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Balbir Singh

Charkhi Dadri, Haryana

September 19, 2023 to September 19, 2024

Balbir Singh, the son of Ramrikh, was born in the village of Achina in the Charkhi Dadri district. He played a significant role as a member of the Indian National Army (INA).

Balbir Singh initially enlisted in the British Army on August 24, 1940. His journey took a dramatic turn when he was captured by the Japanese on July 2, 1944, following the destruction of the Johor Bahru bridge in Upper Malaya. Although he was sentenced to death by hanging, fate intervened, and the loose noose spared his life. During the war, Balbir Singh and his regiment reached Singapore, where Rash Behari Bose encouraged them to surrender with the promise of eventual freedom and united action against British rule. These brave soldiers willingly surrendered to the Japanese forces and subsequently endured severe torture in captivity.

Balbir Singh's commitment to the cause led him to join the Azad Hind Fauj (INA) as a sepoy in the No.1 Guerilla Regiment, fighting vigorously under the leadership of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Their campaign spanned territories from Shyama, Nagoi, and Lagoi to Thailand, Burma, and beyond, engaging the enemy in places like Rangoon, Bangkok, Mandalay, and the hills of Imphal, Manipur, Chittagong, Assam, and Mizoram. His relentless pursuit of freedom culminated in his detainment by British forces in Jiyabadi, Burma.

Following his release from the INA, Balbir Singh returned to his village. In recognition of his valour and dedication, the Haryana Government honoured him with a medal during the golden jubilee of the Quit India Movement in 1992-93.

Balbir Singh passed away on May 24, 2012.

Medal to Balbir Singh by the Government of Haryana
Service certificate of Balbir Singh by the All-India INA Committee

Source: Prakash Sangwan, Contributor for CCRT