As Uttarakhand observes the anniversary of Rawat's martyrdom, we go back to the time when he made the Chinese Army bite the dust in the Battle of Nuranang during the India-China war in 1962
Meet Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat. The Indian Army still believes he is guarding the nation's border at Arunachal Pradesh's Nuranang.
Born on August 19, 1941 in Bayunu village in Uttarakhand's Pauri Garhwal district, Rawat joined the 4th Garhwal Rifles in 1958.
As Uttarakhand observes the anniversary of Rawat's martyrdom, we go back to the time when he made the Chinese Army bite the dust in the Battle of Nuranang during the India-China war in 1962. He took charge of his post and did not allow the Chinese Army to step into Arunachal Pradesh. Rawat and the rest of the Indian soldiers disguised themselves as local monks and thwarted the Chinese infiltration bid.
Rawat tore into the Chinese MMGs and undertook almost a suicide mission. When he sensed he would be captured, as the Indians were losing ground and the Chinese took over the Nuranang post, he shot himself in the head, choosing to die a free man.
The assault launched by Rawat and his comrades accounted for 300 Chinese soldiers. His contribution during the India-China war has immortalised Rawat, as he is known as Baba Jaswant Singh Rawat among the Indian jawans.
The Indian Army retired Rawat 40 years after his martyrdom. His 4th Garhwal Rifles unit was honoured with the Battle Nuranang title. It is the only Army unit to have received an award for contribution in the 1962 war, which India lost.
There is still a belief in Nuranang that whenever a soldier guarding India's border is slack, Rawat's spirit would slap him into being mindful of his duties.
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Last Updated Nov 17, 2018, 6:15 PM IST