:
On 17 November 1962, a battalion of Garhwal Rifles was occupying a defensive position near the Nuranang bridge in NEFA. Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat’s company was subjected to a series of attacks by the Chinese forces. The enemy managed to bring forward a medium machine gun very close to one of our platoons and weakened its defenses. Rifleman Jaswant Singh and two other men volunteered to go and destroy the enemy MMG position. They crawled forward and within 10 to 15 yards of the gun, Rifleman Jaswant Singh and the other riflemen hurled grenades on it, killing two Chinese and badly wounding the other. Rifleman Rawat then snatched the MMG and started to return to his position. The enemy opened automatic fire from close range. Rifleman Jaswant Singh was hit on the head and died on the spot, still holding the MMG in his hand.
The exceptional courage and initiative shown by Rifleman J.S. Rawat in the face of intense enemy fire were in the best traditions of our Army.
The post where Rfn Jaswant Singh fought his last battle is now named as Jaswant Garh. Among the local populace Rifleman, Jaswant is known as Baba Jaswant Singh Rawat. His personal belongings have been kept safe even today at Jaswant Garh. Five soldiers are specially assigned to take care of Rfn Jaswant Singh’s room. Though the room is empty, soldiers place the morning bed tea at 4.30 AM, prepare breakfast at 9 am and dinner at 7 pm. According to army sources, it is discovered that bedsheets of his room are found crumpled and his clothes lay scattered in the room.
The people of the army in the local units still believe that Rifleman Jashwant Singh Rawat still guards the post as a spirit and has been guiding Indian soldiers in dreams. He is the only soldier who has been promoted to the rank of Major general after his death. His salary is credited every month and most strange of all, he is even granted official leave on various occasions.
The Housing project of Jaswant Nagar in Dehra Dun has been named after rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat in his honour.
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