Param Vir Chakra (PVC ) Naib Subedar Bana Singh

Naib Subedar Bana Singh was honored with the Indian Military highest gallantry award; the Param Vir Chakra for his conspicuous courage and leadership in capturing the most strategic post on the Saltoro range near the Siachen glacier in Ladakh. He was born on 3rd January 1949 into a Punjabi Sikh family, at Kadyal in Jammu and Kashmir. His father was a farmer who had a dream that his son joins the Indian Army one day in future thus he used to motivate Bana Singh to join the same. This is how Bana Singh got inspired to serve the motherland by joining the Indian Army force.

Naib Subedar Bana Singh joined the Indian Army on 6 January 1969 into the Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry (JAK LI). He displayed an astonishing picture of a hero and a leader when during June 1987 a huge number of Pakistani intruders tried to invade over the Siachen area. A special task force was constructed in order to evacuate the intruders and fearless Bana Singh was volunteering this force. Naib Subedar Bana Singh is one of the three living recipients of the Param Vir Chakra. He had been considered as the Hero of the Siachen incident. In fact the peak he had captured was later on renamed as Bana Top; as an honor to him.

The Hero of Siachen

In June 1987 Naib Subedar Bana Singh was volunteering as one of the member of crew men who were especially joined together as the task force, for evicting the enemy intruders from the Siachen Glacier area at an altitude of 21,000 feet. The post situated over there, was actually an indestructible glacier fortress having ice walls that to 1500 feet higher. Clearing the intruders from such a position was immensely a crucial and tough task but fearless Subedar Bana Singh tremendously encouraged his crew men to move on that hazardous route and to accomplish the mission. While seeing the invincible spirit of Bana Singh, his crew men got highly moved and inspirited that they got ready to face any kind of adverse and horrendous condition that comes in their way. The crew men were crawling to get close to the enemy crew. Naib Subedar Bana Singh was a true leader for his crew, he was leading his men with utmost determination and dauntless, no frigid condition was able to stop his indomitable spirit. He was constantly motivating his crew to even face the death, since the route was dangerous and steep and considering the heights of Siachen also, but they had to reach the highest peak; “The Quaid”.

Our soldiers were persistently moving towards the target, they were climbing inch by inch at a 90 degree angle. Naik Subedar Bana Singh was unmindful of his personal safety or security, he could not even assert whether it was day or night, since the heavy snowfall had darkened and created illusionary weather. But Subedar Bana Singh was fearless, four of his men were following him closely on that dangerous trek, slowly and gradually they were reaching the heights of the icy walls and now the top of the peak was virtually closer.

Suddenly Bana Singh and his men felt to be little more cautious because they were quite closer to the target point now and from where the enemy could easily detect them. And that is what happened too, enemy threw fire on them that forcibly shoved them in the hostile area and they fell recklessly in the snowy graves. But sooner Bana Singh somehow tried to muster up his shattered strength and recalled the words of Guru Gobind Singh ji that were conveyed to him in an enlightened experience a night before ; “ I want to test you Bana”. Now Bana Singh regained his wrecked condition and he again led his crew men. The crew also felt elevated and recharged by seeing the high morale of Subedar Bana Singh.

On the top of the peak at the height of 21,000 feet, the Pakistani were quite carefree they were confident to be safe. They were infused with the nasty and critical remarking for Indian troops. When Naib Subedar and his follower men were reaching the height of the jingoistic banter, suddenly a grenade was dropped over them. And before they could resettle themselves, the grenade exploded and everything became numb for a moment. But Subedar Bana Singh was determined, thus he moved fast. He stood up and unmindful of his security he singlehandedly led the attack on the remaining Pakistanis outside the bunker. Then began a hand to hand fight with the enemies during which some were crushed and some fell down or slipped from the icy walls.

And ultimately on June 26, 1987, Indian Army hosted the flag of its victory by capturing the post with the support of the great soldiers; Rifleman Chunni Lal, Laxman Das, Om Raj and Kashmir Chand under the great leadership of; Fearless Bana Singh. The post earlier used to known as the “Quaid” now got renamed as the “Bana Post”. It was because of the invincible leadership and bravery of Naib Subedar Bana Singh that the “Quaid” post could be captured finally otherwise the whole of the Saltoro range would have become an easy target of the Pakistani. Capture of the “Quaid” post was a huge success for the Indian Army and the Nation.

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