Lieutenant General Hanut Singh was an officer in the Indian Army who played a crucial role in the Battle of Basantar as he was leading the troops of 17 Horse a.k.a. Poona Horse regiment during the Indo-Pak War of 1971.
Hanut Singh was born on Thursday, 6 July 1933 (age 81 years; at the time of death) in Jasol, Rajasthan. His zodiac sign is Cancer. He completed his schooling at Colonel Brown Cambridge School, Dehradun and attended the Joint Service Wing (JSW) of the Indian Military Academy to complete his training and joined the Indian Army in December 1952.
Height(approx.): 5′ 10″
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Grey
Family & Caste
Hanut Singh was born in a family of Rathore Rajputs (Kshatriya). His father’s name is Lieutenant Colonel Arjun Singh. He served in Jodhpur Lancers, and later, he commandeered the Kacchawa Horse regiment.
On 28 December 1952, Hanut chose to join the armoured corps and was commissioned to the 17 Horse a.k.a. The Poona Horse. In 1958, Hanut was appointed as a captain in the force, and he was sent to the United Kingdom to attend a course regarding the Centurion tanks. Later, in 1959, he was appointed as the gunnery instructor at the Armoured Corps School. Hanut Singh was posted as the Brigade Major of the 66 Infantry Brigade, and he did not participate in the Indo-Pakistani War in 1965. In 1966, Hanut joined The Poona Horse regiment, and he led his troops for the Battle of Basantar during the Indo-Pak War in 1971. His regiment crossed the Basantar river and fought the enemy soldiers to capture the crucial points near the river. In 1983, Hanut was promoted as the Major General in the Indian Army. Later, he was appointed as the Lt. General in the Indian Army in December 1985. Hanut Singh retired from the Indian Army on 31 July 1991.
Maha Vir Chakra
Hanut Singh was posted back to his regiment i.e. The Poona Horse before the Indo-Pak War of 1971. During the war, he led his troops through the Basantar river while the river bed was filled with land mines. He went ahead with his troops who faced the attack of Pakistani soldiers and destroyed their tanks with minimum casualties, and he was awarded Maha Vir Chakra for his bravery. The citation of the official document read-
Lieutenant Colonel Hanut Singh was commanding 17 Horse in Shakargarh Sector of the Western Front. On 16 December 1971, his regiment was inducted into the Basantar River bridgehead and took up positions ahead of the infantry. The enemy launched a number of armoured attacks in strength on 16 and 17 December. Undeterred by enemy medium artillery and tank fire, Lieutenant Colonel Hanut Singh moved from one threatened sector to another with utter disregard for his personal safety. His presence and cool courage inspired his men to remain steadfast and perform commendable acts of gallantry.”
Lt. General Hanut Singh was known as the ‘Saint Soldier’ as he spent a lot of time reading spiritual texts and meditation. He retired from the service in 1991 and moved to Dehradun where he spent his life meditating and reading books. He was a follower of the ideologies of Shiva Bala Yogi. On 11 April 2015, Hanut Singh took the ‘final samadhi’ and passed away during a meditation session.
- Lt. General Hanut Singh was also awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal for his service in the Indian Army.
- Lt. General Hanut Singh’s bravery was appreciated by the Pakistani soldiers after the war of 1971. The soldiers gave him the title of ‘Fakhr-e-Hind.’
- Hanut Singh had a great influence on his fellow officers that the officers started following him in the way he talks, his gestures, and even his mannerisms. This got him the nickname ‘Gurudev’ among his peers. Another nickname that he had was Hunny. The Print
- Hanut Singh remained a bachelor his whole life because he believed that a married officer has to look after his family as well along with his job, and he wouldn’t be able to devote himself to his profession. He encouraged his fellow officers to follow the same ideology and this is the reason why the Poona Horse regiment had a good number of senior bachelor officers.
- In his leisure time, Hanut Singh used to read spiritual literature, books, and biographies of great men. He was an avid follower of the God-man Shiva Bala Yogi.