Service No : IC-14682
Date of Birth : November 2, 1937
Place of birth : Dehradun(U'Khand)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Captain
Unit : 3 Jat
Arm/Regt : The Jat Regiment
Awards : Maha Vir Chakra
Martyrdom : September 21, 1965
Captain Kapil Singh Thapa hailed from Panditwari village of Dehradun district in Uttrakhand and was born on 2nd November 1937. Son of an Army veteran Subedar Major DS Thapa, he studied at New Forest Higher Secondary School, Dehradun. He had the inclination to join the armed forces since his younger days like his father and continued to pursue his dream. Eventually, after passing his school education he got selected to join the army. He was commissioned as an officer on 30 Jun 1963 at the age of 25 years.
He was commissioned into the 3 Jat Battalion of the Jat Regiment, an Infantry Regiment with a long history of gallantry and battle honours. Barely two years into service, Capt Kapil Singh got involved into thick of operations as his unit got deployed on the western border, when the war with Pakistan became imminent.
Battle of Dograi (Indo-Pak War): 21 Sep 1965
During Sep 1965, Capt Kapil Singh Thapa's unit 3 Jat was deployed in Punjab sector. After Pakistan launched “Operation Grand Slam” aimed at occupying the important town of Akhnoor in J & K, Indian Army decided to shift the theater of war to Pakistan’s Punjab area. The intended aim was to attack from the west so that the enemy would be forced to relocate troops engaged in the Akhnoor operation to defend Punjab. This move planned by 54 Infantry Brigade using 15 Dogra, 13 Punjab, C squadron of 14 Horse and 3 Jat, proved to be the turning point of the war. 3 Jat under the command of Lt Col Desmond Hayde was the first to cross the international border on 06 Sep 1965. The two companies of 3 Jat captured the hamlet of Dograi by midday in a surprise and daring attack. However, due to inadequate follow-on support and air cover, the companies had to withdraw and move back to Santpura 9 km away from Dograi. The unit had to wait another fifteen days at Santpura to launch the second attack on Dograi on the night of 21/22 Sep 1965. Capt Kapil Singh Thapa was given the task of capturing the northwestern edge of Dograi village.
Capt Thapa along with his men launched an aggressive attack on the given objective on 21 Sep 1965. He personally led his men through a minefield and assaulted the enemy positions. The enemy positions were heavily defended, but Capt Thapa engaged the enemy with grenades and bayonets. He and his soldiers eventually succeeded in capturing the objectives. However, Capt Thapa got severely injured during the heavy exchange of fire. He soon succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Displaying outstanding courage, grit and fighting spirit Capt Kapil Singh Thapa laid down his life at the age of 27 years in the service of the nation following the highest traditions of the Indian Army.
Capt Kapil Singh Thapa was posthumously awarded ‘Maha Vir Chakra’ for his daredevilry, indomitable spirit, outstanding leadership and supreme sacrifice.