with reference to: http://indianpowsinpakistanijails.blogspot.com/
Dear Randhawa Saab
U are doing excellent job. We r v proud of u
Here is the message from my brother in law and a picture
Dear Bhaji (brother),
I have been able to dig out some information on the subject, which you may share with your circle. You may leave my details intact, while sharing.
The unit involved was 15 PUNJAB, a pure SIKH battalion. On Independence of India when state forces joined Indian union, 1 PATIALA INFANTRY was renamed 15 PUNJAB.
In 1971, the unit was commanded by Lt Col Shastri and had Major KJ Singh (he had only one effective arm; half of other one had got blown up 6 months earlier in a grenade explosion. He died defending Hussaniwala and saving Firozepur), Major Waraich (he was taken Prisoner of War – and is reported to be still there in Kot Lakhpat Jail; we left Pakistan’s 95000 PoW but failed to get our own 54 !!) and Captain Hardayal as company commanders. Capt Matharu was the supporting Arty officer for the unit. On the day of attack, Capt Matharu was in Firozepur. He was attending a dinner when the attack came in at the forward troops. He swam across river to reach his position in Major KJ Singh’s company as the connecting bridge was under accurate Pakistani arty fire. Major KJ Singh’s company defeated a number of attacks by Pakistanis, Capt Matharu provided the fire support and the attacks were repulsed but for the final assault.
It was a very ferocious battle, and Pakistanis (they had more than 6 battalions against two companies of 15 PUNJAB) were unable to make any headway even with repeated attacks.
Major KJ Singh died, Major Waraich was captured as PoW. Col Shastri was removed from command and the unit did not get even a single bravery award !!!
Two forward companies of 15 PUNJAB were ultimately over run and the area West of Sutlej was occupied by Pakistan. Indian troops on home side had already blown up the bridge even before own troops could pull out or be reinforced for ovibious reasons (remember Battle of Sobraon and Sardar Sham Singh Attariwala 1846 !!!).
I am attaching a file containing photographs of some of our PoWs still in Pakistan custody, about whom our Nation has lost any interest. Major Wariach is one of the PoWs. Only their families and certain close friends are still fighting for their release (42 years after the end of war)
Hope this suffices.
Lt Col Inderjit Singh Gill, Veteran