Sagat Singh

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Sagat Singh

Born(1919-07-14)14 July 1919 [1]
Bikaner, Rajasthan, British India
Died26 September 2001(2001-09-26) (aged 82)
New Delhi, India
AllegianceFlag of India.svg  India
Service/branchFlag of Indian Army.svg  Indian Army
Rank Lieutenant General of the Indian Army.svg Lieutenant General
Unit 3 Gorkha Rifles
Commands held
Lt Gen A A K Niazi signing the Pakistani Instrument of Surrender under the gaze of Lt Gen J S Aurora. Standing immediately behind (L-R) Vice Admiral Krishnan, Air Marshal Dewan, Lt. Gen Sagat Singh and Maj Gen JFR Jacob. 1971 Instrument of Surrender.jpg
Lt Gen A A K Niazi signing the Pakistani Instrument of Surrender under the gaze of Lt Gen J S Aurora. Standing immediately behind (L-R) Vice Admiral Krishnan, Air Marshal Dewan, Lt. Gen Sagat Singh and Maj Gen JFR Jacob.

Lieutenant General Sagat Singh, PVSM (14 July 1918 – 26 September 2001) [3] [1] was a three-star General in the Indian Army notable for his participation in invasion of Goa and later in Bangladesh. He held many prestigious command and staff appointments throughout his military career.

An officer of three-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-8. The term is also used by some armed forces which are not NATO members. Typically, three-star officers hold the rank of vice admiral, lieutenant general, or in the case of those air forces with a separate rank structure, air marshal.

Indian Army land based branch of the Indian Armed Forces

The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of Indian Armed Forces The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Army, and it is commanded by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who is a four-star general. Two officers have been conferred with the rank of field marshal, a five-star rank, which is a ceremonial position of great honour. The Indian Army originated from the armies of the East India Company, which eventually became the British Indian Army, and the armies of the princely states, which finally became the national army after independence. The units and regiments of the Indian Army have diverse histories and have participated in a number of battles and campaigns across the world, earning a large number of battle and theatre honours before and after Independence.

Goa State in India

Goa is a state considered to be part of western as well as southern India, within the coastal region known as the Konkan, separated from the Deccan highlands of the state of Karnataka by the Western Ghats. It is bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its western coast. It is India's smallest state by area and the fourth-smallest by population. Goa has the highest GDP per capita among all Indian states, two and a half times that of the country. It was ranked the best-placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.


Early life

Sagat Singh was born in the village of Kusumdesar (Moda) in Churu district of Rajasthan on 14 July 1919 to Brijlal Singh Rathore of Kusumdesar and Jadao Kanwar of Hadla. The oldest of three brothers and six sisters, he completed his schooling from Walter Nobles High School at Bikaner in 1936. He joined Doongar College at Bikaner but was enrolled as a Naik in Bikaner Ganga Risala after his intermediate exam in 1938. Later, he was promoted to Jamadar (Nd Subedar) and commissioned as 2/Lt in Bikaner Ganga Risala which was sent to Sindh in 1941 to deal with Hoor rebellion. Later it was sent to Jubair in Iraq and Ahwaz in Iran during the war. He was selected for the 12th War Staff course at Quetta from May to November 1945. [4]

Churu district District of Rajasthan in India

Churu district is a district of the Indian state of Rajasthan in northern India. The town of Churu is the administrative headquarters of the district.

Rajasthan State in India

Rajasthan is a state in northern India. The state covers an area of 342,239 square kilometres (132,139 sq mi) or 10.4 percent of the total geographical area of India. It is the largest Indian state by area and the seventh largest by population. Rajasthan is located on the northwestern side of India, where it comprises most of the wide and inhospitable Thar Desert and shares a border with the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west, along the Sutlej-Indus river valley. Elsewhere it is bordered by five other Indian states: Punjab to the north; Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the northeast; Madhya Pradesh to the southeast; and Gujarat to the southwest.

Bikaner City in Rajasthan, India

Bikaner is a city in the northwest of the state of Rajasthan, India. It is located 330 kilometres (205 mi) northwest of the state capital, Jaipur. Bikaner city is the administrative headquarters of Bikaner District and Bikaner division.

Military career

On amalgamation of the State Forces in 1950, he joined Third Gorkha Rifles. He commanded the Second and Third Battalions of the Third Gorkha Rifles. In September 1961, He was promoted to the rank of brigadier and posted as the brigade commander of India’s only parachute brigade, the 50th Parachute Brigade. The parachute brigade led by him played a prominent part in liberation of Goa, and his men were the first to enter Panjim on 19 December 1961.

Brigadier is a military rank, the seniority of which depends on the country. In some countries, it is a senior rank above colonel, equivalent to a brigadier general, typically commanding a brigade of several thousand soldiers. In other countries, it is a non-commissioned rank.

50th Parachute Brigade (India)

The 50th Parachute Brigade is a brigade-sized formation of the Indian Army, first formed in 1941. The brigade was initially raised as part of the Indian Army during World War II. It was formed in October 1941, during the Second World War, as an independent parachute brigade. Later it was one of two parachute brigades in the 44th Indian Airborne Division. Its main force is formed of battalions of the Parachute Regiment, which became the Parachute Regiment (India) after Indian independence in 1947.

As a Major General, he commanded a mountain division and later a communication zone, where he played a pivotal role in taking counter-insurgency operations in Mizoram. For his distinguished services, the general officer was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal . In December 1970, he took over the command of HQ IV Corps as a lieutenant general. The corps made the famous advance to Dacca over the River Meghna during Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. He witnessed in Dacca the signing of the surrender instrument by General Niazi.

Mizoram State in North-east India

Mizoram is a state in northeastern India, with Aizawl as its capital city. The name is derived from "Mizo", the name of the native inhabitants, and "Ram", which means land, and thus Mizoram means "land of the Mizos". Within the northeast region, it is the southernmost landlocked state, sharing borders with three of the Seven Sister States, namely Tripura, Assam and Manipur. The state also shares a 722 kilometre border with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Param Vishisht Seva Medal

Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) is a military award of India. It was constituted in 1960 and since then till date, it is awarded in recognition to peace-time service of the most exceptional order and may be awarded posthumously. All ranks of the Indian Armed Forces including Territorial Army, Auxiliary and Reserve Forces, Nursing officers and other members of the Nursing services and other lawfully constituted Armed Forces are eligible for the award.

The IV Corps is a military field formation of the Indian Army, created in 1961.

For his leadership and command for the race to Dacca, the Government of India honored Lt. Gen. Sagat Singh with the third highest civilian award of Padma Bhushan. [5] Lt. Gen. Sagat Singh is the only other Corps commander besides Lt. Gen. (later Gen. and COAS) T N Raina and Lt. Gen. Sartaj Singh to be so awarded in 1971.

Government of India Legislative, executive and judiciary powers of India

The Government of India, often abbreviated as GoI, is the union government created by the constitution of India as the legislative, executive and judicial authority of the union of 29 states and seven union territories of a constitutionally democratic republic. It is located in New Delhi, the capital of India.

The Padma Bhushan is the third-highest civilian award in the Republic of India, preceded by the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan and followed by the Padma Shri. Instituted on 2 January 1954, the award is given for "distinguished service of a high order...without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex." The award criteria include "service in any field including service rendered by Government servants" including doctors and scientists, but exclude those working with the public sector undertakings. As of 2019, the award has been bestowed on 1254 individuals, including twenty-one posthumous and ninety-six non-citizen recipients.

Chief of the Army Staff (India) Commander and usually the highest-ranking officer of the Indian Army.

The Chief of the Army Staff is the commander and usually the highest-ranking officer of the Indian Army. The position is abbreviated as COAS in Indian Army, and usually held by a four-star officer in the rank of General.

Lt. Gen. Sagat Singh died at the Army Hospital Research & Referral, New Delhi on 26 September 2001. [6]

New Delhi Capital city and District in Delhi, India

New Delhi is an urban district of Delhi which serves as the capital of India and seat of all three branches of the Government of India.

Personal life

He married Kamla Kumari on 27 January 1947; Kamla was daughter of the Chief Justice of J&K, Richhpal Singh. They had four sons, two of whom joined the army. Their eldest son, Ran Vijay, was born in February 1949. He was commissioned into 1 Garhwal, which was later mechanised, and re-designated as 6 MECH. He retired a Colonel. The second son, Dig Vijay, was born in October 1950, and was commissioned into 2/3 Gorkha Rifles, the battalion his father had commanded. Unfortunately, he died an untimely death while serving with the battalion in Poonch as a Captain on 4 March 1976, when the jeep in which he was travelling met with an accident. Their third son, Vir Vijay was born in August 1954. A ill-fated scooter accident in Delhi claimed his life just eight months before that of his elder brother. The loss of two sons in the prime of their lives within a short span of eight months was a terrible loss to Sagat and his wife. Their youngest son Chandra Vijay was born in April 1956. He did not join the Army and became a business executive. [7]

See also

Further reading

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  1. 1 2 3 "Biography - Lieut. General Sagat Singh, PVSM".
  2. "'If there's B'desh, it's due to Lt Gen Sagat'" . Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Remembering Sagat Singh (1918-2001" . Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  4. "Biography - Lieut. General Sagat Singh, PVSM". Veekay's History Book. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  5. "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  6. "Bullet that played with fate of 1971 war - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  7. "Biography - Lieut. General Sagat Singh, PVSM".