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Sagat Singh PVSM (14 July 1918 – 26 September 2001) was a General in the Indian army notable for his participation in liberation of Goa and later in Bangladesh. He held man prestigious command and staff appointments throughout his military career.
He was born at a small Village - Kusumdesar (Moda) in Churu district of Rajasthan in 1918. He was commissioned in the Jaipur State Forces. On amalgamation of the State Forces in 1950 he joined Third Gorkha Rifles. He commanded the Second and Third Battalions of the Third Gorkha Rifles. In September 1961 He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier and posted as the Brigade Commander of India’s only Parachute Brigade, the 50th. The Parachute Brigade led by him played a prominent part in liberation of Goa and his men were the first to enter Panjim on 19 December 1961.
As a Major General he commanded a Mountain Division and later a Communication Zone where he played a pivotal role in taking counter insurgency operations in Mizoram. For his distinguished services he was awarded the PVSM . In December 1970 he took over the command of HQ 4 Corps as a Lieutenant General.The Corps made the famous advance to Dacca over the River Meghna during Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. He witnessed in Dacca the signing of the surrender instrument by General Niazi.
For his leadership and command for the race to Dacca the Government of India honored Sagat Singh through an award of Padma Bhushan, Sagat Singh being the only other corps commander besides T N Raina and Sartaj Singh to be so awarded in 1971.
Sagat Singh retired from the army on 30 November 1976. He had a personal tragedy in 1976. His son Captain Digvijay Singh died in a jeep accident in Poonch in May 1976.
He died at Army Hospital Research & Referral, New Delhi on 26 September 2001.
Sagat was born on 14 Jul 1919 and joined the Bikaner State Forces as a common soldier. His outstanding qualities brought him to the notice of the War Minister and he was commissioned as an officer into the Ganga Risala. At the outbreak of World War 2 he was transferred into the Sadul Light Infantry and served in Iraq, where the Battalion was a part of Paiforce. While serving as a Major General in Sikkim, he had a bloody confrontation with the Chinese on the Himalayan Watershed in Aug 1967. That the Nathula Pass has remained in Indian hands is solely attributed to his grit and determination. The Indian Army victory in the 1971 War is largely attributable to him because by the time the Pakistan Forces surrendered, his troops had surrounded Dacca from three sides. His daring and innovative use of helicopters has not been replicated. Sagat lost his third son through a scooter accident in Aug 1975.
- Col. C L Proudfoot Flash of the Khukri : History of the 3rd Gorkha Rifles Regiment,Vision Books
- Air Chief Marshal P C Lal, My Years with the IAF, Lancer International
- Maj. Gen. Afsir Karim The Story of India’s Airborne Troops Lancer International
- Siddiq Salik Witness to Surrender Vikas Publications
- Maj. Gen. Sukhwant Singh The liberation of Bangladesh Vikas Publications
- Maj. Gen. Lachman Singh Lehl Victory in Bangladesh Natraj Publications
- Maj Gen Randhir Sinh A Talent for War: The Military Biography of Lt Gen Sagat Singh Vij Books
- Maj Gen DK Palit War in the High Himalayas Lancers
- Brig RS Sodhi Operation Windfall Allied Publishers
- Brig Jagdev Singh Dismemberment of Pakistan Lancers
- Maj Gen VK Singh Leadership in the Indian Army Sage Publishers
- Maj Gen AK Verma The Bridge on the River Meghna KW Publishers
- Remembering Sagat Singh (1918-2001) by P.V.S.Jagan Mohan - www.bharat-rakshak.com
- Memorial Service for General Sagat Singh - Press Information Bureau