Lt. Col. Rattan Sharma of 21 Punjab Regiment was a distinguished soldier and a veteran of 1965 war with Pakistan. But it was in the 1971 war that he proved his mettle. The Pakistanis were a strong presence in Nangi Tekri and other adjoining areas overlooking the Poonch river. This made any Indian Advance difficult. The 21 Punjab was given the daunting task of capturing the well fortified position.
On 10th December, the 21 Punjab, with Lt. Col. Sharma in command began an attack on Nangi Tekri. There was heavy shelling from the Pakistani side. The assault almost failed, Many soldiers lost their lives. Undaunted the commanding officer continued the attack , reaming at the forefront and spurring his men into action. Inching their way through the enemy position, they finally beat the enemy in a fierce hand to hand combat.
For his exemplary leadership, Lt. Col. Sharma was awarded the Mahavir Chakra.