Major Hoshiar Singh was one of the four recipients of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC) for the 1971 Indo-Pak War. He received the honour for his gallantry in Punjab’s Shakargarh sector.
A battalion of the Grenadiers was given the task of establishing a bridgehead across Basantar river in Punjab on 15 December 1971. Major Hoshiar Singh was ordered to capture Jarpal, a heavily-fortified area where the Pakistanis were present in large numbers.
The citation for the PVC awarded to Major Hoshiar Singh describes his bravery in detail. Major Singh and his men came under heavy shelling and medium machine gun (MMG) fire during their assault.
He refused to be cowed down. The company he was leading captured Jarpalafter after fierce hand-to-hand fights to clear the enemy bunkers.The Pakistanis launched three counter-attacks the next day, two of which were supported by tanks.
“Major Hoshiar Singh unmindful of the heavy shelling and tank fire went from trench to trench, motivating his command and encouraging his men to stand fast and fight,” says the citation.The company he was commanding repulsed all the attacks and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.
Leading By Example
But the Pakistanis did not give up and attacked again on 17 December 1971, supported by heavy artillery fire. “Though seriously wounded by enemy shelling, Major Hoshiar Singh again went from trench to trench moving about in the open with utter disregard to his personal safety when an enemy shell landed near the medium machine gun post injuring the crew and rendering it inoperative,” says the citation. Major Singh rushed to the machine-gun pit and began firing at the enemy, inflicting heavy casualties.
“The attack was successfully repulsed and the enemy retreated leaving behind 85 dead including their Commanding Officer and three other officers. Though seriously wounded, Major Hoshiar Singh refused to be evacuated till the ceasefire,” reads the citation.