Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria was born on the 29th of November 1935 in village Jangla, Gurdaspur, Punjab. His father Chaudhary Munshi Ram Salaria was a farmer. He did his early education from King George School Jalandhar, which is now known as Military School Chail. He later joined NDA at
Khadakwasla. He was commissioned in the 1st Gorkha Rifles on June 9th 1957. He was assigned to the 3rd regiment of the battalion. Salaria was also posted abroad in 1961 with his battalion in Katanga.
When the Belgians troops quit congo a civil war situation erupted in their country. The U.N decided to go for military intervention to control the caos.
India contributed a brigade of 3000 troops to U.N.
United Nations Security Council decided to put an end to the activities of Katangese forces in Congo.
This irritated Katanga’s leader Tshombe and he increased the intensity of his “Anti- UN” campaign.
3/1 GR Company attacked a roadblock with 3-inch mortars. This roadblock was built by the Katangese troops. It was between Katanga Head Quarters command and the Elisabethville airfield . they destroyed the enemy roadblock and created a UN roadblock there. When Captain Salaria and his Platoon were trying to link up the UN roadblock to reinforce them but he met with heavy resistance in the old airfield area. Enemy forces had a strong hold in that area. They had ninety soldiers with 2 armored cars. They showered Salaria and his troops with automatic weapon and small arms fire from a hidden dugged in position on the right side of the flank. Salaria was undeterred by superior enemy firepower and strength. He decided to go for a head-on attack. His Gorkha troops attacked enemy forces with khukris, hand grenades and bayonets. Their rocket launcher proved very useful during this operation.
Captain Salaria and his troops killed forty enemy troops and destroyed the two-armed cars.
His bold and fearless attack shattered the enemy moral and they fled in spite of their superior firepower , strength and well-fortified position.
Unfortunately he got injured when a bullet from enemies automatic weapon fire hit him in the neck. He ignored his injuries and kept fighting till he collapsed due to excess bleeding. He subsequently died due to the injuries sustained.
Captain Salaria’s brave actions prevented the Katangese rebel forces from encircling the UN HQ in Elisabethville. His courage, leadership, unflinching devotion to duty and disregard for his personal safety were in the best traditions of the Indian Army and for which Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria was awarded the highest wartime gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra posthumously.