‘Sher Puttar’: Galwan Martyr Gurtej Singh’s Family Remembers Him

He told his family that once he returned, he would throw a party to celebrate his brother’s wedding that he missed.

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Twenty-three-year-old Sepoy Gurtej Singh who was fondly called ‘Sher Puttar’ (Lion’s son) by his mother, was martyred in the face-off between India and China at the Galwan Valley on 15 June.

Before losing his life, Gurtej took down Chinese soldiers at Galwan. Now, his family fondly remembers him, their lives with him, and how they now have to live a life without him.

Hailing from Mansa in Punjab, Gurtej Singh joined the Indian Army's 3 Punjab 'Ghatak Platoon' in 2018. His parents recall how he kept in touch with them via calls and messages at regular intervals.

‘Waiting for You’: Mother to Gurtej Singh

Prakash Kaur, Gurtej’s mother said, “When we got to video chat, he had said 'Leave the stones, first show me my mother’s face, my eyes are longing to see her.' We just spoke that much. That was the last time we spoke. I told him I’m sitting here longing for him.”

While he was away, his eldest brother got married. Gurtej, who was the youngest of three brothers, had told his family that he will throw a party once he is back.

‘Sher Puttar’: Galwan Martyr Gurtej Singh’s Family Remembers Him
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)
“Neither did he know nor did I know that he won’t ever come back home again. He had told me to make sure that we should make a very good house before his return.”
Prakash Kaur, Gurtej‘s mother
‘Sher Puttar’: Galwan Martyr Gurtej Singh’s Family Remembers Him
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

On being asked when he would come home, Gurtej had stated that he was not getting any leave because of the pandemic, assuring them that he will come in a while, his mother added.

"I told him he’s looking very weak, and he told me he’s not eating too well. I said I got pure ghee for him at home. We use to discuss things like these, but seldom," she continued.

The Last Conversation

Virsa Singh, the sepoy’s father stated that their last conversation with him was on 7 June and then on 10 June.

“On 7 June he rung up his elder brother, saying, ‘Brother. things are not looking too good here. Don’t worry I’ll keep messaging you.’ He repeated the same thing on 10 June saying ‘Anything can happen at this point in time.’”
‘Sher Puttar’: Galwan Martyr Gurtej Singh’s Family Remembers Him
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

Kaur also recounted the kind of a man and son Gurtej was, noting that he was affectionate, accommodating, and not at all fussy.

As a tribute to him, the Punjab government has now named a school after Gurtej Singh.

With tears in her eyes, but holding herself with courage, his mother said, “It’s very good that he sacrificed himself and attained martyrdom. People come and tell me to be proud, but only a mother’s heart knows what she’s going through. I will not get my son back but yes, he most definitely fought like a lion.”

‘Sher Puttar’: Galwan Martyr Gurtej Singh’s Family Remembers Him
(Illustration: The Quint)

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