Service No : JC-102096

Date of Birth : February 20, 1943

Place of birth : Rupnagar Dist(Pun)

Service : Army

Last Rank : Subedar

Unit : 13 Sikh LI

Arm/Regt : The Sikh Light Infantry

Operation : Op Pawan

Awards : VrC

Martyrdom : October 11, 1987

Subedar Sampuran Singh VrC

Subedar Sampuran Singh hailed from Paprala village of Rupnagar district in Punjab and was born on 20 Feb 1943. Son of Shri Chanchal Singh, Sub Sampuran Singh joined the army after completing his education. He was recruited into the 13 Sikh LI of the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment, an infantry Regiment known for its brave soldiers and rich history of various battle honours. By the year 1987, he had put in over 20 years of service and had been promoted to the rank of Subedar.


Sri Lankan Operations (Op Pawan) : 11 Oct 1987


During Oct 1987, Sub Sampuran Singh's unit 13 Sikh LI got deployed in Sri Lanka as part of IPKF operations. The IPKF launched its first operation on 9 October 1987, after formulating a multi-pronged strategy to take on LTTE. Code-named Operation Op Pawan, it was expected to neutralize LTTE operational capability in and around Jaffna. This included the capture or neutralization of the LTTE’s chain of command, which was expected to leave the rebel movement directionless in the face of the impending assault on the LTTE strongholds by the IPKF.  On 10 October 1987, Intelligence inputs suggested that the LTTE leadership, which included not only Prabhakaran but also his deputies like Mahatiya and local military commanders were going to attend a meeting at their tactical HQ at Kokkovil in the Jaffna University campus on the night of October 11th.


The Army decided to utilize this opportunity of capturing them all and cut short the bitter fighting that lay ahead for the capture of Jaffna.  A Special Helicopter Borne Operation (SHBO) was planned in which troops would be dropped in Jaffna University. The troops, would try to capture the LTTE Top leaders in a lightning strike and bring to end the resistance of the LTTE. The SHBO was planned to be carried out on the night of Oct 11/12, when the Helicopter force would have to heli-drop IPKF Troops in the football ground in the Jaffna University Campus. The Troops allocated for the mission were 120 Commandos from 10 th Para Commando and about 360 Troops from the 13th Sikh LI.  At that time 13th Sikh LI was still under induction, with troops arriving at Jaffna airport by flight.


Soon after the 13 Sikh LI battalion touched down at the Palai airfield on 11 October 1987, it was tasked to undertake a heliborne operation the same night, drop behind enemy lines and secure the enemy headquarters around Kokkovil. The Battalion, minus two companies, which had landed, was to fly out in 14 sorties commencing 2300 hours. Delta Company, under Major Birendra Singh, was to move in the first wave, take over the helipad from a team of 10 Para Commandos and secure it for the subsequent landing of the battalion. Sub Sampuran Singh along with Company commander, meticulously organized his company into helicopter loads and briefed them about a mission they had never before undertaken. The landing zone came under very heavy intense and accurate fire, thus preventing the landing of the complete 10 Para Commando team. Sub Sampuran Singh with one platoon landed amidst a volley of fire and in conjunction with the depleted 10 Para Commando team secured the helipad.
The heliborne operations were called off because all available helicopters had been mauled by enemy fire. The 10 Para Commando team was asked to move up further which left Sub Sampuran Singh and his depleted platoon completely surrounded by the enemy. The anticipated link-up could not materialize. Sub Sampuran Singh with limited ammunition and manpower, continued to hold out against unimaginable odds and inflicted tremendous casualties on the enemy. Sub Sampuran Singh and his men continued to fight till they laid down their lives. Only one soldier Sep Gora Singh survived, who was captured alive by the LTTE.  Besides Sub Sampuran Singh, the other 28 fallen soldiers included Major Birendra Singh, Hav Ajit Singh, Hav Swaran Singh, Hav Kashmir Singh SM, L/Hav Sher Singh SM, Nk Surjit Singh, Nk Gurmail Singh, Nk Mukhtiar Singh, Nk Satwinder Singh, L/Nk Hira Singh, L/Nk Manjit Singh, L/Nk Darshan Singh SM, Sep Lal Singh, Sep Ranjit Singh, Sep Kuldip Singh VrC, Sep Jarnail Singh, Sep Sohan Singh, Sep Gurdial Singh, Sep Gurbax Singh, Sep Gurnam, Sep Satnam Singh, Sep Joginder Singh, Sep Sakinder Singh, Sep Bakshish Singh, Sep Somnath Singh, Sep Harjinder Singh, Sep Sukhwant Singh VrC and Sep Sukhwinder Singh.
Sub Sampuran Singh displayed outstanding courage and leadership during the operation and made the supreme sacrifice. He was awarded “Vir Chakra”, on 26 Jan 1988 for his exceptional courage, determination and supreme sacrifice. 
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