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Many youngsters of Sepoy Gurtej Singh’s age are not worried about life. At 23, their focus is on studies, eating, playing and being pampered by parents and elder siblings. Some may surely be busy chasing the ‘dream girls’, their girl friends or their wannabes girl friends.

But Gurtej Singh of 3rd Punjab’s ‘Ghatak Platoon’ has played his innings full and final. The big responsibility of defending his country and in a hand to hand clash with Chinese troops in Gawlan he attained martyrdom, slashing 12 Chinese who outnumber him, to death and he, himself also laid his life. On June 15 when the fiercest of battle occurred on the India-Sino border in the picturesque Gawlan valley, a river of martyr’s blood have flown down the valley taking the message in entire country that patriots are dead but borders are safe.

Gurtej as he was referred as ‘Chota Bhaji’ (youngest of all) in the platoon, proved to be true son of tenth master Guru Gobind Singh whose four sahibzadas laid their lives, elder two: Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh in the war fighting the Mughals army in Chamkaur Di Garhi, and two younger Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh were bricked alive in Sirhind, when they refused to bow before the dictates of then Muslim rulers.

Many in Beeriwala Dogra the native village of Gurtej, are unemployed and most of them are preparing to migrate to a foreign land in the search of greener pastures. The dusty lanes of Beriwala wala will remember son of the soil who chose to be a soldier for a long time. For many years from now his tale of bravery will be narrated in foreign country to the next generations who will born to his friends and relatives who now are making efforts to migrate abroad. Sepoy Gurtej Singh chose to defend the country and now, he had reached home dead wrapped in the Tri-colour. His name will live forever.

His two older brothers are doing private jobs while his father does farming on two acres of land in the village. This village has five more yoind men posted on the China border. But this valiant story is attached to Gurtej name only and the treacherous terrains of Gawlan valley will remembers him for a long time to come.


As the fierce 3rd ‘Ghataks’ and the Sikh gunners of Medium Arty regiment rushed into the fight with very little time to plan and prepare on that Monday evening in the picturesque but blooded Galwan Valley , they were only carrying their customary kirpan and an assortments of sticks, rods and sharp knives.

Fellow fighters recall Gurtej being attacked by four Chinese soldiers. Gurtej wears boyish look, but strong willed, agile, a strong Sikh, pounced upon the enemy shouting platoon’s war cry his ‘Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal’, he swung round two enemies, and as two others tried to put him down, he dragged all four of them towards the cliff. A fellow soldier narrated the valiant episode full of courage and grit, as his chest swelled with pride.

“All four Chinese were flung to death but Gurtej himself lost balance and stuck in a boulder, but avoided free fall down the cliff. Badly injured, Gurtej rewrapped his turban and in an inhuman effort pulled himself back into the fight,” said a military source who was quoting fellow soldiers.

Gurtej severed some Chinese with his kirpan before he could snatch a sharp weapon from a Chinese soldier. “Not only that one but seven other Chinese soldiers died at the hands of Gurtej, and finally he was stabbed from behind. Even as he went down, he slashed his killer with his kirpan,” said a source in military.

Back home, for Gurtej’s father Virsa Singh’s, there is no sorrow of son’s loss, but the father of brave heart wants that his sacrifice should not go waste and China be taught a lesson for backstabbing India.

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