Subedar Joginder Singh, who was enrolled in 1st Battalion, Sikh Regiment in 1936, was commanding a platoon in the Tawang sector of the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) during the 1962 Indo-China War. Singh’s platoon was positioned at a ridge near Tongpen La.
The citation for his Param Vir Chakra summarises the happenings of 23 October 1963, when Subedar Singh displayed “devotion to duty, inspiring leadership and bravery of the highest order.”
The Chinese decided to try and break through to Towang by launching “a very heavy” attack on the Bumla axis early in the morning. The Indian platoon on the ridge was attacked in three waves, each about 200 strong.
The first enemy wave was “mowed down” by Subedar Joginder Singh and his men, temporarily halting their progress. A second Chinese attack came within minutes and was dealt with in a similar manner but the “platoon had, by then, lost half its men”.
Subedar Joginder Singh had received a thigh wound but he refused to be evacuated.The citation says, “Under his inspiring leadership, the platoon stubbornly held its ground would not withdraw.”
The Chinese launched a third attack on their position, prompting Subedar Singh to shoot a number of enemy troops using a light machine-gun (LMG). The casualties, however, did not deter the Chinese from advancing.
The citation notes, “When the situation became untenable Subedar Joginder Singh and the few men left in the position fixed bayonets and charged the advancing Chinese bayonetting a number of them before he and his comrades were overpowered.”
Singh was taken as a prisoner of war (PoW) by the Chinese. He later died in captivity due to the injuries he had sustained.