During the 1971 war, the Pakistani army held the vitally strategic bridge over the river Ravi at DoraBaba Nanak, threatening Indian positions at Pathankot, Beas and Amritsar. Lt. Col. Narinder Singh Sandhu was asked to lead the 10 Dogra Regiment to secure the eastern end of the bridge.
In readiness, however, Pakistan had already set in place several fortified shelters and machine gun positions. Lt. Col.Sandhu began his attack on the evening of 5th December. But his tanks were immediately stuck in the marshes, bordering the river. His men then dismounted and began the five-kilometer march to the bridge.
When they were 15 meters away from the bridge, they sprang out at the enemy with the cry "Durga Mata ki Jay". Lt. Col.Sandhu remained in the forefront all through this fierce engagement, despite being wounded in the leg. His mere presence inspired his men and they emerged victorious.
Lt. Col.Sandhu was decorated with the Mahavir Chakra for his skilful leadership.