Jodhpur/New Delhi: Bhairon Singh Rathore, a BSF veteran of the 1971 India-Pakistan war whose bravery at Rajasthan’s Longewala post was portrayed by actor Suniel Shetty in the Hindi movie Border, died in Jodhpur Monday.
He was 81.
“The braveheart took his last breath at AIIMS, Jodhpur, today,” the Border Security Force (BSF) said in a Tweet.
Rathore’s son Sawai Singh told PTI Saturday that his father was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Jodhpur December 14, two days before the 51st anniversary of the war, after his health deteriorated and his limbs got affected in what seemed like a paralysis.
“Doctors told us that my father has possibly suffered a brain stroke. He has been in and out of ICU over the last few days,” Singh said. The Singh family lived in Solankiatala village, about 120 km from Jodhpur.
Rathore was deployed at the Longewala post in the Thar desert, commanding a small BSF unit that was accompanied by a company of the Army’s 23 Punjab regiment. It was the bravery of these men that decimated an assaulting Pakistani brigade and tank regiment at this location December 5, 1971.
He received the Sena Medal in 1972 for his gallant action. Posted with the 14th BSF battalion during the war, Bhairon Singh Rathore retired from service in 1987.
According to BSF records about the 1971 war at Longewala post, “When one of the 23 Punjab boys was killed, Lance Naik Bhairon Singh took his light machine gun and inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing enemy.”
“It was only their courage and determination to do or die that won the day and Lance Naik Bhairon Singh became a great inspiration to his other comrades on the post,” the official records state.
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