Major Basdev Singh Mankotia, MVC, Indian Army

Major Basdev Singh Mankotia, MVC

During the Indo-Pak war in December 1971, Major Basdev Singh Mankotia commanded the outpost of Ranian Screen that guarded the approach to Amritsar.

On 3rd December, Pakistan launched the first of its attempts to capture Ranian. Supported by heavy artillery fire, the Pakistanies advanced rapidly. When they were nearly 50 meters away, the shrewd Major directed the full force of his mortar and artillery fire on the enemy, who taken by surprise, beat a hasty retreat.

The second attack was also repulsed. Even as they advanced a third time, the major led a fierce counter-attack to repulse them, but sustained severe injuries. Refusing evacuation he persisted till the enemy had been driven back.

Over the next few nights, the Indians were subjected to Pakistani artillery and air attacks, but the Major stood firm, foiling all these attempts to capture Ranian.

For his heroic defence of Ranian, Major Basdev Singh Mankotia was awarded the Mahavir Chakra.