Naik Shatrughan Singh
returned from jaws of death
Cantt (Haryana), June 17 (Agency) - Hit
by a hail of enemy bullets, Lance Naik Shatrughan
Singh crawled 10 eerie nights with the
maggot-infested wound in his right leg surviving on
a handful of boiled rice and snow before being
rescued and shifted to a medical facility.
like a second life for me. I cannot forget that May
afternoon when my group led by Major Sarvanan was
scaling a rocky terrain in batalik sub-sector to
capture a post on a dominating ridge occupied by the
infiltrators,” Singh, convalescing at the Command
Hospital here, recalls keeping aside a bunch of
letters that are his only link with his loved ones
while he awaits reunion with them.
Singh, who was admitted with his leave certificate,
warrant and Rs 35,000 intact in his pocket, says
“I was to proceed on leave a day before we were
deployed. C.O saab (the commanding officer) asked me
if I would not like to serve the cause for which I
had joined the Army. There were no second thoughts
after that”. “When I was shot at, I felt I would
never make it. I asked my colleague to make sure the
money reached my family and it should not fall in
Pakistani hands,” he says with his eyes moist.
refused to take the money and leave him there. It is
a different story that his friend could not make it
back. Singh who lay tight, pretending to be dead
after being hit, later found himself as the lone
survivor of his group. Elucidating his experience,
Singh says, “we came under heavy fire from a group
of infiltrators ensconced in bunkers 200 yards over
us at 1pm. Pramod who was ahead of me was the first
to be hit. Major Sarvanan asked me to ignore the
casualty and continue assault. That was the last I
heard from the officer.
was shot at thrice in the head. Minutes later a
bullet pierced my right leg. It was not painful,
perhaps because it was so cold at 17,000 feet. But
it numbed me and I couldn’t move,” he says.
The Lance Naik
was mistaken to be dead both by the infiltrators and
the Army authorities who even informed his family of
motionless for seven hours to avoid being noticed as
minutes crawled by like hours. Finally the guns fell
silent and I began dragging myself slowly and
painfully after tying my wounded foot with shoelaces
to the other for support,” the infantryman says.