The 12 months was 1954, 17 Sikh was positioned at Agra and commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Shamsher Singh, whose excellent management and exploits within the 1947-48 battle in Jammu and Kashmir have been a part of regimental lore. The unit was out on a coaching camp in a forest close to Shivpuri, which was to culminate in a check train.
Sooner or later, Sepoy Fauja Singh, who was a part of the officer’s mess employees, went to gather firewood for the mess kitchen. All of a sudden, a tigress jumped out from a thicket and pounced on him. Instinctively, he tried to struggle her off together with his naked fingers. After a quick wrestle, the tigress caught Fauja Singh’s turban in her mouth and considering that she had obtained the kill, disappeared again into the thicket. Fauja Singh was badly mauled and he was evacuated to the army hospital instantly, however extra to the purpose, he was extraordinarily upset in regards to the lack of his turban.
Extra reviews poured in in regards to the tigress with 4 cubs, who had become a man-eater, it appeared. She had killed two individuals from a village close by. True to the Indian Military custom, this did not cease the coaching, which continued as per plan, and the check train was cleared with honors.
On the finish of the train Lt. Col Shamsher Singh proposed to his Brigade Commander, Brigadier Danny Misra, that for the reason that tigress had become a maneater and the world was utilized by the brigade for coaching, it will be prudent to kill the tigress. Again in these days, shikar was allowed within the Military and a pastime for some. In that spirit, Brig Danny Misra agreed to the proposal, however with a rider.
“Shamsher,” he mentioned. “Killing a tiger with rifles is simply too simple. Can the Sikhs do it with bayonets?” By no means one to draw back from a problem, Singh mentioned, “So shall
The die was forged. Shamsher returned and briefed his unit. He prepped his troopers by telling them tales of how Hari Singh Nalwa, commander-in-chief of the Sikh Khalsa military, had as soon as killed a tiger together with his naked fingers by catching maintain of its tongue and choking it.
It was determined that the unit would assault the overall space the place the tigress was suspected to have hidden in conventional infantry method. As soon as the tigress attacked a person, he should use the bayonet to counter-attack it whereas the personnel on his flanks would flip inwards to assault the tigress with bayonets and end the duty. This drill was rehearsed to perfection. Subsequent morning, two firms of 17 Sikh shaped an assault line 200 yards lengthy, with the Commanding Officer’s celebration within the heart.
Bayonets have been mounted on the Enfield.303 rifles and the assault commenced.
It was a surreal scene: bayonets glinted within the morning solar with troopers of 17 Sikh shouting “Jo bole so nihal!”, out to kill a maneating tigress with solely bayonets! On the far facet of the suspected space, the Divisional Commander, Common Dargalkar, and the Brig Danny Misra sat on a machan with sporting rifles. Misra did not imagine the tigress could possibly be killed with bayonets. His plan was that the assault by 17 Sikh would drive the tigress in direction of the machan, the place Gen Dargalkar and he would kill her.
The motion of the assault line was laborious because of the damaged terrain however after 20 minutes, the den of the tigress was positioned.
She had fled, however her three cubs have been discovered, captured alive and later offered to the Agra zoo. Fauja Singh’s turban was additionally discovered within the den.
The assault line shaped once more and moved ahead with a regimental battle cry.
After 10 minutes, the roar of the tigress was heard. Singh shouted to his
boys, “Tagde ho jao!” (“Gird up and prepare for motion!”). After which, all of the sudden, the tigress leaped out of the thicket and attacked the assault line. Sepoy Sucha Singh was instantly in entrance and he adopted the standard bayonet preventing stance, assembly the tigress’ assault head-on together with his weapon. As she got here at him, he plunged his bayonet into her chest. It obtained buried to the hilt, contained in the tigress’ chest, however the momentum of her cost knocked Sucha Singh down.
Each he and the tigress fell 10 yards ahead. As per the rehearsed drill, the troopers on the flanks turned inwards and pounced on the tigress, pinning
her down with their bayonets. It wasn’t crucial. Sucha Singh had already pierced her coronary heart.
It was then that the sound of a rifle shot was heard.
Shamsher was furious with anger, considering considered one of his males had disobeyed orders. He
rushed to the scene and requested who had fired the shot. The corporate assured him no shot had been fired and the report had come from the path of the
machan. Shamsher ordered the success sign be fired with the Very Gentle Pistol and 500 hundred voices joined him within the lengthy jaikara of “Jo Bole So Nihal!’.
Then Shamsher rushed to Sucha Singh, who was badly mauled however on inquiry
about his wounds mentioned, “Saab Ji essential tan theek haan, par woh sali sherni meri rifle lai gayee.” (“Sir, I’m OK however the rattling tigress has taken off with my rifle”). The lack of a weapon is a really severe lapse within the military! Sucha Singh was assured that the rifle has been recovered and that he was now practically at par with the nice Hari Singh Nalwa for having single-handedly killed a tigress. He was evacuated to the army hospital.
A telegram was dispatched to Fauja Singh: “Revenge taken! Tigress killed!Turban recovered!” Sepoy Sucha Singh was instantly promoted to LanceNaik and on that day, 17 Sikh was rechristened the Tiger Battalion.
The bayonet of Sucha Singh had developed a 10-degree curve because of the drive of the affect with the tigress. A most uncommon prevalence, as bayonets are normally made from brittle steel designed to pierce and break when it hits a tough floor. Shamsher directed Sucha Singh’s bayonet should be stored as a trophy. The Quarter Grasp in his enthusiasm to get Sucha Singh his alternative mistakenly despatched the bayonet again to the ordinance depot for alternative. Thankfully, it was positioned and introduced proper again to the unit. The bayonet, together with the pores and skin of the tigress and information paper protection of the occasion, nonetheless adorn the officers’ mess of 17 Sikh The Tiger Battalion.
Whereas Sucha Singh was being taken to the army hospital, Shamsher went to the machan to report the success of the mission to Misra and Dargalkar, who was nonetheless on the machan.
To his amusement and the embarrassment of the VIPs, Shamsher realized that within the pleasure of the entire motion, one of many rifles from the VIP machan had
dropped to the bottom. That was the rifle shot Shamsher had heard!
Later, Misra together with Shamsher went to satisfy Sucha Singh within the hospital. The brigadier requested Sucha Singh, “Kya aapne hello sherni ko mara tha?” (“Are you
the one who killed the tigress?”) A peeved Sucha Singh replied, “Asli bayonet toh mainne hello mara tha, sir, par mari hui sherni par unhealthy mein aur bhi maarte gaye. Aur mainne suna ki dar ke mare VIP machan se, kisi rifle nichhe gir kar fireplace ho gayee.” (“I am the one who obtained her with the bayonet first, however others attacked the useless tigress too. And I heard that up within the VIP machan, somebody obtained so scared that they dropped their rifle by mistake and fired it.”)
9 years later, Colonel Shamsher because the Centre Commandant of the Sikh Regimental Centre at Meerut Cantonment, was interviewing troopers happening a pension when he heard the acquainted voice of Havaldar Sucha Singh. He reported that he was happening pension. Shamsher took a fast resolution and directed the pension orders to be canceled.