Balwinder Singh Bajwa

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Major does his village proud

PINDI (GURDASPUR), July 2 — Maj Balwinder Singh Bajwa has done this tiny village proud by sacrificing his life for the nation while fighting militants and anti-national elements in strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir.

Kulhama village of Thanjmarg district in the valley was attacked by heavily armed militants on June 22. Fierce fighting started between the separatists and jawans of 34 Rashtriya Rifles, led by ‘Rummy’ Bajwa, as the Major was known back home.

The terrain was difficult and Major Bajwa suffered serious injuries in a grenade attack by the other side. But he refused to lay down his arms or leave his comrades alone in the battlefield. He continued fighting, repulsing the attack, and forced the militants to flee. But before they fled, one of the bullets fired by them pierced through his head and proved to be fatal.

“We are proud of him. We don’t want anything in return,” said Mr Iqbal Singh Bajwa, father of Major Bajwa, while talking to TNS during the bhog ceremony of his son here today.

Without allowing his tears to roll down, Mr Bajwa said,” This is what he should have done. It was his duty and he performed it meticulously. I have no remorse for having sent my son to the armed forces. It is our tradition. It is our third generation which is serving armed forces, to which we are committed.” Mr Bajwa himself retired as a Divisional Commandant of the Punjab Home Guards. His father was a Havaldar in the Indian Army while his younger son, Parminder, is also a Major in the Army.

Born on December 9, 1962, Major Bajwa was inclined to join the armed forces right from his childhood and started preparations in that direction at an early stage. After doing his graduation from Government College, Gurdaspur, he joined the Indian Military Academy in January, 1985, and got commissioned into the 313 Field Regiment as Second Lieutenant. Immediately after joining, he proved his mettle at the world’s highest battlefield, the Siachen Glacier, after joining the 8 JAK Li Leading Company as Operation Officer and captured the famous Bana Post by launching an effective assault and was awarded with the Northern Army Commander Commendation Card.

Later, he played an important role while posted at Pinagala in Sikkim with the Artillery Brigade and later as Battery Commander with 210 Rocket Regiment. He got posted to the Rashtriya Rifles in Jammu and Kashmir and he was commanding a company in the Beerwah area in Budgan district as part of the Victor Force at the time of his death.

Major Bajwa is survived by his wife, Raminder Bajwa and two sons, Gaurav and Karan. Unable to bear to shock , Major Bajwa’s father-in-law is fighting for life in a Gurdaspur hospital.

Mr B. Vikram, the Deputy Commissioner, said the district administration had decided to erect a gate in memory of Major Bajwa. A road would also be named after him in his native village. He said it would be better if the construction of the gate was supervised by the village panchayat, which on its own is still undecided as to what to do to perpetuate the memory of the brave son of the soil.

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