The Indian forces fought some of its toughest battles in the Shakargarh sector against Pakistani forces during the 1971 war. Lieutenant Colonel Hanut Singh commanded the 47 Infantry Brigade deployed to establish a bridgehead across the river Basantar, extend support to the infantry battalions in the ensuing Offensive operations.
On the 16th December, the Lt. Colonel led his forces across the heavily mined river, to successfully take up positions ahead of the infantry advance. Pakistan retaliated almost immediately and made repeated attacks on the Indians. But colonel displayed remarkable courage in this grave situation and moved from one threatened sector to the other, inspiring his men to remain steadfast. Not only was the enemy Armour attack repulsed, but 48 of their tanks were also destroyed.
Lt. col. Hanut Singh was decorated with the Mahavir Chakra for his role in the battle of Basantar.