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Hero of Longewala battle, who went into burning house to save Quran, is no more

Jodhpur: Naik (Retd) Bhairon Singh Rathore passed away in Jodhpur AIIMS on Monday at the age of 81. He suffered a brain stroke He was admitted in hospital on December 14.

Rathore was awarded the Sena Medal in 1972 for his bravery during the war.

According to the family members, the Octogenarian BSF veteran Bhairon Singh Rathore, during his interactions with the young Army aspirants, would often recall an anecdote from the 1971 Battle of Longewala.

“My uncle would often recall how he went inside a burning house during heavy artillery fire to save a copy of the Quran while evacuating a Muslim family. When the family thanked him, he said ‘ye to mera dharam hai’.” Indian Express quoted Arun Singh, nephew of Rathore as saying.

Rathore’s character was played by actor Suniel Shetty in the 1997 movie, Border.

During the Battle of Longewala, which took place in December 1971, Rathore was posted with the 14th BSF Battalion and attached to the Indian Army’s 23 Punjab Regiment.

PM Narendra Modi tweeted, “Naik (Retd) Bhairon Singh Ji will be remembered for his service to our nation. He showed great courage at a crucial point in our nation’s history. Saddened by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti.”

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