Honorary Captain Bana Singh has said weather adversaries shouldn’t make us pull out of Siachen.(Wikimedia comm)
Honorary Captain Bana Singh has said weather adversaries shouldn’t make us pull out of Siachen.(Wikimedia comm)

Don’t pull out troops from Siachen, says 1987 hero Bana Singh

Honorary Captain Bana Singh, a Param Vir Chakra winner for his exemplary courage and resilience in capturing a strategic Pakistani post at Siachen, advised on Thursday that India shouldn’t withdraw its troops from the glacier’s unforgiving icy heights.
By Tarun Upadhyay | Hindustan Times, Jammu
UPDATED ON FEB 12, 2016 01:48 AM IST

Honorary Captain Bana Singh, a Param Vir Chakra winner for his exemplary courage and resilience in capturing a strategic Pakistani post at Siachen, advised on Thursday that India shouldn’t withdraw its troops from the glacier’s unforgiving icy heights.

He faced formidable military challenges on the planet’s highest battlefield as a member of a handpicked assault team assigned to capture Pakistan’s Quaid post — named after Muhammad Ali Jinnah and renamed after Singh since its capture in June 1987.

“It’s tough to survive there but the moral and strength of an Indian soldier keeps him going. Weather Adversities shouldn’t make us think of ever pulling out of Siachen,” he told Hindustan Times over the phone.

He was reacting to a debate over troop withdrawal after the death of 10 soldiers in an avalanche at the 19,600-foot Sonam post last week, an incident that turned the spotlight back on the hardship faced by the men defending the glacier, aware of death lurking at every step.

The buzz grew after 33-year-old Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who survived six days buried under 25 feet of snow, died at an army hospital in New Delhi on Thursday.

But Singh believe Siachen should be protected at any cost, underscoring his own epic battle nearly three decades ago against an enemy perched above with a clear view of Indian troop movement at 16,000 feet and a merciless adversary called weather.

His task was to seize the highest post on the Siachen glacier at 21,000 feet, where the average summer temperature is minus 45 degrees Celsius while the wind howls at 125kmph.

The heroic mission that earned him the highest wartime gallantry award finds mention in Pakistani defence reviews too, calling it “bravery beyond comparison”.

Singh was handpicked by Major Varinder Singh to lead a team to Quaid post. The operation was planned a month in advance with two officers, three junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and 57 men from various ranks comprising the team. Helicopters made 400 sorties to place men and material somewhere between Komar and Sonam posts.

The operation began on June 22 with a plan for the final assault on June 30. “But a soldier died because of bad weather and there were murmurs if we should carry on with the operation.”

But Major Varinder Singh, Captain Anil Sharma and the JCOs decided to go ahead.

“On June 23 we started at 8am and managed to track only 150 metres till 4 the next morning. Our Major asked the party to return,” Singh said.

But Colonel AP Rai overruled the retreat with a stern: “If we don’t get the post, none of the men will come back.”

The team then followed a trek that a patrol had followed despite 90-degree gradients.

“Subedar Harnam Singh was first sent for the attack. There was heavy firing from the Pakistanis; he was wounded and we suffered casualties. Next, Subedar Sansar Chand was sent with a party. But we lost contact with him soon. It was then that I was sent with two soldiers,” Singh recalled.

“We stayed put in the open for the whole day in extreme conditions. The two soldiers feel ill and we came under enemy fire. The next day, reinforcement came in the form of five soldiers but with a clear message … attack.”

He led the final assault and overran the post on June 26. About six Pakistani soldiers were holed up in a bunker. Singh and his men killed them all.

The soldiers opened the bunkers and used a Pakistani stove to make some rice. “It was the first meal we had in three days.”

The next day, Brigadier Chandan Singh Nogyal arrived and congratulated the heroes. “At such heights there had never been a fight in the past and probably there will be none in the future. This will be henceforth called Bana Singh post,” Singh said, quoting his senior officer.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Police clarified that the material found was not an assembled explosive device.(ANI Photo)
Police clarified that the material found was not an assembled explosive device.(ANI Photo)

Car with explosives found near Mukesh Ambani’s residence

By Vijay Kumar Yadav, Manish Pathak
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 04:01 AM IST
Police said the vehicle — a green Scorpio with a wrong number plate had around 20 Gelatin sticks in it — was about 600 metres away from the house of Reliance Industries Limited chairman Mukesh Ambani on Altamount Road.
Close
Karbi Anglong: Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses the 'Unity, Peace and Development Rally' at Dengaon in Karbi Anglong, Thursday, Feb 25, 2021. (PTI Photo) (PTI02_25_2021_000183B)(PTI)
Karbi Anglong: Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses the 'Unity, Peace and Development Rally' at Dengaon in Karbi Anglong, Thursday, Feb 25, 2021. (PTI Photo) (PTI02_25_2021_000183B)(PTI)

BJP has stopped entry of illegal immigrants, says Amit Shah in Assam

By Utpal Parashar, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 03:46 AM IST
“There was a time when Assam was known for agitations and violence. The biggest contribution of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre is to establish peace in Assam, ensure development, give corruption-free administration, rid the state of agitations and put the brakes on the entry of illegal immigrants,” Shah said at a rally in Batadrava Than
Close
Around 40,000 trade associations have extended their support to the call for the bandh.(Ravindra Joshi/HT file photo)
Around 40,000 trade associations have extended their support to the call for the bandh.(Ravindra Joshi/HT file photo)

Farm unions, traders to join Bharat Bandh today

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 03:21 AM IST
Issuing a statement, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) — the umbrella body which has called for the strike — said that all commercial markets across the country will remain closed on February 26 against rising fuel prices, the new e-way bill and the goods and services tax (GST).
Close
Altogether, HT is aware of five NIC domain addresses – four with @gov.in suffixes and the fifth an @nic.in one – that have been used to launch cyber attacks.(File photo. Representative image)
Altogether, HT is aware of five NIC domain addresses – four with @gov.in suffixes and the fifth an @nic.in one – that have been used to launch cyber attacks.(File photo. Representative image)

Officials targeted in new phishing bid via govt IDs

By Anisha Dutta, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 01:30 AM IST
The attack, which took place on Monday, prompted the government’s IT departments to send out an alert the following day to large groups of officials, according to emails seen by HT.
Close
Tandav is facing at least 10 FIRs for hurting religious sentiments, intending to disturb caste and communal amity – charges punishable under Sections 153A and 295 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) with a maximum jail term of three years.(MINT_PRINT)
Tandav is facing at least 10 FIRs for hurting religious sentiments, intending to disturb caste and communal amity – charges punishable under Sections 153A and 295 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) with a maximum jail term of three years.(MINT_PRINT)

Tandav controversy: Amazon Prime executive’s bail plea rejected by Allahabad HC

By JItendra Sarin, Prayagraj
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 12:57 AM IST
A single-judge bench of justice Siddharth rejected the application of Amazon Prime Video’s Aparna Purohit in connection with the ongoing investigation against Tandav for allegedly outraging religious feelings and showing Hindu gods in poor light.
Close
The deceased are yet to be identified after a blast in a a firecracker factory in Tamil Nadu killed five people. (Getty Images).
The deceased are yet to be identified after a blast in a a firecracker factory in Tamil Nadu killed five people. (Getty Images).

5 dead, 19 injured in blast at firecracker factory near Tamil Nadu's Sivakasi

PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 12:18 AM IST
  • Fire engines and rescue teams were pressed into service and the injured are being treated at the Sivakasi government hospital.
Close
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa despite the threat to his own chair, has taken it upon himself to bring the BJP back to power with an absolute majority in the 2023 assembly elections. (FILE PHOTO).
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa despite the threat to his own chair, has taken it upon himself to bring the BJP back to power with an absolute majority in the 2023 assembly elections. (FILE PHOTO).

CM Yediyurappa, the recalcitrant conformist, turns 78

By Sharan Poovanna
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 12:57 AM IST
  • A Bengaluru-based political analyst said that Yediyurappa's supporters may want to go in for low-key birthday celebrations even though detractors may post as many ads as possible to remind everyone of his age.
Close
Whale sharks are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act and are ‘endangered’ species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature. (HT PHOTO).
Whale sharks are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act and are ‘endangered’ species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature. (HT PHOTO).

Huge whale shark washes up on Odisha coast; locals push it back into the sea

By Debabrata Mohanty
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:42 PM IST
  • Officials said some local youths spotted the big fish lying lifeless on the Sonapur coast on Thursday afternoon.
Close
The depth of the earthquake was 30-km, the NCS said.(File photo. Representative image)
The depth of the earthquake was 30-km, the NCS said.(File photo. Representative image)

Earthquake of 3.6 magnitude jolts Assam's Guwahati

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | PTI
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 12:07 AM IST
The earthquake took place at 10.33 pm and the epicentre was in Kamrup district near Guwahati, the National Center for Seismology said.
Close
The highest maximum day temperature in February in the last 10 years was recorded on February 20, 2016 when the mercury climbed to 40.9 degree Celsius. (HT FILE PHOTO).
The highest maximum day temperature in February in the last 10 years was recorded on February 20, 2016 when the mercury climbed to 40.9 degree Celsius. (HT FILE PHOTO).

Bhubaneswar records maximum day temperature pan-India for 2nd consecutive day

By Debabrata Mohanty
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 10:56 PM IST
  • Officials in Bhubaneswar's Regional Meteorological Centre said the maximum temperature of 38 degrees Celsius in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday too was highest on that day.
Close
World's highest railway bridge over Chenab river in Reasi district will provide all-weather connectivity.(ANI File Photo)
World's highest railway bridge over Chenab river in Reasi district will provide all-weather connectivity.(ANI File Photo)

'Infrastructural marvel' Chenab bridge completes important milestone

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 10:47 PM IST
The length of the Chenab bridge will be 1,315 metres with 17 spans, of which the span of the main arch across Chenab river will be 467 metres. The viaduct portion comprises a straight and curved portion.
Close
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addresses a press conference through video conferencing.(ANI)
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addresses a press conference through video conferencing.(ANI)

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan urges people to avoid travelling to Maharashtra

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 10:36 PM IST
  • In MP, the positivity rate increased to 2.3% on Thursday and there are 2,435 active cases in the state.
Close
Indian children wearing face masks as a precaution against Covid-19. (AP)
Indian children wearing face masks as a precaution against Covid-19. (AP)

'375 mn Indian children may suffer due to Covid-19 pandemic': CSE report

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:00 PM IST
  • CSE’s director general Sunita Narian said Covid-19 had made the world’s poor poorer.
Close
Baba Ramdev releases the scientific research papers on the Patanali medicine for COVID-19, during a press conference in New Delhi,(PTI/ File photo)
Baba Ramdev releases the scientific research papers on the Patanali medicine for COVID-19, during a press conference in New Delhi,(PTI/ File photo)

Coronil row: Patanjali condemns IMA for seeking explanation from Health min

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 10:27 PM IST
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday demanded an explanation from Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan for promoting Patanjali's Coronil Ayurvedic medicine.
Close
External affairs minister S Jaishankar. (HT archive)(HT_PRINT)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar. (HT archive)(HT_PRINT)

Jaishankar talks to Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, reviews disengagement on LAC

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 10:04 PM IST
  • This was the first formal contact between Jaishankar and Wang since they met on the margins of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Moscow on September 10 last year, and it came days after India and China pulled back frontline troops from strategic heights around Pangong Lake.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP