Though Uttarakhand is famous for its natural beauty & spiritual places, but the holy soil of Devbhoomi has given birth to many legends who served in defence forces for the security of entire India. Many of them have achieved great height by receiving the prestigious Param Veer Chakra and Ashok Chakra.
Surendra Singh Panwar
Surendra Panwar was born on 19 oct 1919 in Dehradun and attended Colonel Brown Cambridge School as a child. He pursued post-secondary studies at Allahabad University. Surendra Panwar entered the Indian Military Academy and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Regiment of Indian Artillery on 3 May 1942. He went on to serve with the Dagger Division (19th Infantry Division) in Burma during World War II and in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. In 1949, he entered the British Long Gunnery Staff Course at the School of Anti-aircraft Artillery in Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, Wales. A graduate of the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, his service continued in the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. In between the wars, Brigadier Panwar created the Air Defence Brigade for New Delhi in 1964. In 1968-1969 he represented India, serving as chairman of the International Control Commission in Vietnam. At the end of his tenure, he served as Sub-Area commander for Lucknow from 1969–1971, and Ambala from 1971-1972. Among his many appointments, he was Chief Instructor at the School of Artillery in Deolali and the Deputy Director of Artillery at Army Headquarters. He retired as a Brigadier in 1973. Surendra Panwar took his last breathe on 29 April 2002 in his home city of Dehradun.
Gabbar Singh Negi
Gabar Singh Negi was born at Manjood village near Chamba, Tehri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand India. He joined The Garhwal Rifles in October 1913. On 10 March 1915, during the First World War, he was 21 years old and a Rifleman in the 2/39th Garhwal Rifles, Indian Army, when he performed the deeds at Neuve Chapelle, France which led to his being awarded the Victoria Cross. The Gabar Singh Negi Fair held annually in his memory in Chamba. In 1971, the Garhwal Rifles adopted the Fair, to give it a much-needed boost. A memorial was constructed; and with the inclusion of army traditions in the ceremonies, the Fair started attracting villagers from far and near to pay their homage to this brave soldier. Every year, on 20 or 21 April (depending on the Hindu calendar), the area around the Negi Memorial in Chamba comes alive with many kiosks being set up. This is the only fair of its kind in the state. The other feature of the fair is the recruitment rally conducted by the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre. The villagers, especially the youths, attend this fair because of the recruitment rally.
Madan Mohan Lakhera
Madan Mohan Lakhera was born in 1937 to a Pahari Brahmin family, in Village Jakhand, Tehri Garhwal, located in Uttarakhand. He was educated at the prestigious Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun, and later, the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla. He was commissioned as an officer in the Indian Army from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, on 8 June 1958. He also attended the elite Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Tamil Nadu. During his service in the Indian Army, MM Lakhera participated in the 1961 liberation of Goa, and the Indo-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971 in the Jammu and Kashmir Sector. He later attended the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington (South India) and the Long Gunnery Staff Course at the School of Artillery, Devlali. Also attended Senior Defence Management Course at College of Defence Management of Secundrabad. He served as an Instructor at the School of Artillery from 1967–70, and subsequently at the Army War College from 1978–81. Eventually, Lieutenant Colonel (at the time) Lakhera rose to command the 4th Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment in Jammu & Kashmir from December 1975 to July 1978.
He received many gallantry awards like PVSM, AVSM; VSM (born 1937) is the former Governor of the Indian state of Mizoram. He has held that position since July 2006. During 2004–2006, he was the Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Puducherry, then known as Pondicherry. He has also served as the Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands while holding the additional charge.
Havaldar Gajender Singh
Gajender Singh Bisht was born in the year 1972 in the city of Dehradun. Hailing from Ganeshpur in Uttarakhand, young Gajender Singh studied at the Janata Inter College in Naya Gaon. He was remembered by his teachers as a disciplined student who participated in every event organized in the school, be it sports or cultural activities. He had a particular interest in boxing.
He was an NSG commando and havildar (sergeant) who died during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. His act of bravery was honored with the Ashoka Chakra award by the President of India on 26 January 2009, India's Republic Day. Gajender Singh was a member of the National Security Guard’s 51 Special Action Group. Gajender Singh was part of the team of NSG commandos who were fast-roped on the roof of Nariman House in an operation to neutralize the terrorists inside who were holding at least six hostages. While securing the Nariman House during Operation Black Tornado, Singh, a member of the Parachute Regiment was fatally wounded while storming the Jewish center.
There are many other eminent officers hailing from the same Uttarakhand. But it is not possible to credit all of them in a single article.