Swarnim Vijay Varsh: 1971 PoW, Veer Chakra recipient gets 'Vijay Mashaal'

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New Delhi, Feb 4 (PTI) A former officer of the Indian Army who fought the 1971 war against Pakistan as a company commander with 14 Grenadiers and was injured and captured by the adversary during a battle in Jammu and Kashmir was on Thursday honoured with a symbolic torch for his valour in that war.

Army officials said Brig (retd) Hamir Singh, a Veer Chakra recipient, was given the 'Vijay Mashal' -- a symbolic torch -- at a ceremony held in Jaipur as part of India's ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ celebrations to mark golden jubilee of the victory against Pakistan in the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

'Brig (retd) Hamir Singh is a third-generation army officer. Commissioned in the Grenadiers Regiment in December 1962, he fought the 1971 War as a Company Commander with 14 Grenadiers,' a senior official said.

During the furious battle at Daruchhian in Jammu and Kashmir, he was severely wounded and captured as a Prisoner of War (PoW), the Indian Army said in a statement.

'He spent a year as a PoW and was later repatriated to India. For his bravery during the attack on Daruchhian, he was awarded the Vir Chakra,' it said.

Brig Hamir Singh belongs to an illustrious family which has rendered military services. He belongs to Bhagwanpura village in Nagaur district, Rajasthan. His brother Col Pushpendra Singh commanded 8 Cavalry, officials said.

During his service, he had been an instructor in the Nigerian Defence Academy, commanded an infantry battalion and an infantry brigade. He had aslo been the Centre Commandant of the Grenadiers Regimental Centre. He retired in September 1992, the Army said.

Brig Singh's gandfather, Lt Phool Singh was an officer in the Jodhpur Lancers and saw action in the First World War, it said.

Brig Hamir Singh's father, Maj Gen Kalyan Singh, was an artillery officer commissioned in 2nd Field Regiment. During the Second World War, as a captain he was captured by the Germans in North Africa along with then Maj P P Kumarmangalam.

Brig Singh's both sons are serving as major generals in the Indian Army. Having commanded their respective divisions, they are now serving on staff. His grandson is a Gentlemen Cadet undergoing training, the statement said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 16 last year had lit the 'Swarnim Vijay Mashaal' from the eternal flame of the National War Memorial here, marking the beginning of the 50th anniversary year celebrations of India's victory over Pakistan in 1971.

As December 16 marks the anniversary of the military victory, the nation will celebrate 'Swarnim Vijay Varsh' (golden victory year) through several events across the country, and it will continue for a year. PTI KND AQS AQS