(Last Updated on : 22/09/2014)
Paan Singh Tomar was an Indian athlete
and soldier who later gained notoriety as a rebel. He previously used to work for the Indian Army
and it was during this time when he discovered his talent of running fast. In the 1950s and 1960s he gained prominence as a seven-time national steeplechase champion. At the 1958 Asian Games he competed as a representative of India. He took a premature retirement from Indian Army after which he returned to his native village. Later following a land feud there he took up banditry and became notorious as a Chambal Valley dacoit.
Early Life of Paan Singh Tomar
Paan Singh Tomar was born in the year 1932 in a village called Bhidosa situated in the Morena district
of the central Indian state Madhya Pradesh
Sports Career of Paan Singh Tomar
Paan Singh Tomar was initially not much inclined towards steeplechase running; however he later discovered his talent in the same while serving the Indian Army as Subedaar. In athletics he became the national champion in steeple chasing for seven years. In the 3000 meter steeplechase event he also created the national record of nine minutes and four seconds which remained unbroken for 10 long years. In the year 1967 he competed in International Military Games bagging the gold medal in the steeplechase. Due to his career in sports, he was also refrained from fighting in the 1962 and 1965 wars. His sports career came to an end in the year 1972.
Post Retirement Life of Paan Singh Tomar
Paan Singh Tomar returned to his village after retiring from the Army and there he indulged into a land dispute with Babu Singh, who was the head of a family with 250 members and owned seven licensed guns. A panchayat was held for solving this dispute along with the collector and as per the decision Tomar was asked to pay rupees 3000 for his own land to Babu Singh. Although Tomar obliged, his nephew protested about paying money for his own land. The collector had promised his return in 15 days but meanwhile Babu Singh arrived in the house of Tomar and beat up his 95 year old mother. His mother asked him to take revenge and Tomar shot Babu in the fields.
Death of Paan Singh Tomar
Paan Singh Tomar was trapped and killed along with ten other members of his gang by the Circle Inspector Mahendra Pratap Singh Chauhan and his team of sixty on 1st October 1981. He is survived by his son Souram Singh Tomar who is a retired Indian Army Subedaar and lives in Babina in the Jhansi district
of Uttar Pradesh
. In 2012 a biographical film on Paan Singh Tomar was released which gained much critical acclamations.