The Tiger is dead

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'Harimau Sudah Mati’ ~The Tiger is dead

The jungle Squad on guard
The jungle Squad in action

This is the story of Inspector Kartar Singh of Jungle Squad unit who was killed by the communist bandits on 12th July 1949 near Rawang, Malaysia. He and his men put up a brave fight against the raiders who outnumbered them by about seven to one. Kartar Singh and his men refused to surrender until their ammunition ran out. Inspector Kartar Singh was killed and his eyes were gouged out by the communist.

Inspector Kartar Singh was leading his jungle squad up a hill west of Bukit Munchong Estate a few miles North of Rawang on 12th July 1949. He and his jungle squad were carrying out their second police operation for the day. They were ambushed by communist bandits from a very close range. Insp. Kartar Singh and his men fought bravely until their ammunition had run out.

Inspector Kartar Singh, a sergeant and six other policemen had been killed, two others hand been wounded and the remnants of the squad broke off the battle and dispersed to the jungle.

Telephone call for backup

Two of the policemen went to the Bukit Munchong Estate and phoned Rawang police for backup. All available troops were scrambled from Kuala Kubu, Rawang and three more Police stations from Kuala Lumpur to reinforce the area.

Later the strong parties of the Scots guards and police met survivors, heard their stories and at once went to the hill in an attempt to find the gang. The bandits had fled. Taking with them guns of the dead policemen.

Inspector Kartar Singh and his men were killed by multiple shots of Bren gun fire, their bodies were mutilated by the communists. Inspector Singh's eyes were gouged out. The communists told his in-laws in far off Kluang, Johor, "Harimau sudah mati" (The Tiger is dead!) even before the old folks got word from their daughter, Balwant Kaur w/o Insp. Kartar Singh

Jungle Squad: Highly mobile

Throughout Malaya there are about 150 highly trained police jungle squads ready to go into action at any time against bandits and terrorists. Typical of these squads is the one stationed at Kuala Lumpur, It consists of six combat units and its personnel include Malays and Sikhs drawn from the regular police force and assisted by Chinese detectives.

The squad is highly mobile, using semi-armoured cars, jeeps and bicycles and is equipped with modern weapons, including automatics, hand grenades, riot guns and tear gas. Duties include surprise raids, deep jungle penetration and routine patrols, destruction of bandit camps and screening of suspect. Having left their motor vehicles some distance in the rear, the Jungle squad makes a final swift bicycle approach to an objective beyond a hill.

This innovation has in many instances produced good results where the noise of motor trucks would have given bandits warning of the approach.

Article submitted by Harchand Singh Bedi, Malaysia on 5 August 2012

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