Sagat Singh

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Lieutenant General
Sagat Singh
Born(1919-07-14)14 July 1919 [1]
Bikaner, Rajasthan, British India
Died 26 September 2001(2001-09-26) (aged 82)
New Delhi, India
Allegiance  India
Service/branch  Indian Army
Rank 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.

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 liberation of Goa and later in Bangladesh. He held many prestigious command and staff appointments throughout his military career.


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]

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.

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.

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.

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

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


  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".