Brigadier Maharaja Sukhjit Singh, MVC (born 15 October 1934) is a former Indian Army officer who served with The Scinde Horse. He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, India’s second highest award for gallantry, for his leadership and courage in facing the enemy during the Battle of Basantar in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.


Born 15 October 1934 (age 87)
Kapurthala, Kapurthala State, British India
Allegiance  India
Service/branch  Indian Army
Rank  Brigadier
Unit Scinde Horse
Battles/wars Battle of Basantar – Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Awards  Maha Vir Chakra
Alma mater Indian Military Academy

Early life :-

Brigadier Maharaja Sukhjit Singh was born on October 15, 1934, in Kapurthala, Punjab, India to the erstwhile royal family of Kapurthala. He was educated at The Doon School in Dehradun, and then received military training at the Indian Military Academy.

Sukhjit Singh was/is a prince himself, from the House of Kapurthala. His fondest memory is of rides with his grandfather, the Maharaja of Kapurthala, “in a zebra-driven chariot in the zoological gardens of the palace”, according to an interview to The Tribune.


  • Military career :-

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Brigadier Sukhjit Singh held the rank of Lt. Colonel. In the Battle of Basantar, Lt. Col. Sukhjit Singh was in command of The Scinde Horse (14 Horse) armored regiment, which was deployed in Shakargarh. On the night of December 8, the regiment crossed into Pakistani territory and established itself near Nainan Kot. On December 10, Pakistani forces launched a powerful armored counterattack which Lt. Col. Sukhjit Singh’s regiment successfully resisted. Leading from the front, Lt. Col. Sukhjit Singh directed his tanks with great skill. His unit forced the Pakistani force to retreat after the loss of only one tank. The next day, under heavy artillery and mortar fire, Lt. Col. Sukhjit Singh led an operation to capture enemy tanks at Malakpur. In the ensuing engagement, his regiment destroyed eight Pakistani tanks and captured one officer, two junior commissioned officers and two other soldiers.

Lt. Col. Sukhjit Singh later received the Maha Vir Chakra, India’s second highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy, in recognition of his efforts in the Battle of Basantar. Lt. Col. Sukhjit Singh eventually rose to the rank of Brigadier.



Reference :-

  • “LT COL SUKHJIT SINGH MAHA VIR CHAKRA”. Indian Army, Govt of India official website.
  • “Release of Prince, Patron and Patriarch: Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala
  • “Brig Sukhjit Singh, MVC”. The War Decorated India & Trust.
  • Brig Sukhjit Singh – Wikipedia
  • Bhat, Anil (21 December 2017). “India-Pak tank warfare and Pak military’s drawbacks”. Asian Age
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