It is time for another story about one more hero. The Hero I write about today is Capt Shashi Bhushan Singh SM SC (P)
Shashi Bhushan Singh was born on 14th November 1980 to Mr. Rameshwar Singh and Mrs. Mridula Singh in Ghurapali village in Bihar. He was the eldest of the three siblings; his younger brother Ravibhushan Singh and younger sister Sujata Singh.
His father Mr Rameshwar Singh was a Maths Lecturer in DIET Gangtok hence Shashi did his early education, till class VII from Daffodils Home in Gangtok, Sikkim. Later, he started studying in West Point Sr. Secondary school from class VIII. Simultaneously, he also attempted the entrance exam for RIMC, which he cleared. He started his schooling in RIMC from 1993.
He was in Pratap Section in RIMC. While he maintained good grades in Academics, he was an excellent sportsman and excelled in sports like Boxing, Hockey, Football, Athletics and cross country. He was a gold medalist in 400m, 800m and 1500 m.
He used to play in the position of a defender in Hockey and Football. His coursemate recalls one incident when they had gone to play the Sesqui Centenary celebration football tournament at Lawrence school Sanawar. Their team was playing for the third position. Shashi was down with fever and didn’t play. His coursemate, was the goalkeeper and two of them had a very good understanding and coordination among them. In Shashi’s absence on the field, the goalkeeper had to bear the brunt of the opposition’s attacks. At half time, the scores were level but the match was more or less being played on the side of Shashi’s team. The goalkeeper told Shashi that ‘Get on to the field yaar, I am missing you’. Soon, when the match resumed, Shashi told his coach, never mind the fever, I am in. Their team won the match 2-0. His mere presence had such an effect on his team.
He never spoke much but instead would smile a lot. He was short tempered but would also cool off easily. He was a very straight forward person. He wouldn’t do something unless he was convinced about it. During one of the boxing championships, he was asked to lose weight so that he could participate in the lower weight category. Reason being, in the same weight category, he would be pitted against a better opponent. His friend remembers him saying that ‘I will fight in same weight against same guy, I will not reduce my weight to avoid him. So what if I have less chances to win. But I will fight.” He lost the bout, but didn’t manipulate anything.
His coursemate recalls that he would tackle the problems head on and never make excuses or take shortcuts. He was very focussed and dedicated.
Later, he appeared for the NDA entrance exams and cleared both, the written exam and SSB and was recommended for NDA. He belonged to the Charlie Sq in NDA. After successful completion of training, he passed out from there in 2001.
After completion of his training in IMA, Dehradun, he was commissioned in 236 Engineer Regiment on 8th June2002. He was part of Naushera company while he was training in IMA.
A gallant and brave officer
His first place of posting was at Meerut in UP.
Despite his commissioning, he was interested in further studies and wanted to do an MTech from Roorkee in UP. In 2003, he was posted in Leh and was attached to 55RR. While he was posted there, on 3 Nov 2004, their team received inputs about presence of militants in a Khelan. CApt Shashi was the team leader of the Ghatak team. It was confirmed that the militants were present in a mosque and the Ghatak team was asked to cordon it. There was heavy exchange of fire between the Commanding officer’s party and terrorists. As a results, two terrorists were killed but the CO too sustained injuries. After the evacuation of his CO, Capt Shashi took the initiative of taking control of the situation. He entered the mosque with his buddy, brought down heavy fire, along with lobbying of grenades and eliminated the other three terrorists. He ensured the success of the operation, without any casualty to his own troops nor any collateral damage to the mosque.
He was awarded SENA MEDAL for this operation. His parents were invited to attend the Investiture Ceremony held at Udhampur in J&k in January 2005. General Deepak Kapoor who was the Head of the Northern Command,was the Chief Guest
In Mar 2006 when he had been home for his leave, his family had held a griha puja in the house they had constructed in Chapra, Bihar. After this, he returned to his posting at Pulwama in J&K
On the evening of 23rd Jun 2006, Capt Shashi spoke to his mom informing her that his leaves for 27 days had been sanctioned and he was very happy that he would be coming home on leave. Fate had different plans though. On 24th June, there was information about movement of terrorists in Ratnipora, Pulwama. Capt Shashi S M, reached the village alongwith the Ghatak Platoon. They came under heavy fire. A firefight ensued, during which Capt Shashi killed one militant. While doing so, he sustained injuries on his neck and hand. Despite the injuries, he continued to direct fire of his troops and succeeded in eliminating the second terrorist. Capt Shashi was rushed to the military hospital but he succumbed to his injuries.
Capt Shashi Bhushan Singh was awarded with the Shaurya Chakra ( Posthumously) for his act of gallantry.
The officer who wished to pursue higher studies, move into a new house, spend time with loved ones gave his all. Where the parents were preparing to welcome his son home and spend time with him had to bid a final farewell to him, never to see him again. Such is the cost of our freedom. Someone somewhere guards our borders on icy heights, someone somewhere spends sleepless nights so that we sleep peacefully and someone somewhere came back wrapped in the Tricolour.
His classmates in RIMC have dedicated an Octagon as a remembrance to SB (as he was fondly known). This is being used as a Training Shed at RIMC Obstacle Training Area.
Let us also remember those who never came back and keep them in our thoughts always.
Happy Birthday Capt Shashi. Gone too soon, never forgotten.