Darshan Singh Manhas
Jammu-Kashmir is the land of renowned Saints and Sufis. Dogras of Jammu have earned a highest reputation across the world for their unmatched valour and sacrifice. The history of Jammu-Kashmir witnessed great warriors like Maharaja Gulab Singh who rose from an ordinary soldier to the highest position of Maharaja. The Duggar land is known for the indomitable courage and amazing bravery of great heroes like General Zorawar Singh and Mian Dido.An indelible chapter has been added to this golden history of the heroes by the supreme sacrifice of Shaheed Shamsher Singh Manhas, Deputy Commandant, 151 Bn BSF. He was born on 23th Oct. 1947 in an agriculturist Manhas Rajput family in a remote and border village of Manchak in Chhamb-Jourian sector of Jammu-Kashmir. He was a very promising boy right from his childhood. During his schooling at Jourian, he developed good physique and personality as well. He was an outstanding athlete and wrestler besides good at his studies. Due to his extraordinary abilities and cordial behavior, he became the favorite of all the teachers. He was passionate and cherished to join in ”BELT FORCE” services.
After completing his schooling, he got opportunities to serve in various departments. He was selected for the post of Patwari in the Revenue Department but the job could not satisfy his unending quest for serving the nation. After this, he was selected as a teacher in the School Education Department, but the teaching work also could not attract him.He was also selected for the post of ASI in the Jammu and Kashmir Police Department, but even here he did not get satisfaction in his work.
He had a special attraction towards the armed forces of the nation since his childhood and the strong desire to dedicate himself to the service of the nation was taking him to some other direction. Ultimately, he got the opportunity of joining BSF against the wishes of his parents who wanted him to continue his studies for being meritorious in studies. He joined the newly raised BSF in 1966 as a Constable and within the shortest span of six years he got Direct Entry to the post of Sub- Inspector after qualifying the test for said post.
As a result of his dedicated services and outstanding overall performance he rose to the rank of Dy. Commandant within a short period. Due to excellent Leadership qualities, Cool and calm mind he won applaud from subordinates to the high ranking officers in the BSF. During his service tenure he served in various capacities and was conferred different awards / rewards for his outstanding performance. Besides, Shamsher Singh Manhas, Deputy Commandant has credential of many practical training records at different Training Centers where he always got first position in various contests organized by army or other forces . He served in different states of India and mostly spent his period in militancy prone areas. He served in Punjab from 1980 to 1988 at Fasalgah, Amritsar, Faridkot, Gurdaspur when militancy was at its peak.
After Punjab he served in militancy affected Kashmir Valley from 1989 to 2001 till he attained martyrdom at Kulgam. During this period he served the areas namely- Bandipura, Tral, Srinagar City, Noorabad, Rawalpura, Nelu, Shopian and Kupwara. In 1990, he saved the life of two ladies who were buried under the debris in a Land Slide. He was recommended for Life Saving Medal by the government of Jammu-Kashmir. Following credentials speak about the outstanding services of Shamsher Singh Manhas:
He got cash rewards 19 times in overall period of his service in BSF. He received commendations for 9 times for his diligent performance. 7 times he was awarded the appreciation letter for his distinguished services. Good service entries were entered in his service book 35 times for meritorious services. He was also awarded with Police Medal for Meritorious Service on the occasion of Republic Day in the year 1998. He was also recommended for Award of President’s Police Medal for Distinguished services on Republic Day 2002.
He never cared about the life threats from miscreants, smugglers and insurgents while discharging his duty. Despite all these odds amidst militancy period in Punjab, he stood tall in serving the nation. He seized opium worth Rs. 6 lakhs in the year 1982, gold worth Rs. 14 lakhs in the year 1985, watch parts worth Rs. 1 lakh in the year 1986 and many more miscellaneous items at the risk of life.
This journey of meritorious service continued when he was posted in Kashmir valley in the year 1989. He foiled the terror plans in the valley by seizing a cache of arms and ammunition at different times and locations in the valley including 23 AK-47 Rifles, 44 Magazines, 2 Pistols, 1 Wireless set, 5 Kg RDX, 4 Live Hand Grenades, 26- IED and Detonators.
He performed his duty fearlessly and killed 4 militants. He also apprehended 45 militants and 2 Pak Spies at the risk of his life.
His services are remembered with high pride during his deployment at Various Training Centers as an HC instructor (Weapon and Tactics) STC Jammu, Officer Instructor at Hazaribagh, Officer Instructor at STC Jodhpur. He was also deployed as Officer Commando Instructor for being obtaining 1st position in Commando course in 1974.
He also remained eager to be a part counter insurgency operation he attained martyrdom by making supreme sacrifice while serving the motherland. He was called back on duty in the valley just before ten days of his leave after solemnizing marriage of his daughter. Family received a message that Shamsher Singh Manhas , Deputy Commandant, 151 Bn BSF has attained Martyrdom while fighting with Militants in Kulgam area on 10/12/2001 midnight just after he had left two days earlier from home without availing his full leave.
Before attaining martyrdom, he had been recommended for the award of President’s Police Medal for Distinguished services on the occasion of Republic Day 2002 by the Commandant 151 Bn BSF. But destiny had something else in mind. His next promotion was also due as 2IC within next few months.
Indeed such brave warrior rarely takes birth to lay supreme sacrifice with an exemplary courage to serve the nation as well as his countrymen.
” Martyr Shamsher Singh Deputy Commandant AMAR RAHE”
Darshan Singh Manhas