Major Shaitan Singh Bhati Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More

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Wife: Shagun Kanwar
Death Date: 18/11/1962
Age: 37 Years

Major Shaitan Singh

Names earnedSaviour of Ladakh [1]Medium
ProfessionArmy Personnel
Famous forThe Battle of Rezang La
Military Service
Service/BranchIndian Army
Service Years 31 July 1949 - 18 November 1962 (till his death)
Unit13th Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment
Service Number IC-6400
CommandMajor Shaitan Singh was the Company Commander of the Charlie Company of 13 Kumaon
Career Ranks Second Lieutenant (1 August 1949)
Captain (25 November 1955)
Major (11 June 1962)
Awards, Honours, Achievements • Param Vir Chakra (Posthumous)
Shagun Kanwar, wife of Major Shaitan Singh receiving PVC on behalf of her husband

• A shipping tanker was named as MT Major Shaitan Singh PVC

• The native village of the martyred soldier has been named after him
Railway board of Shaitan Singh's native place named after him

• Indian of the year lifetime achievement award by CNN-IBN

• Army Postal Service Corps released a postal cover in his honour
Postal Stamp of Major Shaitan Singh
Personal Life
Date of Birth1 December 1924 (Monday)
Age (at the time of death) 37 Years
BirthplaceJodhpur, Rajasthan, British India
Zodiac signSagittarius
SchoolChopasni Senior Secondary School
College/UniversityJaswant College
CasteRajput [2]Stories of Heroism: PVC & MVC Winners by BC Chakravorty
AddressVPO Shaitan Singh Nagar, Tehsil Phalodi, Jodhpur, Rajasthan - 342301, India
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Wife/SpouseShagun Kanwar (died at the age of 86)
Army performing the last rites of Shagun Kanwar, wife of Major Shaitan Singh
ChildrenHe had a son named Narpat Singh Bhati.
Major Shaitan Singh's son Narpat Singh Bhati
ParentsFather- Lieutenant Colonel Hem Singh Bhati, OBE
Father of Shaitan Singh (left)

Mother- Mother's name not known

Major Shaitan Singh Bhati, PVC

Some Lesser Known Facts About Major Shaitan Singh

  • Major Shaitan Singh Bhati is a recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, which is India’s highest gallantry award. He was given this award posthumously for his role in the Battle of Rezang La, which was fought against the invading Chinese forces in 1962. Major Shaitan Singh Bhati is also referred to as the Hero of Rezang La.
  • Major Bhati was born in Jodhpur into a family, that has a rich history of military service.
  • Major Shaitan Singh Bhati’s father, Lieutenant Colonel Hem Singh Bhati, was also an officer in the British Indian Army and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his meritorious service during World War 1.
  • He was an excellent football player and was also the Captian of his school’s football team.

  • After completing his education, he enrolled in the Jodhpur State military as an officer cadet in 1947. [3]Bravest of the Brave (Heroes of the Indian Army) by Kittu Reddy
  • He also attended a military officer’s training course at Officers’ Training School at Poona, Maharashtra, from where he passed out in 1949. [4]Rajput Military History & Military Personalities
  • As an officer in the Jodhpur state military, he was a part of the Durga Horse, which is the present-day Indian Army’s 61st Cavalry.

    A young Second Lieutenant Shaitan Singh Bhati

    A young Second Lieutenant Shaitan Singh Bhati

  • After India attained freedom from British rule, Jodhpur became a part of free India. Major Shaitan Singh Bhati was then transferred from the Jodhpur State military to the Indian Army’s 13th Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment.
  • Major Shaitan Singh Bhati gained rich military operational experience in the army as he participated in the 1961 Liberation of Goa operations against the Portuguese and was also actively involved in the counter-insurgency operations in the state of Nagaland.
  • Shaitan Singh Bhati was promoted to the rank of Major just a few months prior to the beginning of the war.
  • Major Shaitan Singh Bhati and his unit of 13 Kumaon were stationed along the India-Pakistan border when the Chinese invasion of Aksai Chin began. [5]Bravest of the Brave: Heroes of the Indian Army by Kittu Reddy
  • Major Shaitan Singh decided to ignore the orders to retreat, and rather decided to stand his ground along with the 124 men of the company which he commanded.
  • Major Shaitan Singh and his men from Charlie Company are said to have killed more than 1300 of the enemy soldiers.
  • Major Bhati and his men were ordered by the army to retreat from Rezang La, but all of them refused to retreat and defied direct orders.
  • Major Bhati as the Company Commander decided not to retreat and leave his post, but he gave his men which were under his command, an equal opportunity to decide whether they wanted to leave or whether they wanted to stay and fight to the end.
  • During the entire course of the Battle of Rezang La, 114 men out of 120 men in his company died while fighting the enemy.
  • His company had absolutely zero support from the headquarters and were completely cut off from the rest of the Battalion.
  • When the Charlie Company ran out of ammunition; they fought the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. [6]The Print
  • Major Shaitan Singh was injured in the right hand and lower abdomen when he was moving from one position to another.
  • Ignoring all of his injuries, Major Shaitan Singh Bhati continued fighting the enemy in the bitter cold of November.
  • Major Bhati asked one of his men, Sepoy Ramchander (later retired as an Honorary Captain), to go back to safer lines and tell the world their story, that how a company of 120 men fought against the waves of Chinese assaults till their last breath.
  • While being evacuated due to the injuries he had received, the Chinese opened heavy artillery and machine-gun firing upon him, as a result of which he ordered his men to leave him to his fate and find some cover.
  • Major Shaitan Singh Bhati died because of bleeding caused by the gunshot wounds he had received during the battle of Rezang La.
  • Major Shaitan Singh Bhati handed over his pistol to Ramchander and asked him to deposit it to the quartermaster of the battalion as he did not wanted the Chinese to capture his pistol. [7]Firstpost
  • Major Shaitan Singh Bahti’s soldiers did not wanted the Chinese to find and capture his dead body, so they decided to hide his body near a big boulder and covered it with ice.

  • Major Shaitan Singh Bhati’s body was discovered three months after the Battle of Rezang La, with his weapon still in his hands and his watch on his wrist.
  • Major Bhati used to jokingly say to his men, as his watch had a mechanism that worked only on the pulse of the wearer.

    I will only die when this watch stops ticking.”

  • Nobody believed Captain Ramchander when he told the headquarters that they had killed roughly about 1300 enemy soldiers during the Battle of Rezang La. [8]The Indian Express
  • It was only after the bodies of the 114 dead troops were found, well preserved by mother nature at Rezang La, that the truth was of the battle of Rezang La was finally unearthed.
  • After the bodies of 114 brave soldiers who had died in the battle of Rezang La were found, they were cremated at the battlefield itself, whereas the body of Major Shaitan Singh was flown back to his ancestral village in Rajasthan.

    Last rites of the soldiers of the Charlie Company of 13 Kumaon Regiment being conducted at the battlefield of Rezang La

    Last rites of the soldiers of the Charlie Company of 13 Kumaon Regiment being conducted with full military honours at the battlefield of Rezang La in 1963

  • Battle honour of Rezang La and Theatre Honour Ladakh (1962) was presented to 13 Kumaon; owing to the bravery of Major Shaitan Singh Bhati and his 120 men of Charlie Company.
  • Apart from the fact that Major Bhati and his men did not want to cede the Indian land to the Chinese, it is believed that they wanted to save a small village, just a few kilometres away from their post, from the advancing Chinese forces. [9]The Hindu
  • The Chinese forces had to face a lot of casualties during the Battle of Rezang La, which made them believe that now the Indian Army was better positioned and would repulse any further invasion attempts of the Chinese Army, as a result of which, two days later, they declared a ceasefire on 21 November 1962 from their side.
  • After the Battle of Rezang La, the entire Charlie Company of the 13th Kumaon had to be raised once again. The government of India decided to rename this company as the Rezang La company to honour the brave men of Charlie Company who fought and died during the Battle of Rezang La. [10]ADGPI- Indian Army Official Facebook Post
  • The place where the battle of Rezang La was fought is also called as the ‘Ahir Dham’ by the Indian Army, in honour of the 114 Ahirs of the Kumaon Regiment who had fought and were martyred in the battle of Rezang La alongside their company commander Major Shaitan Singh Bhati, PVC.

    Ahir Dham which was constructed by the army at the site of the Battle of Rezang La