Captain Bana Singh with students at Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh.

The Hush Post, Chandigarh:
War veterans, including Captain Bana Singh Param Viir Chakra, on Friday shared their inspiring experiences of the battlefield with students to motivate them to join the Indian Army. More than 1000 students from Mohali, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Rupnagar participated in the ‘Children’s Samvad’ during the Military Literature Festival. Interacting with the students at the ‘Saragarhi Samvad’ venue, the veterans spoke about the challenges faced during their service tenure, besides discussing the role of military literature in motivating youngsters.

The students freely intermingled with Captain Bana Singh, who got the highest gallantry award Param Vir Chakra in recognition of his exemplary courage and bravery, and heard his stories of courage at the Siachen glacier.

Captain Bana Singh told the students about the arduous duty performed by him and several other soldiers in harsh weather conditions at Siachen glacier. Sharing his experience, the Param Vir Chakra awardee revealed how the enemy was defeated by the brave Indian soldiers, who upheld the lofty traditions of the armed forces by hoisting the national flag at the glacier post. Captain Bana Singh informed the students that till now 21 brave soldiers of the armed forces had been honoured with the coveted gallantry award of Paramveer Chakra. Of these, 14 soldiers were bestowed the award posthumously while seven were presented to war survivors, of whom only three were alive.

Lieutenant Colonel Harbant Singh Kahlon Veer Chakra, Subedar Dhian Singh Seva Medal, Squadron Leader PPS Gill Veer Chakra, NK Hazaari Lal Gurjar Sewa Medal and other eminent officers of the Indian army also shared their vast experience in armed forces.

Bana’s contribution

In 1987, the strategically important Siachen glacier had been infiltrated by the Pakistani forces. The Pakistanis had captured an important position, which they called Quaid post. The post was located at a height of 6500 metres on the highest peak in the Siachen Glacier area. Pakistan army could snipe at Indian positions since the height gave a clear view of the entire Saltoro range and Siachen glacier. On 18 April 1987, the Pakistanis from Quaid Post fired on the Indian troops at Point Sonam (6,400 m), killing two soldiers. The Indian Army then decided to evict the Pakistanis from the Post. Naib Subedar Bana Singh was posted in Siachen on 20 April 1987, as part of the 8th JAK LI regiment. On 29 May, a JAK LI patrol led by second lieutenant Rajiv Pande made an unsuccessful attempt of capturing the post, resulting in deaths of 10 Indian soldiers. After a month of preparation, the Indian Army launched a fresh operation to capture the post. The five-member team led by Nb Sub Bana Singh successfully captured the Quaid post on 26 June 1987 by first climbing the steep glacier and then lobbing a grenade at Pakistanis. The peak was later named Bana top in honour of Bana Singh.

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