Who is Jaswant Singh Gill, the man played by Akshay Kumar in Mission Raniganj?

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalSep 08, 2023 | 17:29

Who is Jaswant Singh Gill, the man played by Akshay Kumar in Mission Raniganj?

Akshay Kumar's next movie, Mission Raniganj is inspired from the life of late CIL Engineer, Mission Raniganj. Photo: Twitter/Pooja Films

Late Jaswant Singh Gill is one of India's unsung heroes who deserves a special place in history. As the Additional Chief Mining Engineer of Coal India Limited (CIL), Gill led a rescue operation that saved the lives of 64 people who got trapped in a coal mine in West Bengal’s Raniganj on November 13, 1989.  

His life is being brought to the silver screen on October 6, 2023 by Akshay Kumar in his next film, Mission Raniganj. The movie is inspired from the life of Late Coal India Limited (CIL) Engineer Jaswant Singh Gill, who is remembered for saving the lives of 64 miners in a deadly rescue operation.



  • 220 coal miners were trying to set up an explosion in the Mahabir Colliery to extract coal.
  • However, the blast turned out to be dangerous as the strain went tough on the subsurface water table and it cracked.
  • This led to a massive water flow. 
  • As the water gushed through the mine, the workers ran for their lives.
  • In the melee, 6 workers died instantly while 149 workers who were close to the lift shaft were pulled out.
  • 64 workers lodged themselves in crevices to escape the tide of water.
  • One worker even swam for 36 hours in the dark to reach the shaft.

Jaswant Gill and a daring rescue 

The news spread quickly and the rescue mission was begun.

  • Jaswant Gill was the Additional Chief Mining Engineer of Coal India Limited. Though it was a joint effort, the work of Jawant Gill warrants a special mention.
  • Gill volunteered to go into the mine where he would open the nearest capsule, then help the nearest miner to get into the capsule and then signal the people above to pull the capsule out.
  • Gill risked his own life, as getting into the mine alone was never a good idea.
  • Speaking with a news agency, SBS Punjabi in 2018, Gill recollected the events of that day.
Late CIL engineer, Jaswant Singh Gill. Photo: Twitter

“There were 220 miners working at the site, 6 of them lost their lives and those close to the shaft were quickly pulled out while 64 still remain trapped,” Gill said.

  • Gill was lowered into the mine and he stayed there for six hours, only after every single miner had come out of the mine.
  • On his special effort to rescue the trapped miners, Gill had said, “You get only one life, you need to make it count. Everything happened so suddenly that no one had the time to think.”

Awards and recognition

Jaswant Gill was awarded the Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak in 1991 and Bhagat Singh Puran award for service to humanity in 2016. Gill’s operation also found a mention in the Limca Book of Records as a national record in the history of coal mining. 

Last year, Union Minister for India’s Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Prahlad Joshi had paid tributes to Jaswant Gill remembering his heroic efforts.

Akshay Kumar also paid his tributes to the former CIL engineer. Mission Raniganj is set to hit the screens on October 6, 2023.

Last updated: September 08, 2023 | 17:29
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