Naib Subedar (Later Subedar Major & Honorary Captain) Bana Singh, PVC was born on 3 January 1949into a Sikhfamily, at Kadyal in Jammu and Kashmir. He enrolled in the Indian Army on 6 January 1969 into the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAK LI). He was trained at the High Altitude Warfare School in Gulmarg (in Kashmir) and also at another school at Sonamarg. He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra,the highest wartime gallantry medal in India. The Pakistani post was at a height of 6500 metres, the highest peak in the Siachen Glacier area. From this feature the Pakistanis could snipe at Indian army positions since the height gave a clear view of the entire saltoro range and siachen glacier. The enemy post was virtually an impregnable glacier fortress with ice walls, 457 metres high, on either side. Naib Subedar Bana Singh led his men through an extremely difficult and hazardous route. He and his men crawled and closed in on the adversary. Lobbing hand grenades, charging with a bayonet and moving from trench to trench, he cleared the post.
A total of 162 people participated to the final operation. Two officers, 3 JCO and 157 jawans were selected. The operation was conducted in three phases on June 23, June 25 and June 26, 1987. A first platoon was sent under Major Varinder Singh on 23 June but unfortunately they had to come back. 22 soldiers were killed. The second platoon led by Subedar Harnam Singh with 40 jawans made an attempt on June 25. At that time, there was no problem with the rope, but due to some communication gap with us, the mission had to be aborted. The next day, on 26, Bana Singh and his team were told that they will try another attack and capture the Post from the enemy today itself. A message was passed from the Major General who was the Task Force Commander and they got the green light. The assault was in daylight and there was a heavy snowfall.There was a single bunker on the top.At the end, a total of six Pakistanis were killed. Their bodies were brought back and were later handed over to the Pakistanis authorities during a flag meeting in Kargil. The entire operation was completed by 5 pm.
Naib Subedar Bana Singh was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the highest wartime gallantry medal in India, for conspicuous bravery and leadership under most adverse conditions on January 26, 1988. The peak which he captured was renamed Bana Top in his honour. At the time of the Kargil War, he was the only PVC awardee who was still serving in the Army.
The citation for the Param Vir Chakra awarded to him reads:
NB SUB BANA SINGH
8 JAK LI (JC-155825)
Naib Subedar Bana Singh volunteered to be a member of a task force constituted in June 1987 to clear an intrusion by an adversary in the Siachen Glacier area at an altitude of 21,000 feet. The post was virtually an impregnable glacier fortress with ice walls, 1500 feet high, on both sides. Naib Subedar Bana Singh led his men through an extremely difficult and hazardous route. He inspired them by his indomitable courage and leadership. The brave Naib Subedar and his men crawled and closed in on the adversary. Moving from trench to trench, lobbing hand grenades, and charging with the bayonet, he cleared the post all intruders.
Nb Subedar Bana Singh displayed the most conspicuous gallantry and leadership under the most adverse conditions.”