Paan Singh Tomar’s Early life
Paan Singh Tomar was born in Bhidosa village in the Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh on 1 January 1932. That was the era of British rule over India. He was born in a Hindu Rajput family. His village was located on the banks of the Chambal River. Tomar’s father’s name was Eashwari Singh Tomar.
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Paan Singh Tomar was married to Indira Singh Tomar. His son’s name is Souram Singh Tomar. His son also served in the Indian military and retired. Later he moved to Jhansi to avoid violence in his village.
Paan Singh Tomar’s Army career
Paan Singh Tomar was a Subedar in the 51 Engineer Regiment, Bengal Engineer Group. This regiment was based in Roorkee. He argued with his instructor and was told to do multiple laps of training ground as punishment. His speed, strength and endurance caught the eye of senior Army officials and they encouraged him to run for statewide marathons and sprint races. Later on he became a national-level athlete.
He was not keen on running in the steeplechase but he went on to be the national champion for steeplechase and won seven times. He created history in 3000 meters steeplechase completing in 9 minutes and 2 seconds. This record remained unbroken for 10 years. his sports career was ended in 1972.
Life after retirement
He retired from the army in 1977 and returned to his village Bhidosa. He had land disputes with his nephews and cousins. One of his nephews Babbu Singh Tomar was a powerful landowner. He had several licensed guns and also had the backs of 200 extended family members. A panchayat was organised in the presence of the district collector to resolve the dispute. Paan Singh Tomar was aksed to pay 3000 rupees to Babbu Singh to keep his own land.
Revenge from Babbu Singh Tomar
During the land dispute, Babbu Singh attacked his mother in his absence. Upon the arrival of Paan Singh Tomar, his mother asked him to take revenge. Tomar shot Babbu Singh multiple times despite he kept running and then collapsed. There was a price of 10000 rupees on his head after the killing of Babbu Singh.
Paan Singh Tomar was killed by Inspector Mahendra Pratap Singh Chauhan and his special task force on 1st October 1981. 14 other gang members were also killed. The encounter lasted 12 hours.
The film “Paan Singh Tomar” was released in 2012 based on his biography and became an overnight hit. The writer of this film was Sanjay Chouhan. Tigmanshu Dhulia directed the film.
Irfan Khan played the lead role of Tomar and Mahie Gill played his wife.