Sepoy Jaswinder Singh

Sepoy Jaswinder Singh

8 Sikh Regiment
Last Adventure 
Mission: Injured, he crawled on, firing buying time for his patrol till

he was shot dead. 

For days Gurdial Kaur, 20, sat glued to the old black-and-white television set, watching images of the war, hoping for a glimpse of Sepoy Jaswinder Singh, her husband of four months. She never saw him. Instead, the brutal ways of war delivered him to her doorstep: in a plywood coffin. 

Numbed today in the dusty Punjab village of Munne, Kaur recalls his last words: "There is nothing to feel scared about. I have fought against such militants in Kashmir for three years." 

The youngest of three sons of Joginder Singh, a blind farmer, Jaswinder left home at 17 when the family's three-acre land holding became too small to sustain it. "He was tough and the army provided him the adventure he was looking for," says elder brother Sita Ram. 

Jaswinder's final adventure came on May 21. Part of an advance patrol to probe the strategic Tiger Hill, Jaswinder was shot in both thighs. He crawled along in the snow, firing until he was shot dead. 

His family is stoic. "Someone has to die to stop the enemy," whispers his father. "This is the only consolation," says Kaur, "that our tragedy can bring fortune to our country."

-Ramesh Vinayak 


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