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1971 war hero, Brigadier NS Sandhu no more

Sandhu was awarded India’s second-highest wartime gallantry award after the unit he was commanding captured a key bridge in Pakistani territory, aborting the neighbouring army’s attempts to mount an offensive into Punjab.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2018 22:53 IST
NS Sandhu,Brigadier,1971 war hero
NS Sandhu was credited with scripting the splendid victory at Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab, a setback for the Pakistani army. (File photo)

Brigadier NS Sandhu (retd), who was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, died of cancer in Chandigarh on Friday, family members said. He was 87.

Sandhu was awarded India’s second-highest wartime gallantry award after the unit (10 Dogra) he was commanding captured a key bridge in Pakistani territory, aborting the neighbouring army’s attempts to mount an offensive into Punjab.

Sandhu was credited with scripting the splendid victory at Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab, a setback for the Pakistani army, senior officials said. Captain DS Ahlawat, one of the officer’s under Sandhu’s command, was awarded the MVC posthumously.

Sandhu was commissioned into 3rd Cavalry in 1953 and took premature retirement in 1986.

The legendary soldier was also Mentioned in Dispatches for gallantry in the Battle of Asal Uttar in Punjab during the 1965 Indo-Pak war. In that battle, a lone cavalry unit destroyed several M-47 Patton tanks of a Pakistani armoured division.

Sandhu’s son-in-law Lieutenant General Alok Singh Kler is the commander of a strike corps headquartered in Ambala.

First Published: Mar 30, 2018 22:52 IST