Major Shaitan Singh was the ninth receiver of the gallantry award the Param Vir Chakra that was honored to him for his eminent leadership in the battlefield and to show his utmost bravado till his last breath. He was born on December 1st 1924 at Jodhpur, Rajastan. His Father; Lt Col Hem Singh Bhati was also in the Indian Army. Thus Major Shaitan Singh also chose to follow his father and he joined the Indian Army. He joined the Indian Army in 1949 and continued to serve the country till 1962. His last battle that he fought for the country was the battle of Sino-Indian War of 1962. He was awarded with the Param Vir Chakra posthumously. After the death a statue of Major Shaitan Singh was erected in his native city, Jodhpur, Rajastan as a tribute to him and in his remembrance. He died on November 18th 1962.
Military Life and the War of Rezang La, Jammu & Kashmir
Major Shaitan Singh was commanding the ‘C’ Company of the Kumaon Battalion during the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The battalion had very crucially positioned at the Razang La, that was the pass on the southeastern advance into Chushul Valley in Ladakh with having the height of 5,000 meters in Jammu & Kashmir. There were three platoons which were positioned scattered in the surrounding area in order to defend it. It was the morning of Novemeber 18th 1962 when the Chinese intruders were supposedly about to attack the Rezang La. Since the weather was frigid along with light snow falling. It was when the Chinese began to advance through nullahs in order to attack the positions of No. 7 and No. 8 Indian platoons.
When the visibility improved a little at 5 am then the both of the platoon of Indian Army began to attack the Chinese with gun firing, mortar, light guns, grenades and rifles. The nulls were instantly getting filled with dead bodies. Those who were alive and still fighting found hiding space behind those dead bodies and the boulders. This first attack from the Chinese considered to be disappointing, but they were still not demoralized, they again began with intense artilleries and mortar firing at 5: 40 am. This time around, 350 Chinese troops were forwarded. No. 9 platoons now began to defend with all the possessed weapons and within a few minutes the Indian troops were able to trash a big number of Chinese enemies.
The enemies were still trying their best to attack and over take the positions of the Indian platoon and in the second time now they attacked from the back side of the positions. They were continuously attacking from the heavy and light machine guns on the No. 8 platoon. Meanwhile a group of 120 Chinese attackers attacked on the No. 7 Indian platoon, artilleries and mortar firing helped the Chinese to restrengthen themselves. But the India Army 3-inch mortar crushed many of the attackers. Still around twenty of the survivors among the attackers managed to advance at the post, this made the Kumaonis to confront them hand to hand in the battlefield. When the Kumaonis were busy in defending meanwhile the other Chinese group was able to encircle the platoon No.7. The Kumaonis platoon fought very bravely till the last round.
Major Shaitan Sigh was badly wounded by this time, but he refused to evacuate. Rather, he was himself running to the one post to another and was motivating his men of the troops to fight till death cease them. He very commendably led his troop and gave all the strength and courage to his men that was the deliberate need of that hour. He was severely injured by the Chinese MMG but how could dare to stop this lionhearted man from fulfilling his service and duty for the motherland! He was rescued by two of his comrades, but he felt that it was too dangerous for those two men to stay with him so he ordered them to leave him right there and to move away from that spot. Those men left him behind a boulder where Major Shaitan Singh took his last breath holding his gun in his hands till his last moment.
On November 21st the Chinese announced a one-sided truce. This war caused many casualties to the Chinese enemies while out of the 123 Kumaonis 109 men were killed. And out of the rest of the 14 survivors, 9 were badly wounded. Major Shaitan Singh was completely commendable in this war, he gallantly led his Battalion and even at the last time he did not endanger the life of his men rather decided to bear all that horrendous impact on his own. He was a true devotee of his duty and service that made him a true deserver of the Param Vir Chakra.