According to Maj Gen (Retd) Ajay Das, “He was born February 15, 1942, and on December 16, 1967, he was commissioned into the 6th Battalion, of The Sikh Regiment.”
On Sunday, May 23, 2021, India lost `71 war hero Colonel Panjab Singh to COVID related complications at the age of 79. He was the hero of the Battle of Poonch during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, and was the recipient of the third highest war time gallantry award — the Vir Chakra. According to officials, he was cremated with full military honours, as per the stringent pandemic protocols on Monday.
According to Maj Gen (Retd) Ajay Das, “He was born February 15, 1942, and on December 16, 1967, he was commissioned into the 6th Battalion, of The Sikh Regiment.” “He went on to have the honour of commanding the prestigious Battalion from Oct 12, 1986 to Jul 29, 1990.
Lt Gen DP Pandey, who is the current commander of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, is the son in law of late Col Panjab Singh.
Tributes by former ADGPI Maj Gen (Retd) Ajay Das
Col Panjab Singh, VrC, was my ex Commanding Officer.
He went on to have the honour of commanding the prestigious Battalion from 12 Oct 1986 to 29 Jul 1990.
In 1971 war, during Operation Cactus Lilly, 6 SIKH occupied 13 KMs frontage on the heights above Poonch covering two strategic points, the loss of which would have directly threatened Poonch. Col Panjab Singh, VrC (Retd) then a Major, was commanding a company deployed at Tund which had been actually limited to a platoon with the company headquarter. Enemy attacked the position with more than a Battalion on 03 December 1971, supported by artillery and mortar fire. The next 72 hours were classical defensive battle fought by the fierce soldiers of 6 SIKH under the inspiring command of Col (then Major) Panjab Singh.
The enemy came as close as few meters to the defenses. Col Panjab with complete disregard for his safety, moved from trench to trench and ensured that each weapon under his command engaged the assaulting force till the attacking force retreated leaving behind their dead and weapons. The enemy attacked the position nine times over two nights which were similarly foiled. For this brave act he was awarded the prestigious VrC on Dec 24, 1971.
“Post retirement Col Panjab Singh was the Director of Sainik Welfare, Himachal Pradesh and he dedicated himself to look after the welfare of veteran’s fraternity. He was also the Vice President, Indian Ex Service League, and Himachal Pradesh of Southern Area. A popular gentleman, as a veteran he continued to inspire a generation of young officers who were lucky to interact with him. He leaves behind a proud legacy of a brave soldier and a gentleman.”
“Col Panjab Singh, VrC (Retd) passed away at the age of 79 at Command Hospital, Chandimandir. Recently Col Panjab Singh, VrC (Retd) who had successfully recovered from COVID, suffered from post-COVID medical complications and left for heavenly abode on Sunday (May 23, 2021).
Unfortunately, on May 21, 2021, his elder son Anil Kumar had also succumbed to COVID. He is survived by his wife Mrs Vidya Devi, their daughter Mrs Usha, son Ajay Kumar, son in law Lt Gen DP Pandey, daughters in law Mrs Smriti, Mrs Suman and grandchildren.”