A brief biography of "Tiger of Tiger Hill" - Lt. Balwan Singh
- Lt. Balwan Singh is a decorated hero of the Kargil war, 1999
- He bravely led his team and captured Tiger Hill from enemies
- He was awarded 'Maha Vir Chakra' by President K.R. NArayan in 1999
Lieutenant Balwan Singh Panghal was born on 17 October,1973 in Sasrauli, Rohtak district in Haryana. He was inspired to join the army by his father, Shobha Chand, who was a decorated veteran of the 2nd Jat Battalion. He joined the OTA, Chennai in March, 1999 and received a short-service commission in the 18 Grenadiers, with the service number SS-37691.
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He had completed just four months of service when the Kargil War broke out in 1999. On 27 May 1999, the Indian Armed Forces launched Operation Vijay to push back the Pakistani Army from Indian soil. The critical aim of the operation was to capture Tiger Hill, (also called Point 5062), a peak at a height of 16,500 feet in the Drass-Kargil area of Ladakh. The task to capture the target was given to Lt. Balwan Singh. He bravely vowed "Tiger Hill pe Tiranga lahrake ayenge, chahe kuchh bhi ho jaye."
He led his team with great determination. They used cliff assault mountaineering equipment to reach the top with stealth. The enemy reacted in panic with intense automatic fire causing serious injury to the officer and his team. He refused to be evacuated and unmindful of his injury and grave condition, moved swiftly to encircle the intruders and himself killed 4 enemies. His adversaries had no choice but to flee from the fury of accurate fire of the Ghataks.
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The officer’s unparalleled courage under enemy fire and determination led to capturing Tiger Hill, the most important objective of Operation VIJAY. He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his bravery, by President K. R. Narayan on Independence Day 1999.
Ever Since, 26 July is celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas. The Prime Minister of India pays homage to the soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate every year. Functions are also organized all over the country to commemorate the contributions of the Indian Armed Forces.