Mumbai: Bollywood star Suniel Shetty has condoled the death of Naik (retd) Bhairon Singh Rathore, the hero of the Longewala battle during the 1971 war, who the actor portrayed on screen in Border (1997). Rathore, a BSF veteran of the 1971 India-Pakistan war whose bravery at Rajasthan’s Longewala post was depicted in JP Dutta’s hit film, died in Jodhpur on Monday. He was 81.
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“Rest in Power Naik Bhairon Singh Ji. Heartfelt condolences to the family,” Suniel Shetty tweeted on Monday evening.
Border also starred Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff, Sunil Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Sudesh Berry, Puneet Issar and Kulbhushan Kharbanda. Tabu, Raakhee, Pooja Bhatt and Sharbani Mukherjee featured in supporting roles.
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Rathore was deployed at the Longewala post in the Thar desert of Jaisalmer, commanding a small BSF unit of six to seven personnel that was accompanied by a 120 men company of the Army’s 23 Punjab regiment. It was the bravery of these men that decimated an assaulting Pakistani brigade and tank regiment at this location on December 5, 1971.
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He received the Sena Medal in 1972 for his gallant action. Posted with the 14th BSF battalion during the war, Rathore retired from service in 1987.