"Baba" Harbhajan Singh was a soldier in the Indian Army & worked in the Dogra Regiment during 1962 China-India War. This soldier died near the Nathula Pass in eastern Sikkim - India while on duty. Mr. Harbhajan Singh got drowned in a glacier during the 1962 China-India War. He was searched for everywhere & he was found three days later and was cremated with full military honours. Legend goes like this that Harbhajan Singh led the Search Party to his body, and later, through a dream, instructed one of his colleagues to build and maintain a Temple/Shrine after him. A shrine was built at his Samadhi in the hills. Army folklore holds Baba is a stickler for discipline and is known to admonish those who do not tow this line.
In the camp at Nathula Pass, a camp bed is kept for him and his boots are polished and uniform is kept ready every night. The sheets are reportedly crumpled every morning and boots muddy by evening. The Ghost soldier continues to draw a salary and takes his annual leave also. Legend also has it that in the event of a war between India and China, Baba would warn the Indian and Chinese soldiers three days in advance.
A small sum is also sent to the mother of this Ghost Soldier each month. Ghost Soldier's name still continues in the army's payrolls, his mother has still been getting his salary cheques and he has also been given all due time bound promotions. Though it may look weird but it is true & Indian Army still honours this soldier like that.
After post death promotions, late soldier is treated as honorary captain. Ghost Soldier gets two months annual leave every year & a First Class berth is booked in the train in his name and his portrait, uniform and other belongings are brought by army officials to his native village Kuka in Kapurthala district for availing of his leave.
This year also under this annual drill, belongings of "Baba" Harbhajan Singh were brought to Jalandhar from New Jalpaigudi by Dibrugarh Express on Thursday night.
A JCO, a Subedar and an Orderly accompanied the belongings. The family of the late soldier received the belongings at the railway station and later proceeded for their native village. On completion of the leave the same team of the army personnel will escort back the belongings to the Nathu La region.