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SAVIOURS OF KASHMIR: BRIGADIER RAJINDER SINGH


Amongst the numerous gallant stories of Indian Army there is a story of Brigadier Rajinder Singh who is popularly known as Saviour of Kashmir. During the war of October 1947, the first war of independent India, Kashmir saw a time like no other. 


The history is remembered by tales sung of the martyrs. In the state of Jammu and Kashmir, we have thousands of stories which unfolded with time. Amongst the numerous gallant stories of Indian Army there is a story of Brigadier Rajinder Singh who is popularly known as Saviour of Kashmir. During the war of October 1947, the first war of independent India, Kashmir saw a time like no other. Offensive forces of Pakistan along with their local tribes men known as Kabayalis attacked the beautiful state.


In this war, Brigadier Rajinder Singh has displayed his valour and courage to the exceptional order that it has become a story of inspiration for all generations. The indomitable spirit with which he and his troops fought with the Pakistan Army and Kabayalis will be remembered forever. Brigadier Rajinder Singh was born on 14th June 1899 in Bagoona village (now re-named as Rajinderpura) of Samba district. After graduation from the Prince of Wales College in 1921, he was commissioned in the J&K State Force in June 1921. He became Brigadier in May 1942, commanded Jammu Brigade, Kashmir Brigade and took over as Chief of Staff J&K State Force from Maj Gen HL Scot on Sep 24, 1947.


After the attack of Pakistan Army and Kabayalis in Oct 1947, Brigadier Singh was asked to collect as many men and officers from the Badamibagh cantonment and proceed immediately towards Uri. He could collect only about 110 men with their obsolete weapons. With no proper transport facility available he and his men used private transport buses and trucks and left Srinagar. The rain, slippery roads and old vehicles slowed their movement but the spirit to safeguard the motherland could not create any hurdles to the movement of the troops and finally the troops reached Uri at 2 am on October 23, 1947. He used Guerrilla tactics to delay the advance of Kabayalis and Pakistan Army by blowing up Uri Bridge, the only motorable bridge which stopped the advance of the Kabayalis providing Indian Army the time to land in Srinagar.

Being outnumbered with only 110 troops, he and his men fought tenaciously with 6000 Pakistanis holding on to their positions. Fighting till last breath of his life he made the supreme sacrifice of his life on 26 October 1947 heroically leaving a tale of inspiration and example of valour for the generations to come.

For his act of gallant of exceptional order in Kashmir, Brig Rajinder Singh was posthumously awarded India's first Maha Vir Chakra the second highest military honour on 30 December 1949.

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