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The Legend Of Martyr Jaswant Singh Rawat Who Single-Handedly Killed 300 Chinese Soldiers

When the sun rose on 17th November 1962, it was a new day full of opportunities and newer possibilities for every person. The early winter morning didn't betray the hidden chain of events that were to unravel as the day progressed.

21-year-old Jaswant Singh Rawat, of the famed Garhwal Rifles Regiment, was deployed in the NEFA region on this fateful day along with his unit - 4 Garhwal Rifles. The Indo-China war in the northeastern region of Nuranang (present-day Arunachal Pradesh) was soon to face the fourth assault from the Chinese Army, the final one after its two previous attacks were neutralised by his battalion. An attack that would turn this young braveheart into a legend.

The Legend Of Martyr Jaswant Singh Rawat Who Single-Handedly Killed 300 Chinese Soldiers© YouTube

Born on 19th August 1941 to Guman Singh Rawat in Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, Jaswant joined the Indian Army on 19th August 1960, aged 19 years, as a Rifleman. On 17th November 1962, when the troops of Garhwal Rifles were ordered to retreat from the Battle of Nuranang, Jaswant refused to budge and desert his post.

It was the last phase of the war, which had otherwise fared poorly for the Indian Army, as the Indian troops began to fray from a shortage of manpower and ammunition. So when the Chinese attacked that morning from the Sela top, they did not expect to encounter the daredevilry and rare courage of a young Indian soldier to come in their way and destroy their bigger plans.

The Legend Of Martyr Jaswant Singh Rawat Who Single-Handedly Killed 300 Chinese Soldiers© YouTube

The attack, which started on the morning on 17th November, went on for the next seventy-two hours. At one point, when the Chinese came to close to his company with an MMG, Jaswant decided to make the ultimate sacrifice and went ahead to neutralise it with Lance Naik Trilok Singh Negi and Rifleman Gopal Singh Gusain. In the events that followed, Jaswant held on to his post alone, fired continuously from different bunkers, and ended up killing almost 300 Chinese soldiers single-handedly, before he was fatally injured by the Chinese.

This one selfless act turned the course of the entire battle and helped the Indian troops get an edge. The Indian Army was able to stop the Chinese progress into Arunachal Pradesh. It turned Jaswant into a legend and the locals have event erected a Buddhist temple at the spot.

The Legend Of Martyr Jaswant Singh Rawat Who Single-Handedly Killed 300 Chinese Soldiers© Wikipedia

Not just the locals, but even the Indian Army has kept Jaswant alive amongst them. According to an India Times report, a hut has been constructed on the spot where he was Martyred. The bed placed inside the hut is kept neat and tidy by the Army jawans posted there, while his shoes are regularly polished and letters sent to Jaswant are kept in the hut for Jaswant to read, and taken away the following day.

It is also believed that this fourth assault gave rise to the legend of Baba Jaswant Singh who guards the Indian borders in the East. The locals also give a different account of the of the events that unravelled that day.

They believe that when Jaswant's company fell back, he remained at his post. Then along with the help of two Monpa porter-girls, he set up weapons at different spots and kept firing at the Chinese troops in rotation, which created an illusion that the Chinese were facing the entire battalion instead of just one soldier.

The Legend Of Martyr Jaswant Singh Rawat Who Single-Handedly Killed 300 Chinese Soldiers© Rediff/Rajesh Karkera

It was only when the Chinese captured the man who supplied Jaswant with ration that they realised the actual situation. Following this revelation, one of the Monpa girls was killed in a grenade attack and the other was captured, while Jaswant killed himself by shooting a bullet to his head to prevent his own capture.

No matter which version of the story we wish to believe, there is no denying the show of ultimate courage and sacrifice by him when was faced with a possibility that could cost his country a part of it's being and identity.

Jaswant Singh Rawat, who was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (posthumously), deserves to be remembered as the hero that he is, by one and all.

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