SRINAGAR: Lt Gen DP Pandey, the Commander of Srinagar based 15 Corps lost his father-in-law, Col Panjab Singh to Covid19, reports in the media said. A resident of Himachal Pradesh, he died at the Command Hospital in Chandimandir (Haryana) due to post-COVID complications. He was 79.
This was the second death in the family. Earlier, on May 21, Col Singh’s elder son, Anil Kumar also died of Covid19.
Col Singh was a decorated army officer who is credited for defending Poonch during the 1971 war. He was then a Major rank officer. “In the 1971 war, during Operation Cactus Lilly, the 6th Sikh occupied 13 km of front on the heights above Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir covering two strategic points, the loss of which would have directly threatened Poonch. Col. Singh, then a Major, was commanding a company deployed at Tund which had been actually limited to a platoon with the company headquarters,” an Army statement said.
“The enemy attacked the position with more than a battalion on December 3, 1971, supported by artillery and mortar fire and came as close as few meters to the defences,” the Army statement added. “Col. Singh with complete disregard for his safety, moved from trench to trench and ensured that all weapons under his command engaged the assaulting force till the attacking force retreated leaving behind their dead and weapons.”
The statement said the enemy attacked the position nine times over two nights, which were similarly foiled. This led Col Singh to get the third highest wartime gallantry award, the Vir Chakra, on December 24, 1971. Col Singh is survived by his wife Vidya Devi, daughter Usha, and son Ajay Kumar.