Captain Devinder Singh Ahlawat
Captain Devinder Singh was born on 4th July, 1947 at village Gochhi, Jhajjar district, Haryana. Gochhi village, 22 km from Rohtak, is famous for producing a very large number of officers for the Indian Army. He was the son of Lt Colonel Subha Chand, coming from a Jat family having a long history of serving in the Army. In the 1971 India-Pakistan war, he sacrificed his life for his country at the young age of 24 and was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) posthumously. He was married and left behind a son and three daughters.
He had his school education in various schools, as his father got transferred from one place to another. As a student he was serious, thoughtful and almost taciturn. After studying in the Government College, Rohtak for one year, he joined the National Defense Academy (NDA). On December 15th, 1967 he was commissioned as Second Lieutenant and assigned to 10 Dogra Battalion. He graduated from the Panjab University in 1970. He acquired a reputation for alacrity, self confidence, skill and energy while posted as Adjutant of his battalion.
1971 India-Pakistan War
Captain Devinder Singh Ahlawat was leading a company of 10 Dogra on the night of 5th and 6th December, 1971, involved in the attack for the capture of Dera Baba Nanak bridgehead. His battalion had been allotted the task of capturing the east end of the bridge. The enemy defenses consisted of a series of concrete embankments having anti-tank guns and both light and heavy automatic weapons. His company came under intense fire from a concrete pill box. With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Ahlawat charged the pill box, grabbed the red hot machine gun barrel with his right hand and threw a grenade inside. This silenced the machine gun and helped in maintaining the momentum of the attack. While the objective was over-run, Captain Devinder Singh Ahlawat lost his life in this action. His body was found with six bullet wounds, still clutching the machine gun barrel.
In this operation Captain Ahlawat lost his life, while displaying conspicuous gallantry, outstanding leadership and determination in the best traditions of the Indian Army. On 5th December, 1971, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC), for his admirable gallantry and leadership qualities.
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