60th Anniversary of the Battle of Rezang La
November 18 marks the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Rezang La.
About Battle of Rezang La
- In 1962, the Charlie Company (C Company) of the 13th battalion of the Kumaon Regiment fought against the Chinese attack at the Rezang La Pass in Ladakh.
- The C Company, led by Maj. Shaitan Singh, had 117 soldiers. Of these, 110 were martyred during this battle.
- The 13th battalion was responsible for the defence of Chushul. Its C Company commanded by Major Shaitan Singh was entrusted with the security of the Rezang La.
- While the C Company, having three platoons stationed across a 2-km frontage, was well-entrenched and reasonably well-equipped, it did not have mines and the overhead shelter for the command posts was insufficient in sub-zero temperature.
- Many of the Indian soldiers lost their lives to the freezing temperature during this battle.
- Major Shaitan Singh was also martyred after being wounded by the Chinese firing. He was honoured with Param Vir Chakra, making him the second army man to receive the highest gallantry award.
- Several other men in the C Company also received Vir Chakra posthumously.
About Rezang La
Rezang La, also known as Rechin La, is a mountain pass on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between Indian-administered Ladakh and the Chinese administered Spanggur Lake basin, which is also claimed by India. It is situated on the eastern watershed ridge of the Chushul Valley that is being claimed by China.
This 16,000-foot-high feature is a narrow gap between the even higher mountains around the strategically-significant Chushul village and the Spanggur Lake, which span across both the Indian and Chinese territories. The defence of this strategically important mountain pass is critical for the security of Chushul. Anyone who can pass through the Rezang La will have a free run to Leh. During the 2020-21 China-India skirmishes, this mountain pass was again a site of conflict between India and China.