“A man’s destiny is always passionately interesting if he achieves it passionately”
Martyrs never die. They become immortal. History records their names in golden letters. Lt. Triveni Singh, AshokChakra, is one such martyr. In a rare act of courage he killed two heavily armed militants at the Jammu railway station on January 02, 2004 and saved hundreds of helpless passengers at the platform before he succumbed to his injuries.
Before attaining martyrdom Lt. Triveni Singh saluted his GOC, Maj. General Rajendra Singh, in the true army tradition. His last words: “ Mission accomplished, Sir”. Lt. Triveni Singh was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, the country’s highest bravery award during peacetime for displaying conspicuous gallantry, utmost courage and making the supreme sacrifice in the highest tradition of the Indian Army, to save human lives. President APJ Abdul Kalam presented the award to Lt. Triveni Singh’s father, Captain Janmej Singh(Rtd.) on the Republic Day, this year.
Hailing from Pathankot, Punjab and born on February 01, 1978 at Namkum, now in Jharkhand, Triveni Singh, a Dogra, was not an aggressive child and never used to react to provocations. His parents recall that they decided to train Triveni, their only son, in martial arts, judo-karate and body-building when he turned 15. He won gold medal at the national level in martial arts. Triveni also won gold medals in swimming and athletics. Lt. Trivini wanted to join the Army despite being an agriculture graduate from the Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana. After clearing his examinations with high rankings he went to the Indian Military Military Academy, Dehradun. He was commissioned in the Army on December 08, 2001 and joined the elite unit of 5 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, reputed for its bravery and decorations in the Indian Army. It was for his hard work, dedication and involvement in assignments that he was sent to the College of Combat, Mhow for the Young Officers Basic Course and Commando Course. He came out with flying colours with a high ranking.
Triveni was destined to be a martyr. On the night of December 31, 2003 he danced and enjoyed the party at the Army Club, Pathankot with his family members and friends. In the wee hours of the New Year day he left the club saying “ you will not see us again”. After taking some sips of coffee at home on that day he left home for his unit and got himself busy in his daily routine of inspecting the arms of his colleagues in the Quick Reaction Team. He was in his combat uniform ready for any mission.
In the evening of January 02, 2004 Lt. Triveni Singh got to know about the fidayeen attack on the Jammu railway station while watching a TV news bulletin. On being ordered to challenge the militants, Lt. Triveni Singh rushed to the Jammu railway station with five commandos. In a swift action he killed the first militant and followed the other who was firing from the overhead rail bridge. Lt. Triveni Singh knew that the hidden militant was equipped with lethal weapons and could kill over 300 passengers who had taken refuge in the parcel room only a short distance away. At that moment his deputy Havaldar Fazal Hussain, was at the militant’s target too. In a gallant action Lt. Triveni Singh grabbed that militant and killed him but got fatally injured himself.
Lt. Triveni Singh is now a role model. Today every young man of his native place, Pathankot, is eager to join the armed forces to serve the nation.
Inputs contributed by Col. Gopal Purdhani