Battle of Saragarhi
- 13 Sep 2021
- 2 min read
Why in News
Recently, 12th September marked the 124th anniversary of the Battle of Saragarhi.
- The Battle of Saragarhi is considered one of the finest last stands in the military history of the world.
- Saragarhi was the communication tower between Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan. The two forts in the rugged North West Frontier Province (NWFP), now in Pakistan, were built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh but renamed by the British.
- Saragarhi helped to link up the two important forts which housed a large number of British troops in the rugged terrain of NWFP.
- Twenty-one soldiers were pitted against over 8,000 Afridi and Orakzai tribals but they managed to hold the fort for seven hours.
- Though Saragarhi was usually manned by a platoon of 40 soldiers, on that fateful day, it was being held by only 21 soldiers from 36th Sikh Regiment (now 4th Sikh in Indian Army) and a non-combatant called Daad, a Pashtun who did odd jobs for the troops.
- Though heavily outnumbered, the soldiers of 36th Sikhs, led by Havildar Ishar Singh, fought till their last breath, killing 200 tribals and injuring 600.
- In 2017, the Punjab government decided to observe Saragarhi Day on 12th September as a holiday.
- Even today the Khyber Scouts regiment of the Pakistani army mounts a guard and salutes the Saragarhi memorial close to Fort Lockhart.